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  • I have an existing vCenter server (v5.0) with two existing ESXi servers.
  • I recently installed ESXi v5.1 on two new servers.
  • I configured their hostnames, IPs, DNS, gateway, etc. and both pass their management network test.
  • I can also ping them both from my machine by both ip and hostname.
  • I can login to the local machines just fine from the console using "root" and a password that is well-known to me.

In my existing vCenter, when I attempt to add the new server to a cluster, I receive the error "A general system error occurred: Timed waiting for vpxa to start" -- and the specific event listed is "cannot connect [myservername]: incorrect user name or password."

  • I have tried adding the server with and without a FQDN
  • I've tried with a license key and in evaluation mode
  • I've tried those steps for both of the new servers I installed ESXi onto.

Not sure where to even begin here. Hoping to avoid a support ticket; thanks in advance for any help you can give!

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

You must upgrade vCenter to 5.1 in order to add a host with ESXi 5.1. No vCenter version prior to 5.1 supports ESXi 5.1.


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I ran into this as well. Upgrading vCenter first is the way to go. – jftuga Oct 24 '12 at 19:44
That's definitely the issue. We'll work on that. Thanks; hadn't realized a minor version increment would be such a breaking change. Lesson learned! – SeanKilleen Oct 25 '12 at 12:02
Same here... I'm finding I need to read the instructions more carefully with new VMWare products. – ewwhite Oct 25 '12 at 13:09

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