I have a serious VMWare problem, situation as follows:

  • one standalone host with internal HDDs. One pair of HDDs in Raid 1 are used for ESXi. 4 HDDs in Raid 10 are used as datastore for VMs.
  • VirtualCenter is also a VM and on the internal storage.
  • a NFS share is also used, some machines are on the share

I updated the vSphere Infrastructure from version 4.1 to version 5. vCenter update and client updates went fine. Today I updated the host and thats how the trouble began. I saw all partitions in the installation process and installed ESXi 5 on the partition where ESXi 4 was installed. After that I have a fresh installed ESXi 5 without configuration. If I connect to it with the vSphere client I can't see the VMs who were under this hosts management. I can see the internal datastore and I can browse it but i can't manage or start the machines, same goes for the NFS share (inventory under "Virtual Machines" is empty).

How can I bring back the assignment "Host to VM" so that the machines on the internal storage are managed by this host? So the vCenter is also a virtual machine and I am unable to start it because it also is on the internal HDDs. I couldn't use the Update Manager because we only have this standalone host, so I did an "interactive update" booting from the ESXi 5 CD. I thought there is some kind of migration and the host will know that it has to manage the VMs on the internal storage but it seems that did not happen... I could kick myself in the butt for doing this, any help appreciated.


In the datastore browser, find each VM's .vmx file, right click, and there's a "Register" option to put the VM back in the inventory.

For future reference, yes, there is an upgrade option from the same installer CD that'll preserve all settings - it should prompt you to do so during the process.

  • Wooo, thanks, I'll try that tomorrow.Did not looked for further options in the datastore browser. I read about the upgrade option in the "Upgrade Guide" but it was not there. I could only choose between "install" or "abort" despite the fact the installer recognized all partitions and the like....mhh. – duenni Nov 21 '11 at 18:34
  • Is it "Register" or "Add to inventory"? Last I looked, the latter was true, but perhaps that changed in ESXi v5, which I haven't had a chance to play with yet. Either way, +1 for the correct answer. – EEAA Nov 21 '11 at 19:12

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