Maybe this KB Articel by VM can help you with your question.
In the articel it is described like this:
- First you should stay save and have a Backup of the VM and it should
be powered down.
- Also your VM shouldnt have any snapshots left or shared disks with
The Renaming process is follwing with:
If you have a vSphere Client
Log in to the VMware vSphere Client.
Locate the virtual machine in your host inventory and remove it.
Open a console to the ESXi host
Navigate to the directory containing the virtual machine.
Rename (VMDK) files using the vmkfstools -E command
Copy the virtual machine configuration file (.vmx) and edit the copied file in a text editor (i would preffer Notepad++) modify all old instances of the virtual machine's file names to the new file names.
Save the file and exit the editor.
Rename all remaining files with exception to the .vmx config file.
Swap to the parent dircetory and rename it.
Now you can add the new VM config to the inventory of your ESXi host.
You should be able to power on the Machine and be prompted for a question where you should answer I moved it. If you are not promted for the question you can find it in the summary tab and by right clicking the machine in your inventory where should be an option Answer question
For more information and more detailed reffer to this link
Renaming virtual machine files in-place using the console
should help you.