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Lost VMWARE password

Posted on 2010-08-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have lost my password to my vmware server, how do I change the password.
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Question by:ThermoPort
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Author Comment

by:ThermoPort
ID: 33501013
I really need to get back into the VMware because one of server shutdown and I can not restart it without going into the vmware.
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Accepted Solution

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mrbrain646 earned 167 total points
ID: 33501040
try
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1317898

or
http://www.petri.co.il/vmware-esx-server-root-password-reset-recovery-lost.htm

not sure which version your running but if you at least have root password can change. If not
you can backup  your vm and do a reinstall.
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Assisted Solution

by:adambird79
adambird79 earned 167 total points
ID: 33501148
If you do a re-install it will only re-install the VM hypervisor and not destroy the local datastore.
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Assisted Solution

by:frevere
frevere earned 166 total points
ID: 33501211
When you say "your VMware server," do you mean the VI Client or ESX host.  If it is the ESX host, use the following:
http://www.petri.co.il/vmware-esx-server-root-password-reset-recovery-lost.htm
If it is the VI Client, reset the account password in Active Directory.
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Author Comment

by:ThermoPort
ID: 33501314
I can not get the server to reboot to the service consle only
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Expert Comment

by:adambird79
ID: 33501317
If you mean you have lost the password for the VI Client, you can reset the Active Directory password, or reset the local Administrator password of the server running the VI Client and login with the new password.

If you need the password for the actual ESX server, as in the root password, then personally I would re-install the ESX host.
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 33501339
To change a forgotten/lost ESX/i root password, see the following VMware KB:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1317898

Regards,
~coolsport00
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Author Comment

by:ThermoPort
ID: 33501349
no password for either my client on the desktop or the server. I am running VMware ESX Server 3i
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 33501351
Actually, "mrbrain..." shared the KB link already. Don't do a reinstall...it's not needed.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 33501369
Well, if you don't want to go through the steps involved in the KB, it only takes 7mins (I've timed the install before) to reinstall ESXi. It's a simple, seamless process...it's really up to you what you want to do...

Logging into ESXi with the VI Client requires use of the root password, or a user you created locally on the host. If you have neither of those, your only choices are the KB provided or reinstall.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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Expert Comment

by:adambird79
ID: 33501412
if your using esxi you don't have the service console as you do in full blown esx, if you really do not want to do a re-install then you could follow this guide:

http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/Reset_root_password.php

honestly the re-install is quicker, and if your hardware supports ESXi 4.1 you can always use it as an excuse to upgrade to the latest release
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33501430
If you are working with ESXi see this post: http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/Reset_root_password.php

If you are working with some other VMware platform let us know what it is.

Good Luck
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33501438
By the way - that process works on 4.x esxi also...
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Author Comment

by:ThermoPort
ID: 33505882
How do you get the GRUB screen to come up because I can not get the screen to appear, it keeps going to the log in screen. I have a few servers on this box that I do not want to lose. Do you know anything else I can try.  
Vmare ESX Server 3i 3.50
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 33506353
Without seeing what you're doing, it's hard to determine. You could move your VMs (copy them) off your ESXi host with Veeam FastSCP (). Just install it on your local workstation and, hopefully, you have either a spare external drive or some network share with enough space to temporarily house your VMs. Just add your ESXi host to the 'Servers' section of FastSCP. You'll notice that 'My Computer' is already under that heading. So, just copy all your VM folders to the appropriate 'My Comp' drive, reinstall ESXi, copy your VMs back, then 're-add them to inventory' by browsing to the datastore they're on and right-clicking on each VM's .vmx file.

~coolsport00
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 33506360
Forgot FastSCP download link:
http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esxi-fastscp.html

~coolsport00
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33506564
If you are using ESXi follow my earlier link ( http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/Reset_root_password.php) to recover your root password.

There is no GRUB menu on ESXi

Good Luck
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Author Comment

by:ThermoPort
ID: 33509573
Do I need the john the ripper software because that site is blocked? I have never run Vmware from the server itself only on as a client. This is all new to me and I am not sure if I follow the instructions.
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Expert Comment

by:frevere
ID: 33509851
Adam,

you are getting some misleading information.  ESXi does have a limited service console.  When you boot your server up, on the ESXi screen, press ALT-F1.  This will take you to a "service console".  You can then follow the procedure that both MrBrain and I have suggested.  If you cannot get to the server, if you have a Unix/Linux machine available, you can install the RCLI tools from VMware.  I do not remember all the commands that are available, but this is a "service console."  As coolsport has said, I would not recommend doing an install.  There is a lot of work involved, such as SCP the VMs which could possibly cause problems down the line.
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Author Comment

by:ThermoPort
ID: 33510217
Thank you for the tip using Alt-F1 I will give that a try this morning. :)
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33510228
@frevere - but you will need the root pasword to get into tech support mode, that is why I didn't start on that route.

@ThermoPort - no, you would only need that software if you want to know what the password was. You can follow the rest of the article to modify the shadow file to clear the password and replace the state.tgz (or local.tgz if it is ESXi embedded). Then, when the ESXi server comes back up you can set the root password to whatever you like.

Good Luck
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Author Comment

by:ThermoPort
ID: 33510325
Thank you, I will give this a try
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Expert Comment

by:kbjijo
ID: 37732072
If you want to retrieve the password of ESX Server follow the below options


Reboot the ESX host.
When the GRUB screen appears, press the space bar to stop the server from automatically booting into VMware ESX.
Use the arrow keys to select Service Console only (troubleshooting mode).
Press the “a” key to modify the kernel arguments (boot options).
On the line presented, type a space followed by the word single.
Press Enter. The server continues to boot into single-user mode.
When presented with a bash prompt such as sh-2.05b#, type the command passwd and press Enter.
Follow the prompts to set a new root user password.
When the password is changed successfully, reboot the host using the command reboot and allow VMware ESX to boot normally.



To retrieve the password of VCENTER Server

if your vcenter is a client of Active Directory , you can simply reset your password from the AD and use

if your vcente is not a member of AD, you need to use any kind of 3rd party tools which can crack the SAM folder inside the windows.
Refer the below link
http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/
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Author Closing Comment

by:ThermoPort
ID: 37795905
Thank you, all these suggestions were great
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