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ESX 3.5 Upgrade Failed - Cannot Boot

Posted on 2010-09-02
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
attempted to upgrade from "ESX 3.5 Update 3" to "ESX 3.5 update 5" using a CD locally at the server.  Shortly after the Install process began, it failed with a fatal error (see attached image).  We tried differerent media and ran the media test, which passed.  We then decided to backout and just reboot, but now the server will not even boot! I'm getting an error 15 file cannot be found?  See attached image.  Any ideas on what went wrong on how to resolve? Upgrade Fails Reboot Fails?
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Question by:dkraut
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by:paulsolov
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Are the VMs on the local datastore or on shared storage (NAS/SAN)?
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by:dkraut
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Local Datastore.  No connection to SAN for this server.  
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paulsolov earned 400 total points
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Have you made a backup of your VMs?

Try to install from scratch and see if it find the previous VMFS datastore.  If so it will ask you to keep existing datastore as an option
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by:maytrix
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I agree with paul.  You could spend hours troubleshooting or spend 30 minutes re-installing.  It's often the quickest fix.  Just be sure not to wipe out the local data store.
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by:dkraut
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No backups since it's a dev server, but losing the VM's would be painful.  It's an IBM x3650 with (5) 500GB SATA drives in a RAID 5 array.  I've considered reinstalling, but how do you do that while preserving the datastore?  

So I guess I'm the only one that's run into this lovely upgrade oddity?  :)  
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by:dkraut
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OK Thanks, before I try the reinstall, one other thought came up... Is it still possible to obtain ESX 3.5 Update 4?  I'm thinking that possibly it will perform the upgrade without error.  I've searched but cannot find any version other than Update 5.
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by:paulsolov
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I would install ESX Update 5 straight off, this way you kill 2 birds with one stone
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by:dkraut
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ok guys, based on some info I found on the HCL regarding the IBM x3650, I decided to install ESX 4 Update 2 and it found and allowed me to preserve the datatstore.  I have it back in vcenter and it appears to be fine now.  The only issue is that the vm's are all showing as orphaned, but I was able to remove them and then add to Inventory to resolve.  Thanks for the guidance!!  Cheers!
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by:paulsolov
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If you're feeling lucky you can now go to ESX 4.1 and you'll be able to connect the ESX hosts to your domain...good stuff.  Now you've got the warm and fuzzies since everything came up, nice.
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