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VMware Inplace Upgrade 4.1 to 5.0 - Easy Points for an Expert

Posted on 2012-04-13
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Last Modified: 2012-04-13
I'm trying to upgrade an ESXi4.1 host to 5.0 using the following:

Download VMware ESXi 5.0 Installable Update 1  
 
Version 5.0.0 U1
Build Number 623860
Release Date 2012/03/15
Type Product Binaries
Components This download contains the following components. Hide Details
ESXi 5.0 ISO image (Includes VMware Tools)
File size: 293M
File type: iso

However, during the install I receive a message, "VMFS Cannot Be Preserved" (The selected stroage device contains a VMFS datastore which cannot be preserved. To preserve the data on this VMFS datastore, move the dataq to another datastore. Continuing with the installation will overwrite the VMFS datastore, which will also midify the partitions and delete all existing data.)

Has anyone seen this message? Am I using the wrong ISO or something to do the upgrade?
I have attached the message as a jpg if you want to view it.
IMAG3173.jpg
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Question by:Created
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LVL 118

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 250 total points
ID: 37844040
yes, we seen this error message. Its usually because of thevway ESXi 4.x was originally installed.

Is this a HP,Dell, IBM server and you are using wrong version, eg not OEM upgrade.

otherwise install to USB flash drive or SD card
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Assisted Solution

by:bill_lynch
bill_lynch earned 50 total points
ID: 37844068
Are you installing ESXi on the same datastore as virtual machines, i.e. will formatting cause trouble?  If so can you either temporarily move the virtual machines, or install ESX onto another datastore?  Then you could attach the old datastore later and upgrade then?
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Author Comment

by:Created
ID: 37844140
Hanccocka, here's the goodies:

VMware ESXi 4.1.0 (VMKernel Release Build 348481)
Supermicro H8DMU
2 x Six-Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 2427
32 GB Memory

What do you mean ... the way ESXi 4.x was originally installed. Also not sure what you mean as far as installing to USB flash drive or SD card. Do you mean boot from one of these?
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 250 total points
ID: 37844205
okay, so this is a non certified whitebox, not on the HCL.

Correct, you can install ESXi to a USB flash drive or SD card, and boot from USB, instead of local disks.

Here is the VMware KB on installing 4.1 on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1020655

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.0 on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2004784

Clearly the Upgrade Installer does not currently "like" the way ESXi 4.1 partitions have been created, and it cannot preserve the Datastore.

So....

1. Backup VMs, upgade to ESXi 5.0, Restore VMs.

2. Install new version of ESXi 5.0 to USB flash drive, Boot OS, and Register VMs with new OS.
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Author Comment

by:Created
ID: 37844269
Bill, yes there is only one datastore. The person that set this up used all the storage to create the datastore. So, I am actually copying all the VMs and other data to an external USB drive. Once the data finishes copying, I'll try the upgrade again. I'm wonder, though, does this message mean that I will acutally lose the data or does it mean there is a chance I'll lose the data. I believe when Upgrading the other Hosts I received a simalar message, but I can't remember exactly. On the other hosts, I didn't care too much since I had not moved any real VMs on to those hosts at the time.
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LVL 118

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 250 total points
ID: 37844316
it states contiunuing will overwrite the VMFS datastore, so the contents will be lost.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:bill_lynch
ID: 37844341
It sure looks to me like you are going to lose the data.  Please triple check you have everything you need before you proceed with the upgrade
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Author Closing Comment

by:Created
ID: 37844352
Thanks for your help.
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