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

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
CreatedAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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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bill_lynchCommented:
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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CreatedAuthor Commented:
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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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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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CreatedAuthor Commented:
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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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
it states contiunuing will overwrite the VMFS datastore, so the contents will be lost.
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bill_lynchCommented:
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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CreatedAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your help.
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