[Last Call] Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now


Unable to login with root password on esxi 4.1

Posted on 2012-08-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-30
I'm unable to login to one of my esx 4.1 host as root.

What's odd is that if I use the password that I believe it is, I get an certain error. the 1st one in the screen shot.

but if I try a password that I know it's definitely not, I get another error..2nd in screen shot.

Any thoughts?
Question by:rdefino
LVL 124

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 668 total points
ID: 38313328
The Support method for a forgotten password is to re-install ESXi 4.1 over the top of the existing ESXi 4.1 OS (VMFS and VMs are preserved!).


Unsupported Method which also works with ESXi 4.1 and 5.0.

Check if SSH and ESXi shell is running?

(if you have a vSphere Client connection), it mught be worth a server restart.
LVL 12

Assisted Solution

Seaton007 earned 664 total points
ID: 38313347
It sounds like ESX is configured to not allow root logins.  Take a look at this: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=8375637

Another possibility is that the root user was tampered with from within VI Client: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1008503
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

Danny McDaniel earned 668 total points
ID: 38314050
or lockdown mode has been enabled???
Enabling or disabling Lockdown mode on an ESXi host http://kb.vmware/kb/1008077

Author Comment

ID: 38321510
when I press ALT-F1, and try to login with root and my password, it tells me it's incorrect. But I can get into the console of the system with these credentials.

also, lockdown is enabled.
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Danny McDaniel
ID: 38322117
have you tried clearing/shutting down the vm's and rebooting the host?  It may be in some sort of weird state that is causing these issues.

Also, did you enable lockdown from the console or from the VC?  

from the documentation:


If you enable or disable lockdown mode using the direct console user interface, permissions for users and groups on the host are discarded. To preserve these permissions, you must enable and disable lockdown mode using the vSphere Client connected to vCenter Server.

Featured Post

Concerto Cloud for Software Providers & ISVs

Can Concerto Cloud Services help you focus on evolving your application offerings, while delivering the best cloud experience to your customers? From DevOps to revenue models and customer support, the answer is yes!

Learn how Concerto can help you.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

If we need to check who deleted a Virtual Machine from our vCenter. Looking this task in logs can be painful and spend lot of time, so the best way to check this is in the vCenter DB. Just connect to vCenter DB(default DB should be VCDB and using…
This article will explain How to fix Broken backup chain in Veeam Backup & Replication.
Teach the user how to use create log bundles for vCenter Server or ESXi hosts Open vSphere Web Client: Generate vCenter Server and ESXi host log bundle:  Open vCenter Server Appliance Web Management interface and generate log bundle: Open vCenter Se…
This Micro Tutorial steps you through the configuration steps to configure your ESXi host Management Network settings and test the management network, ensure the host is recognized by the DNS Server, configure a new password, and the troubleshooting…
Suggested Courses

829 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question