ESXi 5 : Password Lost

Have an ESXi 5.0 Server running a single VM.

Lost the root/????? password.

Need recommendation of best course of action to take?  
What are my options?

Looking for someone who actually performed whatever course of action you are going to recommend.
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
you need to reinstall; no way in ESXi to reset

Reinstalling the ESXi host is the only supported way to reset a password on ESXi.
tech911Author Commented:
I read that too.
Have you done it in a production environment?
tech911Author Commented:
I believe I can re-install and my current VMFS will not be harmed nor will my VM that is in there.

I am guessing that before the re-install I should shutdown the VM properly.

After the re-install, what are the details on getting the VM that existed in the datastore BEFORE the re-install back into inventory, then get it back up and running (need the gritty details on this part).

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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
i don't remember the process i went through; it was an ESXi 4 system a few years ago
but yeah, i would shutdown the guest(s) properly
tech911Author Commented:
Thank you.

Does anybody else have any actual ESXi 5 experience they can offer in a production environment?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
ESXi - Reset the password for root - VM-Help

We have performed the above procedure on many client sites, if you have the time.

Password reset is possible using the article posted, but it's considered a hack, and the VMware Supported solution is to re-install ESXi.

see here

VMware KB: Changing a forgotten root password on an ESX/ESXi host
Disconnect storage (or mask the lun) while re-installing ESXi, and add it later using vSphere client / CLI.

To get your VMs back into inventory, you'll just need to browse each VM dir on your datastore, right the .vmx file and select Add to inventory.
tech911Author Commented:
Don't want to use an unsupported method, re-installing is the best bet.

My host is a Dell PE2950 with 6x 1TB Drives Raid5 everything is installed on one large disk, thus I can't "disconnect" my storage, but I don't believe I have to.

When I re-install ESXi 5, will the re-install destroy my existing VMFS datastore along with the VM that resides on my VMFS or will it recognize that there is already a file system/files there and leave it alone so I can add it back into inventory after.

That is what I need to know.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The installer will detect any existing VMFS partition, and ASK you if you want to Preserve it - Select YES!

OR....install ESXi on a USB/SD card, much better and recommended.

on the 2950 you also have a usb interface inside the case for this use!

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.0 on USB/SD:

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Uh, sorry, i've never had vmdks on local vmfs ;)

And disconnecting network-attached storage was an habit i took on every OS install since windows has the good idea to write on any SAN-attached storage without any concern of what was residing on it... but ESXi handles it better, even if a missclick is always possible ;)
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