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.
Who is Participating?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor 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:
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?
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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).

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
NumbidConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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.
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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