How to upgrade from HP ESX 5.1 (SD boot) to ESXi 5.5 (USB boot)


Proliant ML 350p T08 and HP ESXi 5.1 which boots from SD card.

The ESXi crashes weekly: the guests OSs (WIn 2008R2 ja SBS 2011) are at power off state so I need to power them on 1-3 times per week.

I tried to update the BIOS but ended up to Red Screen (which seems to be know issue). Other drivers/firmware are also from apx. Jan 2013. I taught that maybe if I try to upgrade the ESXi to 5.5 and also start using USB stick for ESXi maybe that helps.

So perhaps my question is how to upgrade from HP ESXi 5.1.0 (build 799 733 ) which boots from SD card to HP ESXi 5.5 which boots from USB stick?

Further more, at which point should I try to upgrade firmware?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You should always ensure your Proliant Server is running the latest version of firmware from the HP DVD firmware disk, before you install ESXi 5.5.

In a simple answer there is no upgrade, other than a new installation to the USB flash drive of 5.5.

Make sure you have downloaded the OEM version of ESXi 5.5 from HP, and use the OEM HP version.

I would not recommend, the method of read the image from the SD card, and writing to the USB flash drive, and then upgrading, because this method of cloning is not supported by VMware.
RimFire007Author Commented:
Ah thanks.

The Host/Guest setup is quite simple. If I just made a HP vSphere 5.5 USB stick how would it:


recognize quest OSs the disks/datastores


sees the configuration (NICs etc) the guests have?


should I just put on paper how the setup is now and "copy" it from there to 5.5?

The fact that HP firmware update doesn't work is an other issue bothers me but perhaps Google investigation helps for that.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The simplest method would be to

Take screenshots of existing configuration.

0. Have a Backup of ALL VMs. (just in case!)

1. Power off all the VMs.

2. Shutdown ESXi 5.1.

3. Insert new good quality USB flash drive.

4. Install OEM HP version of 5.5 on the USB flash drive.

5. The installer will detect the existing VMFS datastore, and it will ask if you want to PRESERVE - select YES.

6. Continue with installation....

7. Start new ESXi 5.5 server.

8. Browse the old datastore, browse the VM folders, and Add to Inventory.

See Step 6 in my EE Artcle here..

HOW TO: Clone or Copy a virtual machine in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX/ESXi 4.x or ESXi 5.0

9. DONE.

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RimFire007Author Commented:

Great. Luckily I asked. Will do perhaps during this week.
Will ask from HP instructions how to upgrade fimrware since I have problems with those.

Million thanks!
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