Backing up VM from ESXi 6 and restoring to ESXi 5.5

Hi,

  I created two VMs running on my ESXi v.6. Due to a worrisome situation, I like to go back to ESXi v 5.5.
  Instead of reinstalling these two VMs after installing v 5.5, if I back them up to backup device and restore them, will it cause any problems? Fyi I have installed vmware tools on these VMs.

thanks
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sgleeAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
VMware Virtual Machines are normally portable backward. Uninstall the Tools first and check if you upgraded the machine hardware. Otherwise back them up and then change back to ESXi v5.5.

May we ask why you are downgrading as ESXi v6 works.

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sgleeAuthor Commented:
two reasons:
1. I have vCenter managing two VMWare hosts v 5.5 already.
2. Since I have installed v6 on 3rd VMW.are host, I have to upgrade the other two hosts. As of now I have to manage new host separately.
3. The new host got stuck during reboot (off the USB flash drive) after I installed SMIS provider 5.5 vib. Something does not look good. So I am going to install v5.5
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
That depends what version of virtual machine you created, if you created a virtual machine version 11, this is only compatible with ESXi 6.0, and you will need to use converter to converter from 11 to a version, that is compatible with ESXi 5.5 (10,9,8,7,4).

If the VMs you have created are 10,9,8,7,4 virtual machine version, they will be compatible.

You do not need to update your hosts, you need to update vCenter 6.0 to manage 6.0 and 5.5 hosts.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Andrew,
I have two VMs. First one is a brand new one that I created from the scratch when I set up this server with ESXi v6, so it shows version 11.
The other one is moved over from standalone Windows 2008 server box using vSphere Converter and it shows VM version 9.

How do I downgrade V11 to V10 (or older) using Converter?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If you still have ESX6, there should be a Hardware Change function in the VMware menu. Is there?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You cannot downgrade!

One way upgrade only.

VMware Converter is the only method to convert
sgleeAuthor Commented:
@John
I will check to see if there is hardware change fucnction tomorrow.

@Andrew
What do you think will happen if I back up these VMs (using Backup software or downloading VM folders to a local hard drive) and restore them after installing ESX v5.5?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You might try again with ESX V6 as it is in use and works. That would save the trouble of trying to downgrade.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If they are virtual machines not supported by ESXi 5.5, you will not be able to add them to the inventory or power them on!

again the only supported method of converting is to use VMware Converter.

You can also just change the numbers from 11 to 10 in the VMX file, but this is not a supported method of conversion!
sgleeAuthor Commented:
Fatal Error@John,
"You might try again with ESX V6 as it is in use and works. " ---> Among other concerns, here is the reason why  I feel that this installation of ESXi v6 on this server is not healthy. I got this error during reboot after installing SMIS_VMware_Provider(vmware-esx-provider-lsiprovider.vib) for ESXi v5.5. The reason why I installed v5.5 vmware-esx-provider-lsiprovider.vib was because v6 vmware-esx-provider-lsiprovider.vib was not available.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Corrupt install.
sgleeAuthor Commented:
"Corrupt install. "  --> I installed  v5.5 vmware-esx-provider-lsiprovider.vib  remotely and rebooted the host, but never came back. When I went onsite, I saw VMware box stuck with the message that I posted above. I did control-alt-del to restart the OS and the ESX loaded without getting stuck again.
Should I be concerned about the status of ESXi v6 installation (on USB flash drive) at this point?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, reformat the USB flash drive or use a new USB drive.

You could try recovery mode.
sgleeAuthor Commented:
I received that USB from someone sometime ago and it may be developing a bad sector.
What do you mean by "You could try recovery mode" ?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You can always just get a new, known good USB key and download ESX again.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Shift & R, when you start (BOOT) ESXi!

if it's an upgrade, it will perform a rollback!
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@sglee - Thanks and I was happy to help.
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