VMware ESX/ESXi 4.1 host upgrade failed due to 3rd party updates

I’ve recently been running several ESX 4.1 to ESXi 5.1 Upgrades.  Generally this is a much easier process due to the Update Manager now handling ESX/ESXi 4.+ Upgrades directly from the vCenter.  That being said, I have ran into the following issue when running an upgrade:

The majority of upgrade errors I have encountered are generally due to custom VIBs that are no longer compatible & can be bypassed by selecting the box for “Remove installed third-party software that is incompatible with the upgrade, and continue with the remediation.”

In this situation however, I’ve found you need to remove the problem patch before getting to this screen.  The easiest way to perform this is by connecting via console or SSH to your ESX host and running the following command: “esxupdate query -a”.


This will give you a list of installed updates.  From here, find the problem patch – in my case ESX410-201101223-UG & ESXi410-201101224-UG & run the following command for each:
esxupdate -b ESX410-201101223-UG remove
esxupdate -b ESX410-201101224-UG remove
Reboot your host and continue your upgrade

About AJ McKean

Based in sunny Tauranga, New Zealand, AJ McKean is a Senior Systems Engineer in Mt Maunganui. With over 15 years of professional IT experience working in both New Zealand and the United States, he holds several certifications including MCSE(2000-2003), MCITP:Enterprise(2008), MCSA(2012), VMware VCP-DCV5.5, CompTIA A+ & is an HP Storage Architect. He is passionate about all things IT, especially virtualization, automation & cloud technologies.

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