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Upgrading a virtual machine to the latest hardware version (multiple versions) (1010675)

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This article provides information about upgrading a virtual machine to the latest hardware version.
You can upgrade the hardware version of virtual machines to the latest version of ESXi in use. 
 
ESXi/ESX versionVirtual hardware version
ESXi 6.714
ESXi 6.513
ESXi 6.011
ESXi 5.510
ESXi 5.19
ESXi 5.08
ESXi/ESX 4.1/4.07
ESXi/ESX 3.54
For more information, see Virtual Machine Compatibility.
 
When upgrading virtual hardware, consider these points:
  • Modification of the virtual hardware version on the vCenter Server Appliance is not supported. Likewise you should not manually install any additional version of VMware Tools inside the guest OS of the vCenter Server Appliance. 
  • Upgrading a Virtual Machine to the latest hardware version is the physical equivalent of swapping the drive out of one system and placing it into a new one. Its success will depend on the resiliency of the guest operating system in the face of hardware changes. VMware does not recommend upgrading virtual hardware version if you do not need the new features exposed by the new version.
  • Before you upgrade the virtual hardware version of a virtual machine, create a snapshot or backup of the virtual machine in case there are issues post upgrade.
  • To automate this process, consider using vCenter Update Manager for virtual machine upgrades. For more information, see the Understanding Update Manager section in the Installing and Administering VMware vSphere Update Manager guide.
  • vCenter Update Manager takes automatic snapshots before performing virtual machine upgrades. For more information, see the Perform an Orchestrated Upgrade of Virtual Machines with vSphere Update Manager section in the VMware vSphere 5.1 vSphere Upgrade guide .
  • When you upgrade virtual hardware, no downtime is required for vCenter Server or ESXi/ESX hosts. For virtual machines, the only significant downtime is the time to shut down and restart the guest operating systems.
Note: From ESXi 5.5 onward you can schedule hardware version upgrade for next guest OS restart.
  • NIC configuration may be lost when upgrading from ESXi 3.5 to a newer hardware version. To workaround this issue, ensure that latest version of VMware Tools is running in the virtual machine before commencing hardware version upgrade.
  • Upgrade VMware Tools and reboot if required. For more information, see Installing VMware Tools in vSphere (2004754).

    Note: Upgrading VMware Tools must be done before upgrading the virtual hardware except for the guests running Linux distributions or FreeBSD releases that have vendor supported open-vm-tools installed in the guest.
Before you upgrade the virtual hardware:
  1. Create a backup or snapshot of the virtual machine.
  2. Upgrade VMware Tools. On Microsoft Windows virtual machines, if you upgrade the virtual hardware before you upgrade VMware Tools, the virtual machine might lose its network settings.
  3. Verify that the virtual machine is healthy and available, with no inaccessible virtual disks, CD-ROM or ISO images, etc.
  4. Determine the version of the virtual hardware by selecting the virtual machine from the vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client and clicking the Summary tab. The VM Version label in the Compatibility field displays the virtual hardware version.
  5. If you are using C# client, Hardware versions above 9 are not supported.

Upgrading virtual hardware on a single virtual machine

To upgrade the virtual hardware of a single virtual machine:

Note: In a vSphere 5.5 environment, you must use the vSphere Web Client to upgrade the virtual hardware to version 10. You cannot edit the settings of the virtual machine by connecting directly to an ESXi host or the vCenter Server through the vSphere C# Client that is on Hardware version 10. If you connect directly to an ESXi host using the vSphere C# Client and attempt to edit virtual machine settings, you see the error:

You cannot use the vSphere client to edit the settings of virtual machines of version 10 or higher. Use the vSphere Web Client to edit the settings of this virtual machine.
  1. Start the vSphere C# Client or vSphere Web Client and log in to the vCenter Server.
  2. Power off the virtual machine.
  3. Right-click the virtual machine and select the menu option to upgrade virtual hardware:
     
    • In the vSphere C# Client, the option is Upgrade Virtual Hardware.
    • In the vSphere Web Client, the option is Compatibility > Upgrade VM Compatibility.

      The virtual hardware is upgraded to the latest supported version.

      Note: The Upgrade Virtual Hardware or Upgrade VM Compatibility options only appear if the virtual hardware on the virtual machine is not the latest supported version.
  4. Click Yes to continue with the virtual hardware upgrade.
  5. Power on the virtual machine.

    Note: If the virtual machine has a Microsoft Windows guest operating system, the operating system detects a new device, configures the device, and may prompt you to reboot the guest operating system. If any unknown devices are recognized, the operating system may prompt you to configure the device manually.
     
  6. For Windows guest operating systems, reboot the guest operating system to make the changes take effect.

Upgrading virtual hardware on multiple virtual machines

You can upgrade virtual hardware on multiple virtual machines in a single operation using the Virtual Machines tab.
 
Note: In a vSphere 5.5 environment, you must use the vSphere Web Client to upgrade the virtual hardware to version 10. You cannot edit the settings of the virtual machine by connecting directly to an ESXi host or the vCenter Server through the vSphere C# Client that is on Hardware version 10. If you connect directly to an ESXi host using the vSphere C# Client and attempt to edit virtual machine settings, you see the error:

You cannot use the vSphere C# Client to edit the settings of virtual machines of version 10 or higher. Use the vSphere Web Client to edit the settings of this virtual machine.
 
To upgrade virtual hardware on multiple virtual machines:
  1. Start the vSphere C# Client or vSphere Web Client and log in to the vCenter Server.
  2. Select the host or cluster that contains the virtual machines to upgrade.
  3. Click the Virtual Machines tab.
  4. Select and power off the virtual machines to upgrade.
  5. Right-click your selections.
  6. Select Upgrade Virtual Hardware and click Yes.
  7. Power on the virtual machines.

    Note: For Microsoft Windows guest operating systems, the operating system detects a new device, configures the device, and may prompt you to reboot the guest operating system. If any unknown devices are recognized, the operating system may prompt you to configure the device manually.
     
  8. For Windows guest operating systems, reboot the guest operating system to make the changes take effect.

Ensuring that your virtual machine is upgraded to latest hardware version

To ensure that your virtual machine is upgraded to latest hardware version:
  1. Migrate the virtual machine from a host with an earlier ESXi/ESX version to a host with the latest ESXi/ESX version. For more information, see the Migrating Virtual Machines section in the vCenter Server and Host Management Guide.
  2. Power on the virtual machine.
  3. Upgrade VMware Tools and reboot if required. For more information, see Installing VMware Tools in vSphere (2004754).

    Note: Upgrading VMware Tools must be done before upgrading the virtual hardware. Upgrading VMware Tools is not required for Linux OSes that have OS vendor supported open-vm-tools installed in the OS.
  4. Shut down the virtual machine and upgrade the virtual hardware.
  5. Power on the virtual machine.

    Note: In some instances, the operating system may require you to reboot the virtual machine after powering it on.
     
  6. Ensure all the virtual machine network settings (such as IP, DHCP, and DNS) are correct.

    Notes:
    • If you are using dynamic DNS, some Windows versions require to run the ipconfig /registerdns command.
    • If you are using DHCP, a new IP address may be assigned because the MAC address changes on the virtual NIC during the hardware upgrade. If you are using statically assigned DHCP addresses, ensure that you assign the new MAC IP address that you were using before the virtual hardware upgrade.
You can upgrade VMware Tools and the virtual hardware manually from within each virtual machine or you can use VMware vCenter Update Manager.

For more information on manually upgrading VMware Tools and virtual hardware, see: For more information on upgrading VMware Tools and virtual hardware using vCenter Update Manager, see the VMware vCenter Update Manager documentation.

For best practices on updating, see:
Note: The virtual machine compatibility setting determines the virtual hardware available to the virtual machine, which corresponds to the physical hardware available on the host. You can review and compare the hardware available for different compatibility levels to help you determine whether to upgrade the virtual machines in your environment.

For more information, see the Hardware Features Available with Virtual Machine Compatibility Settings section in the vSphere 5.5 Virtual Machine Administration guide .

For translated versions of this article, see:

Upgrading to ESX 4.0 and vCenter 4.0 best practices
Upgrade von einer ESX 3.x virtuellen Maschine auf eine ESX 4.x virtuelle Maschine
Upgrading to vCenter Server 5.0 best practices
Installing and upgrading VMware Tools in vSphere
Best practices for upgrading to ESXi 5.0
Atualizando uma máquina virtual com a versão de hardware mais recente (várias versões)
Upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1 best practices
Installing or upgrading to ESXi 5.1 best practices
Installing or upgrading to ESXi 5.5 best practices
Upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5 best practices
Actualizar una máquina virtual a la versión de hardware más reciente (varias versiones)
Editing virtual machine settings fails with the error: You cannot use the vSphere client to edit the settings of virtual machines of version 10 or higher
将虚拟机升级到最新硬件版本(多个版本)
Best practices to install or upgrade to ESXi 6.0
Best practices for upgrading to vCenter Server 6.5
Update sequence for vSphere 6.5 and its compatible VMware products
04/06/2010 - Added information about DHCP and statically assigned MAC addresses.
10/03/2013 - Added note about using vSphere Web Client in vSphere 5.5 environment.
Data Conversion
6/20/2019 9:03 AM
Nandita Ray