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Troubleshooting an ESXi/ESX host upgrade failure (1004107)

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  • You cannot upgrade the ESXi/ESX host software.
  • Upgrading the ESXi/ESX host software fails.
  • The ESXi/ESX host software upgrade fails to complete.
  • Unable to complete the ESXi/ESX host software upgrade.
  • If the host was upgraded from ESXi/ESX 3.5 to 4.x, while performing a scan during an upgrade to ESXi 5.0 or ESXi 5.1, the VMware Update Manager events tab reports this error:

    incompatible with esx.cfg file

  • In the DCUI screen of ESXi, you see entries similar to:

    Error (see log for more info):
    vmkfstools failed with message: Checking if remote hosts are using this device as a valid file system. This may take a few seconds...
    Creating vfat file system on
    "naaa.600508e00000000095b6592ad14b5006:2" with blockSize 1048576 and
    volume label "none".
    Usage: vmkfstools -C [vmfs3|vmfs5] /vmfs/devices/disks/vml... or,
    vmkfstools -C [vmfs3|vmfs5] /vmfs/devices/disks/naa... or,
    vmkfstools -C [vmfs3|vmfs5]
    Error: Invalid argument


This article provides steps to troubleshoot issues during an ESX/ESXi host upgrade.


Validate that each troubleshooting step below is true for your environment. Each step will provide instructions or a link to a document, for validating the step and taking corrective action as necessary. The steps are ordered in the most appropriate sequence to isolate the issue and identify the proper resolution. Please do not skip a step.
  1. Verify that the ESXi/ESX version upgrade path requirements  are met. For more information, see the Release Notes for your version of ESXi/ESX.
  2. Verify that the minimum system requirements for installing ESXi/ESX are met. For more information, see Minimum system requirements for installing ESXi/ESX (1003661).

  3. Verify that the hardware on which you are trying to install is certified. For more information, see Confirming ESX/ESXi host hardware (System, Storage, and I/O) compatibility (1003916).

  4. Verify if the issue is cause by the upgrade media. For more information, see Checking media integrity for ESX/ESXi host installations or upgrades (1003674).

  5. Verify that your hardware is working as expected. For more information, see Verifying your hardware is functioning correctly (1003690).

  6. Verify that you have adequate disk space to complete the installation. For information, see Investigating disk space on an ESX or ESXi host (1003564).

  7. Verify that your firmware and BIOS are at the latest revision. For more information, see Checking your firmware and BIOS levels to ensure compatibility with ESX/ESXi (1037257).

  8. If a failed upgrade has left your server in an inconsistent state, so that a reinstall also fails, you may need to perform a clean installation. For more information, see Completing a clean installation using the ISO image if your installation or upgrade fails of ESX/ESXi (1004038).

    : You may want to speak to a VMware support engineer before completing this step.
Note: If your problem still exists after trying the steps in this article, please:

Additional Information

For more information on installing or upgrading your ESXi/ESX host, see the VMware Documentation site.


esx-upgrade upgrade-esx-fails

See Also

Update History

04/08/2011 - Updated to reflect 4.1. 03/22/2012 - Added a new step 1 with links. 03/22/2012 - Added additional symptoms.

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