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Upgrading a VMware ESXi host fails with the error: Cannot run upgrade script on host (2007163)

  • 74 Ratings


  • VMware vCenter Update Manager fails to upgrade the ESXi host at 92%.
  • Cannot upgrade from ESXi 5.0 to ESXi 5.1/5.5 using the ISO image.
  • Cannot upgrade from ESXi 5.1 to ESXi 5.5 using the ISO image.
  • Cannot upgrade from ESXi 5.x to ESXi 6.0 using the ISO image.
  • Cannot upgrade from ESXi 4.0 Update 1 or Update 2 to ESXi 5.0.
  • Upgrading from ESXi 4.0 Update 1 or Update 2 to ESXi 5.0 using Update Manager fails.
  • You see the error:

    Cannot run upgrade script on host

  • In the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\Update Manager or C:\Users\All Users\VMware\VMware Update Manager\Logs\vmware-vum-server-log4cpp.log file, you see an entry similar to:

    Remediation failed due to non mode failure

  • In the /var/log/vua.log file, you see an entry similar to:

    OSError: [Errno 39] Directory not empty: /bootbank/state.XXXXXXX (where XXXXXXX is a number)


This issue occurs when the /bootbank/state.XXXXXXXX directory is not empty.


To resolve this issue, ensure that the /bootbank/state.XXXXXXXX directory is empty.
To ensure the /bootbank/state.XXXXXXXX directory is empty:
  1. Log in to the ESXi Management console.
  2. Run this command:

    cd /var/log

  3. Using the grep command, find state.XXXXXXX and its corresponding directory within the vua.log file (replace XXXXXXX with the number indicated in the error)

    For example:

    grep state.31110473 vua.log

  4. Run these commands:

    cd /bootbank/
    ls -l

    Note: The preceding commands may also be required on /altbootbank because this directory can also hold state.XXXXXXX.

  5. Run this command to change directory to state.XXXXXXX directory indicated in the /var/log/vua.log file:

    cd state.XXXXXXX

    For example:

    cd state.31110473

  6. Run this command:

    ls -l

    You see an output similar to:

    -rwx------ 1 root root 18297 Jan 10 2011 local.tgz

  7. Note the name of the file within the state.XXXXXXX directory. For example, local.tgz.
  8. Run this command to move the files up one directory level:

    mv * ../

  9. In vCenter Server, remediate the host.

    1. Select the ESXi host.
    2. Click the Update Manager tab.
    3. Click Remediate.


upgrade-esx-fails  upgrade-fails

See Also

Update History

14/12/2011 - Added ESX Update 1 reference to KB 09/26/2012 - Changes title to reflect 5.0 to 5.1 09/26/2012 - Added additional symptom 01/16/2012 - Added note to Step 4 04/01/2013 - Added additional symptom on error seen in log4cpp.log 09/13/2013 Update for 5.5 10/11/2013 - Added path to vmware-vum-server-log4cpp.log 03/12/2015 - Added ESXi 6.0 to Products. 03/12/2015 - Added vCenter Server 6.0 to Products.

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  • 74 Ratings