WARNING: “The hosts running ESXi 3.5, ESXi 4.x, and ESXi 5.x versions, Reinstalling the ESXi host is the only supported way to reset a password. Any other method may lead to a host failure or an unsupported configuration due to the complex nature of the ESXi architecture. ESXi does not have a service console and as such traditional Linux methods of resetting a password, such as single-user mode do not apply”
Refer to the Following link before you proceed:
Changing a forgotten root password on an ESX/ESXi host (1317898)
So with that note, Let me start with the trick that I used to reset the password which worked for me.
1) We have a 8-Node ESXi Cluster, with all the ESXi servers(VMware ESXi 5.1.0, 1483097) running on the identical hardware that is on HP Proliant BL 460c G6 Hardware. When you have identical hardware there is not much effort needed to create a host profile and apply it to all the Hosts. ESXi hosts running on different hardware models may need some extra attention.
2) All the 8-ESXi servers I have were configured to use the vSphere Enterprise Plus License, hence I can utilize the host profiles feature that comes with the vSphere Enterprise Plus license.
3) Two of the 8 ESXi Hosts that I manage, do not have the password (lost), though they are connected to the vCenter server and already have few VMs running on it.
What is Host Profile?
Host profiles eliminates per-host, manual, or UI-based host configuration and maintains configuration consistency and correctness across the data center by using host profile policies. These policies capture the blueprint of a known, validated reference host configuration and use this to configure networking, storage, security, and other settings on multiple hosts or clusters. You can then check a host or cluster against a profile’s configuration for any deviations
So basically you perform host profiles tasks in a certain order. To proceed with creating the host profile you should already have at-least one ESXi hosts which is properly configured.
1 So I am gonna take one of the ESXi host running in the cluster as reference host. A reference host is the host from which the profile is created.
2 Create a profile using the designated reference host.
3 Attach a host or cluster to the profile.
4 Check the host’s compliance to the reference host’s profile. If all hosts are compliant with the reference host, they are correctly configured.
5 Apply the host profile of the reference host to other hosts or clusters of hosts.
How to Reset the ESXi 5.x Password?
01) Login to the vCenter Server using vSphere Client–> Home –> click on Host Profiles.
02) Click on the Create Profile, as show in below screen
03) At the next screen, Click on Create profile from existing host and then click on Next
04) At the Create profile wizard window, select the reference host to create a host profile and then Click on Next.
05) At the next Window, Name the Host Profile. Name the host profile ( with its purpose), and then click on Next
06) Click Finish to create a Profile.
07) Now we have the profile in hand and its time to update the password in the Host Profile. Click on the Host profiles and then select the profile you would like to edit, to change the password in the host profile. This password would be applied to all the hosts you attach.
08) Now once the password is updated in the host profile attach the host profile to the cluster/host.
09) Go to the Hosts and clusters view –> Select the ESX host to which you have already attached the host profile –> Click on Check Complaince. Once you click on Check Compliance you may see the warnings in the Hosts Summary window. Now its time to put the Server in Maintenance Window and apply the Host Profile as shown in the following screenshot.
10) Once you have applied the Host profile, rebooted/Exited the maintenance window, you will now be able to login to the ESXi server with the new PASSWORD you updated in the host profile.
“The only disadvantage with this solution is you need to have the hosts with the vSphere Enterprise Plus license.”
I hope this is informative for you and thank you for reading.
Still have questions about the Host Profiles, Go through the Following Document for more information:
vSphere Host Profiles: