How to Upgrade ESXi 6.0 tp 6.5 via ISO

How to Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 via ISO

By Vladan SEGET | Last Updated: April 5, 201784Shares831

One of the methods of upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 is via ISO (or CD-Rom). Most of you probably don’t use much CD-ROMs and CDs, but servers, especially in small client’s environments usually don’t have KVM, iPMI, ILO, Drac… so one of the options is still to upgrade via CD-ROM. I also recorded a short video from the process, which is really simple. You don’t need to go to the CLI and you only need a clean ESXi 6.5 ISO image. It is one of the supported ways to upgrade VMware ESXi 6.x.

To upgrade via ISO or CD-ROM You don’t have to remember any CLI commands, and you don’t need to setup anything except just to burn a single CD-ROM. Your VMFS local data stores and all other configurations are preserved when you upgrade. You could also use an iPMI and attach the ISO via the remote access (will do that post too), but as being said, not all servers has this options for free (for example Supermicro does, Fujitsu does not…).

Update: This post meant to be an information about standalone (non-managed) ESXi systems. If you’re running vCenter server in your environment, you have to upgrade your vCenter to 6.5 first. Obvious for some, but not for others… You can check my new lab post where I’m upgrading/migrating my vCenter 6.0U2 (Windows) to VCSA 6.5.

Update2: And if you ask me what’s first to check? Device drivers like Network cards, storage adapters etc etc…. There is a follow-up post on how I updated a Firmware and driver on my X710-DA2 10GbE NICs … Check the post here. And also a post where you’ll learn How to create a custom ESXi 6.5 ISO with VMware Image Builder GUI.

Option to prepare a USB stick and upgrade by booting from USB is also interesting – check this How to create a USB media with ESXi 6.5 Installation. We will explore other ways to upgrade (via CLI, via Network, via USB) in one of our future posts too, but today we’ll stick to something really simple.

Note that VMware has made the download available and released ESXi 6.5 just yesterday. I also recorded a short video from the process, which is really simple. You don’t need to go to the CLI and you only need a clean ESXi 6.5 ISO image.

How to Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 easily – the steps:

Step 0: Make sure that you have visited VMware HCL and checked that your hardware (pNICs, storage controllers etc…) are on the list for the 6.5 release. Check the Firmware and Drivers combination for ESXi 6.5…  You may want to check my detailed post where I was checking for my NICs. It’s not always obvious, but better check before the upgrade…..

Step 1: Download the ESXi 6.5 Iso image from VMware. Download vSphere 6.5 at VMware

Step 2: Boot your host from the ISO image (Change the Boot order in your BIOS, if necessary, so you can boot from CD-ROM).

How to Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 Easily

Step 3: Follow the instructions on the screen. Keep the defaults when at the upgrade screen. After the upgrade completes, just reboot the host.

You’ll find everything in place. Your network settings, VMFS datastores, your root password…..

Hopefully, this short video will make things easier. Enjoy.