After upgrading your ESXi hosts to 5.5 the “Upgrade Virtual Hardware” function of the legacy vSphere Client will update the virtual hardware of a VM to version 10, although the legacy client is not able to edit the properties of version 10 VMs (see my earlier post about How to update to ESXi 5.5 …). Only the Web Client is able to do this with version 10 VMs, and that requires vCenter. If you do not have vCenter available or do not feel comfortable with the Web Client for other reasons then you want to avoid upgrading virtual hardware to version 10. But how can you upgrade to only version 9?
Depending on the type of license you have and the availability of vCenter there are several ways to achieve this:
1. If you are using paid or non-expired evaluation licenses, have vCenter available with the Web Client installed and configured then you can use the Web Client to schedule a virtual hardware upgrade for a VM in its Virtual Hardware settings:
Choose Compatible with “ESX 5.1 and later” to upgrade the VM’s virtual hardware to version 9 upon next reboot.
2. If you are using paid or non-expired evaluation licenses for your ESXi host(s), but do not have vCenter available then you can use a simple PowerCLI cmdlet:
# Connect to host
# Upgrade hardware of the VM named Hw8Test
The VM needs to be powered off before you run this command.
3. If you are using the free ESXi license then you cannot use the PowerCLI script, because the free license limits write access through the APIs. But you can use the following vim-cmdcommands in an ESXi shell:
will list all VMs that are registered on the host. Find the VM that you want to upgrade and note itsvmid. Then run
vim-cmd vmsvc/upgrade vmid vmx-09
Again this only works with VMs that are powered off.