ESXi 5.0 Update 1 breaks VM Autostarts on free ESXi

In the VMware Communities an issue with ESXi 5.0 Update 1 was reported that is important for everyone who uses the free (VMware vSphere Hypervisor) version of ESXi 5.0:  Apparently VM autostarts do not work anymore after installing Update 1 if the host runs with a free license. The VM autostart function will automatically power on a defined list of VMs in a defined order when the system boots. This is probably used by a lot of people who run standalone ESXi hosts with the free license.

I was able to reproduce this issue in my home lab, and currently there is no workaround or solution. So if you rely on this functionality then you should postpone the installation of Update 1 until a fix for this is released. If you have already installed Update 1 and want to make it undone due to running into this issue then you can roll back to the previous installation (without Update 1) by pressing Shift-R at the ESXi boot prompt.

Update (2012-07-14): VMware has released a patch for ESXi 5.0 on July 12th that fixes this problem.


  1. Thanks for this post. I did not realize it was the update. I upgraded from ESX 4 and then immediately put on the patch. What about SHUTDOWN? It doesn't look like my VMs are shutting down properly... ick.

    1. Good point, Donnie. Yes, the AutostartManager also handles proper shutdown of the VMs when the host is being shut down. And this is also broken with Update 1.


  3. FIX autostart VM

  4. i have the same problem
    with a fresh installation

    can i rool back also if is a new installation ?

    if not what cai i try ?

    thanks Alberto

    1. Hi Alberto,
      you can not roll back a new installation, because there is nothing to roll back to. You need to follow these steps:
      1. Back up the ESXi configuration (see for instructions)
      2. Re-install the server with ESXi 5.0 (without U1). Use the option to NOT overwrite existing VMFS data partitions to preserve your VMs.
      3. Restore the configuration saved in step 1.
      4. Re-register your VMs using the vSphere client.

  5. thanks Andreas

    where can i download Esxi 5.0 without u1?

    thanks Alberto

    1. At the same place where you downloaded the 5.0 U1 ISO: In the "Version History" the 5.0 ISO is still available for download.

  6. Thanks again Andrea

    only a problem when i try to save my esxi configuration with this command: –save –server –username root –password password backup.bak
    the command ask me for user and password ( singular because is in the already in the script)
    and end with this error
    Enter username:
    Enter password:
    Error connecting to server at 'https://localhost/sdk/webService': Perhaps host i
    s not a vCenter or ESX server

    can be a syntax error of the script ?

    thanks again Alberto


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