How to Upgrade Virtual Hardware of the VMware Virtual Machine

This article describes the steps to upgrade the hardware version of virtual machines to the latest version of ESXi. For virtual machines that are running on ESXi 5.x, VMware recommends that you upgrade the virtual hardware to the latest available version.

ESXi/ESX version Virtual hardware version
ESXi 5.5 10
ESXi 5.1 9
ESXi 5.0 8
ESXi/ESX 4.1/4.0 7
ESXi/ESX 3.5 4


There are two option avaiable to upgrade the virtual hardware version on VMware as per below steps :

Option 1 : Upgrade Virtual Hardware via vSphere client
1. Login via vSphere client to vCenter/ESXi
2. Power off the virtual machine.
3. Right click to the VM -> Select Upgrade Virtual Hardware.
Note : This upgrade option with directly upgrade to highest version, as example in ESXi 5.5/vShere 5.5, it will automatically upgrade to version 10.
4. Click Yes to continue.
5. Power on the virtual machine.
6. If the virtual machine has a Microsoft Windows guest operating system, the operating system detects a new device, configures the device, and prompts you to reboot the guest operating system.

Option 2 : Upgrade Virtual Hardware via command Line
1. Connect to ESXi server using SSH or ESXi shell.
2. Power off the virtual machine.
3. Get all vmid :

~ # vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms

4. Select VM to upgrade followed by vmid :

~ # vim-cmd vmsvc/upgrade vmid [vm_hwversion]

As an example to upgrade virtual hardware to vmware version 9 :

~ # vim-cmd vmsvc/upgrade 144 vmx-09

5. Power on the virtual machine.
6. Finish. Check the VM Version label on the virtual machine Summary tab.

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