Exactly how I installed VMware vCenter VCSA 7.0U3c, replacing my 7.0U3b rather than upgrading it

TinkerTry | Paul Braren YouTube Channel - Jan 28 2022 - Exactly how I installed VMware vCenter VCSA 7.0U3c, replacing my 7.0U3b rather than upgrading it

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Video Introduction


On January 28, I rolled up my sleeves and dove in early, setting out to be one of the first to successfully blaze that trail and get my vSphere home lab moved from the recalled 7.0 Update 3b to the shiny new 7.0 Update 3c release. The self-inflicted pain evident in this long-form video highlights what impatience looks like, not wanting to wait until the temporary KB 87498 at kb.vmware.com/kb/87498 showed up to give us a new URL for VAMI to look for backups at. INstead, I went ahead with the ISO update method, discovering some sluggishness I didn't have the patience for, followed by the decision to go ahead and install fresh. This way I didn't have to wait until Saturday to tinker, instead I could have the peace of mind that everything was working alright, allowing me to resume working on publishing articles like this, along with updating my popular article How to update any VMware ESXi Hypervisor to the latest using ESXCLI for easy download and install.


I want to be sure I'm clear that I'm not recommending this method of VCSA upgrades, because all your VCSA data and performance logs and events are forever lost doing it this way. I'm merely documenting what I did within 24 hours of vSphere 7.0 Update 3c's release, getting around the missing VAMI Update back-end server, and getting around some issues I had with dealing with 9GB ISO handling behavior when mounting it to the VCSA VM, and when opening it in Windows 11 (2 minutes?), the latter behavior discussed in detail by TinkerTry commenter Jeff Woodson here.

Video Outline

  1. leave my one ESXi 7.0 Update 3b as-is
  2. deleting my VCSA 7.0 Update 3b
  3. installing new VCSA 7.0 Update 3c
  4. recreating my one node cluster
  5. setting VCSA to autostart with ESXi
  6. using ESXCLI to update my ESXi 7.0 Update 3b host to ESXi 7.0 Update 3c, then documenting the now-tested command at TinkerTry here


If you watch this video, I think it's pretty likely you'll learn some stuff, and may spot some errors as I tested various VCSA install parameters. Feel free to drop me a comment with constructive feedback and tips!

I had a lot of fun doing this upgrade, and some dead-ends that I cut from the already way too long video. Here's some of my discoveries:

  1. My first upgrade attempt using VAMI failed, it wasn't published yet at the default back-end server URL.
  2. My second upgrade attempt using the 9GB VMware-VCSA-all-7.0.3-19234570.iso failed partially due to my impatience with the VCSA VM becoming unresponsive, exhibiting a sluggish UI once I mounted that ISO.
  3. My first install used DHCP with a specified name of vcsa.lab.local had issues. I had an issue with creating the MAC address reservation in my EdgeRouter 4, I wound up deleted this VCSA then starting the install over again. That's what labs are for.
  4. My second install used Fixed IP with a specified name of vcsa.lab.local, this worked out fine, I then created a DHCP reservation for the MAC address of this appliance, as an informal documentation of sorts, and to make a future duplicate IP oopsies less likely
  5. I got good at nuking vcsa.lab.local in certmgr.msc .
  6. I installed my new VCSA's certificate into my Windows 11 system's Trust Root Certification Authorities, using the same procedure as Windows 10, prepping for a clean vSphere Client or ESXi Host Client login using FQDN, determined to not have red x's over any of this system's browsers.
  7. I got good at finding the new way chrome uses to shortcut your way to cleaning up cookies for vcsa, it used to be chrome://settings/content/cookies explained at TinkerTry here, now it's chrome://settings/siteData
  8. Finally, simply restarting my Chrome browser using chrome://restart worked great, logging in to the vSphere Web Client and ESXi Host Client with no issues and no warnings and no red x's.
  9. Automatic daily backups of my VCSA appliance to an SMB target (file server) work again, VMware fixed it, see also KB 86069 kb.vmware.com/s/article/86069. Mine had been busted since late September 2021, glad that's finally behind me!

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