I had to upgrade vCenter from 6.0 to 6.5. It’s not the first one, I made a few recently cause we have a client with many sites that should be upgraded. Everything was good prepared or at least I was thinking so and I was ready to start.

In the evening, after the working hours as it was planned, I’ve started and quite soon, at the 3rd step of stage 1, I got this error: “A problem occurred while getting data from the source vCenter Server.”

Downloaded the log, read it and found this – error: sourcePrecheck: error in getting source Info: ServerFaultCode: A general system error occurred: vix error codes.
I found that this is happening because the root password is expired. Please note that you could use an expired password to log in into vCenter Web Client, you will not get any notification about this, but you could not carry out the vCenter upgrade. Let’s do some checks.

Step one – check vCenter root account

Best way to check this is to connect to vCenter via SSH and run this command:

 Command> com.vmware.appliance.version1.localaccounts.user.list 

As you can see, the password is expired.

Here is a text from vCenter 6.5 release notes:
Attempts to upgrade a vCenter Server Appliance or Platform Services Controller appliance with an expired root password fail with a generic message that cites an internal error During the appliance upgrade, the installer connects to the source appliance to detect its deployment type. If the root password of the source appliance has expired, the installer fails to connect to the source appliance, and the upgrade fails with the error message: Internal error occurs during pre-upgrade checks.
1. Log in to the Direct Console User Interface of the appliance.
2. Set a new root password.
3. Retry the upgrade.

Step two – change vCenter root password

Enable shell, start it and run passwd command:

Command> shell.set --enabled True
Command> shell 
root@photon-machine [ ~ ]# passwd
New password:
Retype new password:

After the password has been changed, you will see that the password is now valid.

Start the upgrade again and everything will work without any problems.


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