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vmware-cm(VMware Component Manager) : Issues with Upgrading from 6.5u1 to u2

With L1TF vulnerablities, I am sure lot of people are in a hurry to upgrade the vCenter's from 6.5 U1, GA to 6.5 U2C.

And I have seen many discussion's around upgrade being failed with vmware-cm service not starting up when you are trying to upgrade. 

Today, when we were upgrading from 6.5 U1g to 6.5U2C - 5 of my upgrades FAILED! All I could see in my logs was that VMware Component Manager failed to Start. And the worst part is - Your vCenter would be in a broken state after the upgrade fails. If you do NOT have a snapshot, backup and then good luck with that :) 

The work-around here is - Even before you start the upgrades - log on to VAMI interface using https://vCenterFQDN:5480 and Select Administration Tab. 

Once you select the Administration tab, look for "Password Expires ON". If it shows anything in 1970 or 1971(Before VMware and I were born) - then thats the issue! See the below screen-grab

NOTE - I really do not know where this 1970 or 71 is coming from! 

Now, the question is how do you fix the above issue? If you try to change the password and Set the Root password expire to NO using VAMI, the VAMI will throw and error saying "Permission Denied". 

The work-around here is -

1. SSH to the vCSA appliance.
2. Change the password for root user using command # passwd root
3. Once the Password is changed, logout and login back to VAMI interface and YOU should see a new "Password Expiry Date" (See below screen-shot).



Now, Use VAMI and set the Root Password Expires to "NO" (See below screen-shot).



Once you say NO and Submit, you will receive a confirmation from VAMI, that the operation was successful.


Important NOTES

1. Please always take a snapshot before you start the Upgrades.
2. If you DO NOT have a SNAPSHOT or backup - and you start upgrades and get stuck - the Option would be to take a backup of the DB and restore on a new vcsa.
3. If you do not have SSH access to the vCenter, you can always use the Console or DCUI(if your VC is physical) to change the password.
4. If you DO NOT remember your root password, you can use single user mode to reset the root password.


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