vSphere 4.1 Update 1 Upgrade File Issues

February 11th, 2011 by jason Leave a reply »

I began seeing this during upgrade testing last night in my lab but decided to wait a day to see if other people were having the same problems I was.  It is now being reported in various threads in the vSphere Upgrade & Install forum that vSphere 4.1 Update 1 upgrade files are failing to import into VMware Update Manager (VUM).  What I’m consistently seeing in multiple environements is:

  • .zip files which upgrade ESX and ESX from 4.0 to 4.1u1 will import into VUM successfully. 
  • .zip files which upgrade ESX and ESX from 4.1 to 4.1u1 fail to import into VUM.
  • I have not tested the upgrade files for ESX(i) 3.5 to 4.1u1.

The success and error message for all four .zip file imports are shown below.  Two successful.  Two failures.

SnagIt Capture

MD5SUM comparisons with VMware’s download site all result in matches.  I believe there is invalid metadata or corrupted .zip files being made available for download.

The workaround is to create a patch baseline in VUM which will instruct VUM to download the necessary upgrade files itself which is an alternative method to utilizing upgrade bundles and upgrade baselines in VUM.


No comments

  1. Paul Pindell says:

    I ran into this as well. Filed an SR with VMware. and received the vague one-liner that 4.1-4.1_update01.zip is not to be used with Host Upgrade Baselines. “The patch zip bundle for ESX 4.1 –> 4.1-update01 should not be used with Host Upgrade Baselines.”

    I have successfully imported the update-from-esx4.1-4.1_update01.zip into VUM via the “Patch Repository” tab, and been able to create a “Host Patches” baseline, attach that baseline to my hosts, scan to determine they are out of compliance.

    I am now waiting for vCenter DVD.iso to finish downloading into Lab so I can first upgrade vCenter, then will try to patch hosts and determine if they are then upgraded to 4.1U1.

  2. jason says:

    That doesn’t sound exactly right.

  3. Josh says:

    VMware Support here, It appears the problem is that this is an Update release that needs to be imported via the configuraiton->Patch Download Settings section of the VUM gui and not the Upgrade baseline flow. Does that make sense? On this page you can click “import patches” to pop up the correct page to prompt for this offline bundle.

  4. Paul Pindell says:

    I just re-read the release notes and I’m guessing that VMware classifies 4.1-4.1U1 as a patch, whereas 4.0-4.1U1 is classified as an upgrade.

    ****from release notes****

    * VMware vCenter Update Manager with host upgrade baseline


    * VMware vCenter Update Manager with patch baseline

    Importing the 4.1-4.1U1.zip into the Patch Repository is successful.

    I agree that this behavior of erroring out without a more detailed error message is a fail. There ought to be a simple way to read the metadata that this .zip is a patch rather than an update and pop a more meaningful error dialog.

  5. jason says:

    Thanks for the clarification Josh and Paul. That explains the errors but IMO the subtle differences aren’t very intuitive. The VMware download page description for the .zip files (see below) describes them all as “upgrades” rather than making the distinction of “upgrades” versus “patches”. Opportunity for either better clarification or improvement I think.

    ESXi 4.1 Update 1 (upgrade ZIP from ESXi 4.1)
    Use this package with vCenter Update Manager or with vihostupdate vCLI or esxupdate command line to upgrade ESX from ESXi 4.1 to ESXi 4.1 Update 1.

    ESXi 4.1 Update 1 (upgrade ZIP from ESXi 4.0)
    Use this package with vCenter Update Manager or with vihostupdate vCLI to upgrade ESXi (Installable and Embedded) from ESXi 4.0 to ESXi 4.1 Update 1.

  6. Paul Pindell says:

    I agree with you that the differences in the files is not made apparent, and this is not intuitive at all. I only understood the difference after filing a SR and receiving instruction from a support engineer. Not the most efficient method of explaining a non-intuitive procedure if you ask me.

    I’ll suggest that the differences are made intuitive in the actual filenames, and/or in the error checking during the import process.

  7. Helper says:

    In http://www.vmware.com/support/vsphere4/doc/vsp_esxi41_u1_rel_notes.html, it shows different upgrade bundles. update-from-esxi4.1-4.1_update01.ZIP is not an upgrade bundle, which can only be recognized by VUM in patch baseline UI, not the Upgrade baseline UI.

    Hope this helps.

  8. Vladan says:

    I’m testing in my home lab…

    Me too I have been able import the update-from-esx4.1-4.1_update01.zip into VUM via the “Patch Repository” tab. Also the create a Host Patches baseline went fine with the staging and update process too.

    Seems that only the direct import of those zip file as an “upgrade” is not the right way of doing things. Who could imagine…?


  9. Michael says:

    Using an Upgrade Baseline to upgrade to ESX/ESXi 4.1 Update 1 fails with the error: Cannot verify checksum for imported upgrade file:

  10. Bhairavi Viswanathan says:


    In KLN-U1, VMware have come with 2 methods of upgrades.
    1) ESX 4.0 -> ESX 4.1-U1
    2) ESX 4.1 –> ESX 4.1 -U1

    Here first method will be the usual upgrade method as upgrade from 4.0 to 4.1 and you will be importaing the “upgrade-from-esx4.0-to-4.1-update01-348481.zip” to the VUM using “Import upgrade releases” tab.

    But in second case this is not supported. VMware have released KLN-U1 as a patch and not as an update. So you cant import the “update-from-esx4.1-4.1_update01.zip” as like upgrade.zip bundle.You can use “Import patches” tab in patch repository to get the 4.1-U1 patches to upgrade from 4.1 to 4.1-U1.

    I think this info will resolve your queries.

  11. Chris D. says:

    Thanks a million for this blog post. This was driving me nuts for 2 days and all because of a play on words. To make it easier for everyone to understand, think of it like this:

    If you are changing version numbers, its a Host Upgrade.

    If you are updating build numbers, its a Patch.