vSphere 6.5 – ESXi host unable to join HA or is evicted from HA cluster after a failure – Operation timed out

I recently ran into an issue where one of my ESXi hosts reported errors with HA. I attempted to Reconfigure HA on this host which resulted in the following: Operation timed out.

I then attempted to reconfigure HA entirely – all the other hosts joined except for this one, disconnecting and reconnecting the host, and removing the host from inventory did not alter the behavior. For the life of me I couldn’t get this host to join. So I opened a support call.

I had a Dell based ESXi image installed on this host initially and I had applied a VMware based security patch to this host. Apparently mixing and matching is a no no, this was a known issue in their internal KB which was not open to the public. The only resolution was to reinstall the host (which did resolve the issue).

Maybe it is best to strictly stick to the VMware based images since vendor based images  will usually be behind the curve when security flaws are known and a patch is needed to harden your ESXi host.


VMware – Reset Root Password on a VCSA 6.5

So I needed to patch our vCenter 6.5 appliance due to a security flaw in our current version. When I tried to log in using the root password I was unable to do so. I know I had the correct password. Turns out I forgot the default expiration period which I had changed myself (should have set up a calendar reminder). The default I believe is 90 days as you can see here I set it to 365.


So now that my root password was expired, I was forced to change it. Luckily the steps are pretty simple.

  1. Log onto the ESXi box where your vCenter is homed, then console ino your vCenter.
  2. From there hard restart your vCenter box.
  3. When the Photon OS begins to initialize press the e key to enter the GNU GRUB editor
  4.  Append the following to the 3rd line of code – rw init=/bin/bash


5. Press F10 to reboot

6. At the prompt type passwd – enter the new root password

7. Then unmount the file system umount / or reboot


The VMware KB arrticle can be found here for reference –  https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2147144



vSphere 6.x- Unable to use Customization Template

Today I ran into an issue with an old template which I hadn’t used in quite some time. A vendor requested that we spin up a Windows Server 2012 R2 server for testing purposes.  Upon provisioning the server I came across this error message when the old template was selected.

The public key in the specification does not match the vCenter public key. You have to renter the password in order to proceed.

To resolve this issue open vCenter using the vSphere Web client. Select Policies and Profile find your template and select Edit.


Select Administrator Password and reenter the password.


The VMware KB article can be found here: