Upgrading to VMware ESXi 5.5 U1 fails due to conflicting VIBs

If you have installed updated version(s) of network and/or storage HBA’s at any time, you will find yourself hitting the wall once you want to upgrade your ESXi server to v5.5 Update 1. The reason for that is that the newer driver(s) are not part of the upgrade installation, and as such it must be updated manually before you can upgrade your ESXi server. When you attach custom ISO in your Update Manager and scan the host for upgrades, you will be presented with the result “Incompatible” and in the error detail, there will be a message:

The upgrade contains the following set of conflicting VIBs:
List of VIBs
Remove the conflicting VIBs or use Image Builder to create a custom upgrade ISO image that contains the newer version of the conflicting VIBs, and try to upgrade again.

To resolve this situation you need to download the latest driver from the vendor and copy the ZIP file over to your ESXi servers tmp folder. Connect to ESXi via SSH and issue the following commands*:

# cd /tmp/
# unzip BCM-NetXtremeII-4.0-1796156.zip
# esxcli software vib install --depot=/tmp/BCM-NetXtremeII-4.0-offline_bundle-1796156.zip

Once the driver package is installed, reboot the server and try upgrading again.

* In my example I’ve upgraded Broadcom NetXtreme network controller. Driver package for Broadcom NetXtreme can be obtained from http://vibsdepot.hp.com/hpq/jun2014/esxi-550-devicedrivers/

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