ESXi Driver Downgrade & Version Check

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Driver version downgrade may be a basic operation for most of you, but it can be taken one hour if you do not type full path of the file. You can look where it the problem and why this command is not running. As I did!

In fact it is really a short operation, mostly it needs to restart the host. Before start to operation, place the ESXi host into maintenance mode.

  • First check VMware compatibility web site if the driver is compatible with ESXi host version and to clarify which version is approved and test by VMware.

    Link: VMware Compatibility Guide

  • Download the driver package from VMware

    Note: It also can be downloaded and installed by vendor website, but downloaded version from VMware website it is tested and recommended version. If you are sure from the version, you can get the package from vendor website (HPE, Dell, Cisco…)

  • Unzip the package, VIB and offline bundle package will be there

  • ESXi host üzerinde SSH servisini aktif edin.

  • Enable SSH service on ESXi host
  • Upload the offline bundle package to “/var/tmp” of host

    Not: I am using WinSCP for this operation

  • Connect to the host via Putty
  • Go to /var/tmp folder

    cd /var/tmp

  • List the file in this folder. The result of “ls –l” command as stated below:


    [root@esxihost:/vmfs/volumes/89v6782-675fv678-44gv-1402ec8a8304/var/tmp] ls -l

    total 292

    -rwx—— 1 root root 148838 Apr 3 2018

    -rwx—— 1 root root 38 Apr 8 10:06 sfcb_cache.txt


  • Run the following command and installed the offline bundle package by giving full path of the package.

    [root@esxihost:/vmfs/volumes/89v6782/var/tmp] esxcli software vib install -d /var/tmp/


    Installation Result

    Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.

    Reboot Required: true

    VIBs Installed: Microsemi_bootbank_nhpsa_2.0.30-1OEM.670.0.0.7535516

    VIBs Removed: Microsemi_bootbank_nhpsa_2.0.38-1OEM.670.0.0.8169922

    VIBs Skipped:

  • Result is installed successfully,I but it needs to reboot. Reboot it by giving directly “reboot” command on command line.
  • The server is booted up, check the driver version if it is desired version:

    Note: In my case, the driver issue was related to storage card, so below command show you its version.

    esxcli storage core adapter list

    esxi software vib list | grep npsha

In other case, it may be a NIC driver issue, then you can check its version by using the following command:

esxcli network nic list

esxcli network nic get -n vmnic1

That’s all!

It is downgraded.

One important point is to use full path even if you are in same folder with the driver package. If not, you will get the following error like me!


[root@esxihost:/vmfs/volumes/89v6782/var/tmp] esxcli software vib install -d


Could not download from depot at zip:/var/log/vmware/, skipping ((‘zip:/var/log/vmware/’, ”, “Error extracting index.xml from /var/log/vmware/ [Errno 2] No such file or directory: ‘/var/log/vmware/'”))

url = zip:/var/log/vmware/

Please refer to the log file for more details.

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