vCF 3.x – Upgrade Precheck fails at ESXi hosts

Problem Recap

When starting a vCF upgrade, it is always wise to start the precheck. At one of our customers, the precheck failes quite often on the ESXi hosts. The most common reason for this was that the customer didn’t have a persistent scratch partition, and with that, also not a ”scratch/downloads” folder. Another reason that the precheck can fail, is when one of the ESXi hosts doesn’t have enough space left. For some reason this was also often the master node of the vSAN cluster.


The problem of not having a scratch partition is quite easy to solve. This by simply creating a persistent scratch location, and within that location, you create a “downloads” folder. If for some reason, you’re unable to create a persistent scratch partition, you can always create a downloads folder on the current scratch partition of the ESXi host. Which will result in a tmp folder that will contain the “downloads” folder. Just like the screenshot below.

With the “mkdir downloads” command you can create the downloads folder in case you didn’t knew.

*Do note:
The downloads folder in the tmp scratch partition, can disappear after a time. So this is only a good workaround for during the upgrades.


The second problem of having a full directory is also easy to solve and to spot.

First type “df -h”, and check, if and/or which partition is full.

After that, move in to the directory and check which fill is consuming most of the space with “du -s -h *”. Once you found the source problem, remove it or copy it to a different dir. In our case it was the python.zdump that used most of the space.

Once we removed the dump file, and created the downloads folder in the scratch partition as well, we did the precheck again. Which then came back as successful.

Hope that this has helped you.


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