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I just started using ESXi 5, the free version. Everything seems to run great, and everything is on the HCL.

My only issue is that the VMs I've selected to auto-start on start-up aren't starting up at all. I found a vague reference to this on the VMWare page indicating that it's a bug. Is there a workaround I can employ? For example, a cron job to start up VMs that aren't started? They don't need to start immediately, but starting them at a reasonable interval would be ideal.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The Auto Start bug (VMware Community) introduced with 5.0 Update 1, which broke the VM Auto Start feature on the free version of ESXi. VMware released the ESXi patch "ESXi500-201207001" on July 12, 2012 which includes the fix.

You can download the patch from here: Download

You can review the bulletins and image profiles included with the patch from here: VMware KB

Auto Starting is back:)

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Perfect! Thanks so much! Just a note to others that may not have done this before, applying the patch was easily done with: esxcli software vib install --depot /full/path/to/zip. – omghai2u Jul 23 '12 at 20:35

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