ESXi Upgrade - Software or system configuration of host is incompatible

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While attempting to upgrade my ESXi hosts to the latest vSphere 7.0 release, I ran into the following error on all of the hosts in my home lab:

The upgrade has VIBs that are missing dependencies. Remove the VIBs or use Image Builder to create a custom upgrade ISO image that contains the missing dependencies, and try to upgrade again.

While the error message gives you a pretty good idea of what might be causing the issue, for the life of me, I couldn’t think of what VIBs it could be referring to. As far as I could recall, the hosts had the default ESXi image installed and no third-party software. Luckily, vCenter Lifecycle Manager provided a clue.

vCenter Lifecycle Manager - vSphere 7.0 Upgrade Baseline VIB Error
vCenter Lifecycle Manager - vSphere 7.0 Upgrade Baseline VIB Error

While the image above did give an idea as to what might be causing the issue, I still needed to determine what VIBs are included in this package. To accomplish this, it was time to check the list of deployed VIBs on the host by using the command:

esxcli software vib list

After reviewing the list of installed VIBs, I found that indeed, there were three VIBs in the list that appear to belong to this driver package. The fix? Remove the VIBs using the following command:

esxcli software vib remove -n <VIB name>

In my case, I had four VIBs to remove. They were:

esxcli software vib remove -n qcnic -n qfle3 -n qfle3f -n qfle3i

After a quick reboot of the host, kicking off the upgrade to ESXi 7.0 using vCenter Lifecycle Manager resulted in a successful upgrade.

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