If you need to replace a dead host, you must remove the host from the physical rack. You can then add a new host or replace the failed component on the host and add it back.

This procedure applies chiefly to the following components:
  • Storage controllers
  • Motherboards
  • Boot disks


If the host is assigned to a workload domain, verify that there are at least four hosts in the management domain or at least three hosts in a VI workload domain to which the faulty host belongs. If there are fewer than the required number of hosts, contact VMware Support for assistance. Before proceeding, review the guidance provided in Avoiding Unintentional Downtime.


  1. If the host is in assigned to a workload domain, it must be forcibly removed.
  2. Decommission the host.
  3. Power off the host and remove it from the physical rack.
  4. Replace and reconfigure, as follows.
    1. Replace the failed component on the host.
    2. Perform a fresh reinstall of ESXi.
    3. Commission the host.