When the root password cannot be remembered the only way to reset it, is to re-install the ESXi host, except when the host is already part of a vCenter. Then you can leverage this connection in order to reset the password. Reaching the esxcli tool through vCenter to the ESXi makes this possible.

Here are the steps:

  • Connect to vCenter using PowerCli
  • Create an ESXCli object
$ESXCli = Get-ESXCli -V2 -VMHost <yourHostName>
  • Create the Arguments needed to reset the password
$Arguments = $ESXCli.system.account.set.CreateArgs()
  • Fill the necessary information
$Arguments.id = 'root'
$Arguments.password = "<yourPassword>"
$Arguments.passwordconfirmation = "<yourPassword>"
  • Send the already filled information into the ESXi

Your password is changed.

Of course you can wrap the whole process into a function that can be used by other members of the team.

function Reset-ESXiRootPassword {
    param($VMhost, $RootPassword)

    $ESXCli = Get-ESXCli -V2 -VMHost $VMhost

    $Arguments = $ESXCli.system.account.set.CreateArgs()
    $Arguments.id = 'root'
    $Arguments.password = $RootPassword
    $Arguments.passwordconfirmation = $RootPassword



Packing the function into a module can be benifical. More info can be read here.