I have often got the question if you can downgrade your Virtual Machine Hardware version from the latest version to a previous version. There is many reasons why you might want to downgrade your VM Hardware Version, but below is few common ones I have heard:
- VM hardware version you upgraded to is not supported in the vSphere thick client version you are using, this used to be the most common one in vSphere 5.5. Luckily this has dramatically improved in vSphere 6.0.
- VM hardware version you upgraded to is not supported on older versions hosts that you still keeping or waiting to upgrade.
- VM hardware version you upgraded to is not supported by your cloud vendor, so you can’t sync your internal VMs/templates to your cloud.
I guess if you had hit this post, you already have a reason of why you want to downgrade your VM Hardware version, so I will not spend too much time on that. Let’s look on how to downgrade VM Hardware Version.
I have to first admit that there is no straight out of the box button that allow you to downgrade your VM Hardware version, unlike when you upgrade it. This might be the reason why when you ask many people about it out there, they will tell you there is no supported way of doing it, but that’s not exactly true.
Below is three supported methods that allow you to downgrade your virtual machine hardware.
- Revert to a snapshot created before upgrading the virtual machine hardware. If you have already upgraded your VM, it might be too late for this one, I thought I should still include it so you can prepare your self before you upgrade the next time.
- Use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone and select the required virtual hardware version in the Specify Destination wizard. While this one is workable, it does take a good amount of time to complete the conversion.
- Create a new virtual machine with required hardware version and attach the existing disk from the virtual machine. This one would be my choice over using the VMware vCenter Converter as it is usually much quicker to complete.
I hope this help you with the process of downgrading your VM Hardware Version.