Adding ESXi Host to vCenter: Evaluation Expired (but it hasn’t)!

Quick and interesting little gotcha for those running or upgrading any systems running trail, evaluation or time-limited licenses out there.

If you try and add a host to vCenter and the agent replies with an error reporting that the evaluation license has expired, try checking the BIOS time and date settings for your ESXi host. If they are anything other than close to the vCenter system time, then this will affect your evaluation period and may result in the timeout error.

Solution: Reboot your ESXi host and check / update the BIOS date and time. Problem Fixed!

This solution is also detailed in VMware KB 2011655 here:

Jeremy loves all things technology! Has been in IT for years, loves Macs (but doesn't preach to others about their virtues), loves virtualization (and does shout about it's virtues), and sometimes skis, bikes and directs amateur plays!


  1. Alexandru Covaliov says

    When vCenter license is expired, uninstall software and then reinstall vCenter on the same VM. You will get another 60 days trial license =) . Or… Install vCenter in trial mode without CD key, at 59th day install trial CD key you got from VMware web site and enjoy additional 60 days. Then… proceed like step above.

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