Reading Time: 2 minutes Reset the root password with ESX 3.x was quite simple, just because the service console was a partition writable a live CD… With ESX 4.x it was a little more complicated (the service console was basically a vmdk). But with ESXi things are more complicated, due to the partition layout, that ESXi works in RAM and that all configurations files are stored in the banks it special archive files. The file containing the password hashes is called “shadow” and it is is contained in  a nested structure of archives inside the state.tgz file.