Reset the HP iLO Administrator password with hponcfg on ESXi

This posting is ~3 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

Sometimes you need to reset the ILO Administrator password. Sure, you can reboot the server, press F8 and then reset the Administrator password. If you have installed a HP customized ESXi image, then there is a much better way to reset the password: HPONCFG.

Check the /opt/hp/tools directory. You will find a binary called hponcfg.

All you need is a simple XML file. You can use the VI editor or you can copy the necessary file with WinSCP to the root home directory on your ESXi host. I prefer VI. Change the directory to /opt/hp/tools. Then open the pwreset.xml.

Press i to switch to the insert mode. Then paste this content into the file. You don’t have to know the current password!

Press ESC and then :wq<ENTER> to save the file and leave the VI. Now use HPONCFG together with the XML file to reset the password.

That’s it! You can now login with “Administrator” and “password”.

Reset the HP iLO Administrator password with hponcfg on ESXi
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Patrick Terlisten
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Patrick Terlisten is the personal blog of Patrick Terlisten. Patrick has a strong focus on virtualization & cloud solutions, but also storage, networking, and IT infrastructure in general. He is a fan of Lean Management and agile methods, and practices continuous improvement whereever it is possible.

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25 thoughts on “Reset the HP iLO Administrator password with hponcfg on ESXi

  1. Robert Strohl

    Did not work for me. My server is running Windows Server 2012 R2 Core (no GUI). Do you have any recommendations for how to reset ILO password on Server Core?

  2. Vivek


    If i change the Administrator password of ILO with above method whether license key of ilo will get disappear ( deactivate)

  3. Achille

    Thank you
    We changed the motherboard of one of our server and the licence key was lost.
    We used your technique to get the serial key from another server on the same cluster

  4. Ahmed

    I’m trying this, and it says “Please wait while the firmware is reset.” Hmm. It finishes with ‘Script succeeded’, but still can’t log in with ‘password’.
    I had copied your text into a text editor, saved it as pwreset.xml, and dropped it in the same folder as hponcfg. Any thoughts?

  5. Jack Daniel

    Hi, Thanks for the helpful post. While trying this, I am getting error as below:
    ERROR: Could not open input file pwreset.xml
    Error processing the XML file : pwreset.xml
    Any idea what could be wrong? I have edited the pwreset.xml file and used to change a custom local account(instead of Administrator).

    1. Dave C

      Exactly the same for me

      ERROR: Could not open input file pwreset.xml
      Error processing the XML file : pwreset.xml

      my XML looks as follows

        1. Justin

          You need to cd into /opt/hp/tools
          Otherwise it cannot find the pwreset.xml

          Can you edit this in the topic Patrick?

  6. Man

    I got below error when I try to run this. Please help
    #hponcfg -f pwreset.xml
    HP Lights-Out Online Configuration utility
    Version 5.1.0 Date 08/08/2017 (c) 2005,2017 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Development LP
    Firmware Revision = 2.55 Device type = iLO 4 Driver name = hpilo


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