Posted by Kyle Gleed, Sr. Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
Good news! The Auto Start bug introduced with 5.0 Update 1, which broke the VM Auto Start feature on the free version of ESXi, has finally been resolved. VMware released the ESXi patch "ESXi500-201207001" on July 12, 2012 which includes the fix.
Installing the patch does require a reboot of the host so be sure to coordinate the downtime.
You can download the patch from here: http://www.vmware.com/patchmgr/findPatch.portal
You can review the bulletins and image profiles included with the patch from here: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2019107
For help installing the patch check out this blog on ESXi Patches.
Happy Auto Starting
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