Logging into VMware ESXi after vcenter goes down

So I have 2 VMWare ESXi hosts that were recently connected to a vcenter vsphere for testing purposes. When I did the original setup I installed the vcenter on server 1 and thought I had set it up to boot automatically on system startup.

Well I did some maintenance on the server and lo and behold nope. So long story short I found myself unable to log into the server to start up the vcenter because it was looking for the vcenter for the credentials.

After an initial panic I took a few minutes to figure out the answer.

So if for some reason you get locked out of a esxi host you want to go to the machine and hit f2 enter the local user and password and then look for configure lockdown mode. Disable that and you should be able to log into the esxi machine as a local account once again so you can start up the virtual machine. And like I immediately did make sure you turn on autostart 🙂