When trying to deploy a VMware VM’s OVA file, the deployment fails with the following error:



Background & Analysis:

  • A VM’s OVA file is an archive file containing the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) package for a VM. A typical OVA file contains a Manifest file (.mf), an OVF descriptor file (.ovf) and Hard drive images (.vmdk).
  • The error in the screenshot refers to a line in the OVF descriptor file. Line 135 of the OVF descriptor file is given below:
  • The above line in the OVF descriptor corresponds to the follow setting for the SCSI controller for one of the Virtual Disks used by the VM:





It’s rather strange that a VM can run fine when using SCSI(3:15) controller, but we cannot deploy an OVA/OVF containing this controller.



In order to resolve this specific error, here’s what I implemented:


STEP 1: Extract the OVF package from the OVA file

Use a software such as 7-zip (it’s free) to extract the OVA archive file. Upon successful extraction, you should see the .mf, .ovf and .vmdk files.


STEP 2: Modify the OVF descriptor

Modify the erroneous line to reflect the following (basically, just switched to SCSI(3:1) controller for Hard disk 5):


NOTE: I used SCSI(3:1) and it worked for me. However, other values may work too, but this problem made it clear that a value such as 15 does not work.


STEP 3: Modify the Manifest file

  • The Manifest file (.mf) contains the SHA1 hashes for all the other files in the OVF package.
  • Calculate the SHA1 hash for the modified OVF descriptor (I used SHA1 Generator ) and update the manifest file with the new SHA1 hash.


STEP 4: Deploy the OVF

You do not need to re-archive the OVF package into an OVA, because you can simply deploy the OVF package by selecting the OVF descriptor when deploying the OVF via the vSphere client.


Root Cause:

Impermissible value for SCSI controller for Virtual Hard Disk in a VMware VM’s OVF descriptor.


(1) The solution above describes a successful problem-solving experience and may not be applicable to other problems with similar symptoms.

(2) Your rating of this post will be much appreciated as it gives me and others who read this article, an indication of whether this solution has worked for people other than me. Also, feel free to leave comments.


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