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I am struggling with importing an .OVA VM into my Hyper-V infrastructure. I managed to extract the .ova file using tar which yields three fiels - .ovf .mf and .vmdk. The .mf-contained SHA1 sums matched the .vmdk file. The .vmdk seems to be in the stream-optimized format in version 9 according to the data contained in the ovf and the .vmdk file's contents:


# Extent description
RDONLY 104857600 SPARSE "generated-stream.vmdk"

I tried VirtualBox' VBoxManage to perform the conversion, but without success:

# VBoxManage clonehd --format VHD MyVM-disk1.vmdk MyVM.vhd
/usr/lib/virtualbox/VBoxManage: /usr/lib/vmware-vix-disklib/lib64/ no version information available (required by /usr/lib/virtualbox/
Progress state: VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR
VBoxManage: error: Failed to clone hard disk. Error message: Could not open the medium storage unit '/home/dj/MyVM-disk1.vmdk'.
VBoxManage: error: VMDK: incorrect ordering of entries in descriptor in '/home/dj/MyVM-disk1.vmdk' (VERR_VD_VMDK_INVALID_HEADER).
VBoxManage: error: VD: error VERR_VD_VMDK_INVALID_HEADER opening image file '/home/dj/MyVM-disk1.vmdk' (VERR_VD_VMDK_INVALID_HEADER)

My vSphere hosts would not accept the .vmdk for a valid disk too, so I tried converting it to growable using vmware-vdiskmanager from the 5.1.1 VDDK which is available from the VMWare site. Yet, this also did not work out as intended:

# vmware-vdiskmanager -r ./myVM-disk1.vmdk -t 0 ./myVM-growable.vmdk
Creating disk './myVM-growable.vmdk'
Failed to convert disk: The file specified is not a virtual disk (0xf00003ebf).

What's wrong here? How do I get it converted / imported properly?

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Did you try qemu-img? – Jiri Xichtkniha Oct 31 '13 at 13:55
@JiriXichtkniha I did, but it seems my version (1.0) does not support the vhd output format. – the-wabbit Oct 31 '13 at 14:39
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It turns out that it was a mistake using VBoxManage from the VirtualBox package. The call has altered the VMDK and apparently has rendered it invalid. I would not have expected VBoxManage to write to the source file, thus it took a while before I noticed that I am trying to work with a broken virtual disk.

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