I've exported a few old VMs the last few days to clean up our environments. I was trying to reimport one and received an error in the ESXi web client. Upon investigation, I noticed that the majority of the OVF files I exported show as 1kb but are completely empty.

I was looking through one of the good OVFs and I could probably replicate most of the XML elements, but I'm worried about things like disk size (ovf:capacityAllocationUnits="byte * 2^30").

I also just tried uploading the VMDK to the datastore and attaching it to a new VM but it failed and said something about "importing" the disk.

How can I ensure these exports are able to be restored if necessary?

1 Answer 1


Turns out the ones with empty OVF files were the machines that had a PCI Passthrough device set up. I removed the device and was able to export the OVF. Easy enough to document which device it was and reattach on restore.

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