VMware fix “Invalid OVF manifest entry” error

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To deploy packaged VMs (appliances), VMware uses the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) standard that makes the VMs deployment quick and easy.

An OVF package is composed by three files:

  • .ovf – is an XML file that contains the metadata for the OVF package: name, hardware requirements, references to the other files in the OVF package
  • .mf – is a manifest file that contains the SHA1 hash codes of all the files in the package
  • .vmdk – is the disk image of the virtual machine

These files can be further processed and packaged into a single file, known as an OVA file.

During the deployment of an .OVA file, can happen that the procedure suddenly stops displaying the following error:

The provided manifest file is invalid. Invalid OVF manifest entry.

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To fix the problem we need to extract the files from the OVA package using a free tool like 7-Zip and re-create the package using the VMware OVF Tool, a command-line utility that helps users import and export OVF packages.

Install the 7-Zip tool, right click the .OVA file to process then select 7-Zip > Extract Here.

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From the .OVA file, three files are extracted: .ovf, .mf, and .vmdk.

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Install VMware OVF Tool

Download the VMware OVF Tool from VMware website and run the installer. Click Next to begin.

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Accept the EULA then click Next.

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Leave default location and click Next.

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Click Install to proceed with the installation.

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The tool is being installed in the system.

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When the installation has completed successfully, click Finish.

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Re-create the packaged .OVA file

From the Windows machine, open the Command Prompt and go to the default VMware OVF Tool location.

C:\>cd “\Program Files\VMware\VMware OVF Tool”

To re-create the .OVA file, run the following command:

ovftool.exe \source_path\filename.ovf \target_path\filename.ova

Depending on the size of your .OVF file, time to process the file may vary from seconds up to minutes.

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When the procedure completes successfully, the new .OVA file is created in the specified path.

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Start the Deploy OVF Template wizard once again and specify the new create .OVA file as source.

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In step 3 Select a resource, the system tries to validate the new package.

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This time everything worked with no errors and the deployment of the package can be completed successfully.

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With few steps the .OVA package can be recovered and used for new deployments.

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