Unsupported hardware family vmx-12 error on vmware vsphere esxi 6 or 6.5


Exporting to an OVF file results in an unsupported hardware family vmx-12 error. Here are a few possible fixes.

I spent hours exporting a virtual machine (vm) to an OVF format only to discover that VMware vSphere 6.5  gives me an error when I tried to deploy it.

Error message: Unsupported hardware family ‘vmx-12’ error  ( also applies to vmx-10, and vmx-11 )

Cause: You created the VM using Workstation 11 or 12/12.5 and didn’t set the vm version to 10 or below before creating the OVF.

  1. Solution 1: Edit the .ovf file. Look for “VMX-XX” (most likely VMX-12) and change it to “VMX-10:.vm file (set it to whatever version that is needed). You’re not done. The hash has to be changed in the .vm file or the ESXi will notice you messed with it. Run a HashTool creation tool (see tools below). Create a Hash using SHA-1. Copy that back into the .vm and the server will let you deploy it without errors. I hate to state the obvious, but if you had selected a higher version because you were past the previous version’s limits then this won’t solve your issue. Here are alternate fixes.
  2. Solution 2: You could go back to your original VM and change the version number and re-export it to an OVF file. This takes time.
  3. Solution 3: Use the OVF Tool to convert the OVF back to a .vmd. The command looks like this (without the quotes): “ovftool e:\myovfimage.ovf e:\myvmimage.vmx”. You can then fix the version and re-export it. Takes even more time!

Tools I use:

HASH TOOL: http://www.digitalvolcano.co.uk/hash.html

OVF Tool: Download the latest version from www.vmware.com (version 4.x)

This article is getting a lot of readers. Feel free to contact us with questions and comments. We now have a YouTube channel. If you enjoyed this, PLEASE consider subscribing to it!

Updated: Oct 2017