Easier Fix: Failed to deploy OVF package: The task was canceled by a user.

While deploying a vCenter Operations Manager appliance a few days back, I was hit by the following error message (towards the end of its deployment):

Failed to deploy OVF Package

Failed to deploy OVF package: The task was canceled by a user.

That was of course surprising given I didn’t cancel the task. Thinking it might be a glitch, I tried it again but the result was the same. Another thought was if the OVA was corrupt in some way. So, I computed the SHA-1 and MD5 hashes of the OVA file (using Microsoft File Checksum Integrity Verifier) and they exactly matched the hash values mentioned on the download site.

For the sake of completeness, I should mention that I was using vCenter/ESX 5.5 Update 2 but it looks more like a packaging problem, as discussed here and here (possibly by the same person). The solution involves extraction and editing of the OVF file to change the CD-ROM type. Judging by the comments afterwards, it seems like a reliable method of fixing the problem. However, I wanted to find an easier way and the following worked for me:

  • Extract the OVA to some accessible folder using an extraction utility e.g. 7Zip
  • Deploy the appliance using the normal OVF deployment method

Surprisingly, this method has worked for me a couple of times, without requiring editing of any files i.e. it somehow gets around the problem with the package, preventing its deployment. I used the exact same file to extract the contents and deployment worked fine after that.

Hope this helps!

By |2016-12-11T15:25:02+00:00October 27th, 2014|vCenter, vCOPs, Virtualization, VMware, vSphere|9 Comments

About the Author:

Ather Beg is a technology and virtualisation blogger and is Chief Virtualogist at Virtualogists Ltd, which is a consultancy focusing on virtualised solutions. Ather has worked in IT for over 20 years and contributes his findings on this blog. In addition to holding several industry-related certifications, he has also been awarded vExpert status by VMware.


  1. Adam February 17, 2015 at 7:50 PM - Reply

    Hello, there.

    Could you be more specific what is the “normal OVF deployment method” please?

    • Ather Beg February 18, 2015 at 5:35 PM - Reply

      Hi Adam

      What I mean is once you’ve extracted the OVA into a folder, resulting in an OVF and its associated files, just use the “Deploy OVF Template…” option from the “File” or “Actions” menu (depending on C# or web-client).

      Hope this helps!

  2. Kevin Wilhelm May 6, 2015 at 8:42 PM - Reply

    What do you mean by “Extract the OVA to some accessible folder using an extraction utility e.g. 7Zip”? It is already extracted when downloaded from the VMware website.

    • Ather Beg May 7, 2015 at 10:45 AM - Reply

      Hi Kevin

      When you download an OVA, it’s just one file. If you use a utility e.g. 7zip, it shows the contents inside, which you can then extract to a folder, just like any zip file.

      What I mean is to extract the OVF and other related files from the OVA and then use the same OVF deployment method, to deploy the appliance. In my case, the problem didn’t appear once I used this workaround.


  3. Bob October 29, 2015 at 3:25 PM - Reply

    Thanks. Turns out my OVA file was corrupt. Trying to uncompress uncovered it. 🙂

  4. ravanoid December 14, 2016 at 11:18 AM - Reply

    Hi Ather, The workaround did not help in my case.
    Esxi Client 6. May be , I’ll have to create a template again and try.

  5. Artem March 27, 2017 at 2:24 PM - Reply

    That works. But I didn’t find any explanation about a cause of issue. I use official CoreOS OVA https://coreos.com/os/docs/latest/booting-on-vmware.html and faced the same problem.

  6. zameer July 17, 2018 at 12:32 PM - Reply

    Hi Ather,

    I have used VMDK and OVF file to install VM still getting same error
    Failed to deploy VM: postNFCData failed: IO error
    Host ESXI version is 6.7

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