Importing a virtual machine causes the error: unknown error generated by converter client
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Importing a virtual machine causes the error: unknown error generated by converter client


Article ID: 308036


Updated On:




  • Importing a virtual machine fails
  • Attempting to import a virtual machine from any object (for example, an ESX host or cluster) in the vCenter Server hierarchy results in the error:

    unknown error generated by converter client
  • This error occurs when the Converter Client for vCenter Server is enabled and you right-click the vCenter Server object and choose Import Machine.
  • The vSphere Client logs contain entries similar to:

    [2009-11-11 11:31:10.103 'P2V' 5884 error] [task,301] Task failed: Incomplete header received
    [2009-11-11 11:33:40.037 'P2V' 5560 info] [task,275] Starting execution of a Task
  • The command/usr/bin/vmware-cmd /vmfs/volumes/<data_store>/<vm_name>/<vm_name>.vmx getstate returns a no response error.


VMware vCenter Converter 4.1.x
VMware vCenter Converter 4.0.x


This issue can be caused by an unresponsive virtual machine in the vCenter Server inventory.
Identifying the unresponsive virtual machine can be difficult if there are a large number of ESX hosts or virtual machines in the inventory.
To identify the unresponsive virtual machine, try one of the following methods:
  • Remove each ESX host from the vCenter Server inventory one at a time. When Converter starts working, you know that the last ESX host that was removed had the unresponsive virtual machine. You can then examine each virtual machine on that server one at a time. For example, ping the virtual machines to determine if their console is working.
  • vMotion virtual machines off each ESX host one a a time. Any virtual machines that produces errors similar to the following may be unresponsive:

    task cannot be performed since another task is in progress
  • Use vSphere PowerCLI to identify the unresponsive virtual machines.
    1. Download and install vSphere PowerCLI. For more information, see the vSphere PowerCLI Installation and Administration Guides.
    2. Click Start > Programs > VMware > VMware vSphere PowerCLI > VMware vSphere PowerCLI to launch PowerCLI.
    3. Run this command to access the vSphere Server:

      Connect-VIServer -Server <VI_server_address> -Protocol <hypertext_transfer_protocol> -User <user_name> -Password <password>

    4. Run this command to identify the unresponsive virtual machines:

      get-vm | get-vmguest

      The unresponsive guest times out on the query.
After identifying the unresponsive virtual machine, restart it.

Additional Information

For more information about unresponsive virtual machines, see Powering off an unresponsive virtual machine on an ESX host (1004340).