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Can a VM OVA be converted to a VHD?


Stoic Joker:
    Much as this sounds like a simple apparently isn't. I'm trying to demo a "Virtual Appliance" (made by major manufacturer that won't be named) that is delivered - exclusively... - as an Open Virtualization Format Archive (OVA) file. Now MS has a utility that will happily convert a VMDK file to a VHD, but it won't touch an OVA file ... And best I can tell neither will anything else that I've found so far.

    The OVA file is an archive that contains an Open Virtualization Format (OVF) file that is a native export of (I think it was) the Citrix XenServer. However the free Citrix converter wont touch this thing, and nor will the free VMware converter.

    Now while just asking the major manufacturer's sales guy what I'm supposed to do with this thing normally makes sense...said sales guy hasn't yet responded to any of my requests - which started Friday - for said interaction. Did I mention that "The Brass" at both ends happen to really like said switching to someone with better phone skills ain't an option.

   So... Here I am hoping someone here has had occasion to run into this predicament and recalls a solution to either convert directly from OVA to VHD/VHDX, or at the very least just extract the OVF from the OVA so I can (bank shot) convert that a few times into something that might actually boot when I load this thing and click start in the Hyper-V Manager.

Thank you,

Stoic Joker


An OVA is nothing more than a renamed TAR file.  You should be able to extract the OVF (and usually the VMDK) by opening it something like 7-Zip.

Can a VM OVA be converted to a VHD?

Stoic Joker:
Yes stumbled across that little detail right after posting the question. Although from what I read it's a .tar file *Shrug* Either way after changing the file extension WinRAR popped it open with no problem. I found the VMDK file inside and the MS Virtual Machine Converter Solution I'd found initially is converting it now.

Don't know if the &%#^$ thing will boot afterwards ... But it looks like I'll get to try. :D

Yes, it is a TAR file and I'm glad you were able to extract it.  All the VMDKs I've extracted from OVAs have worked fine.

As an aside, if you're working in a *nix or OpenStack environments (with KVM), you might come across JVA files.  You can typically extract those by doing the following:

bash my-jva-file.jva -x

Obviously, you would specify whatever JVA filename you're dealing with.


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