Object reference not set to an instance of an object exception on Checking free space on source datastore

KB ID: 1295
Product: Veeam Backup & Replication
Version: 5.x
Published: 2011-10-12
Last Modified: 2020-08-13
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Challenge

Job fails right away with error "Checking free space on source datastore. Object reference not set to an instance of an object."
In the log files you can see:

 
[timestamp] Info     Task operation: 'Checking free space on source datastore'
[timestamp] Info     [AP] Disposing client from thread 1
[timestamp] Info     [AP] Sending quit signal for client, host "esxhost"
[timestamp] Info           [AP] (Server) state: closed
[timestamp] Info           [AP] (Client) state: closed
[timestamp] Info     [AP] Stopping local agent process, pid 5936, role Client
[timestamp] Info     [Soap] Connection 'vc:443:domain\administrator:False::0:1' is disposing.
[timestamp] Info     [Ssh] Connection 'esxhost:22:root:False:False:1' is disposing.
[timestamp] Info     [AP] Disposing client from thread 1
[timestamp] Info     [AP] Sending quit signal for client, host "esxhost"
[timestamp] Info           [AP] (Server) state: closed
[timestamp] Info           [AP] (Client) state: closed
[timestamp] Info     Starting perlSoap protocol to "esxhost"
[timestamp] Info     Installing perlsoap library to /tmp/veeb8f283e5-2eb1-4ef6-8403-c5843e8aaf65
[timestamp] Info     Reading "veeam_soap.tar" from directory "C:\Program Files\Veeam\Backup and Replication\"
[timestamp] Info     Answer to installation: :
[timestamp] Info     Executing firewall command "ClosePortOut", port 2500
[timestamp] Info     [Soap] Connection 'vc:443:domain\administrator:False::0:1' is disposing.
[timestamp] Info     Unlocking storage(s), lockId: '62ebbc13-f147-4502-a0c9-745c5af4e0fb'
[timestamp] Error    Object reference not set to an instance of an object.   in Veeam.Backup.Core.CFreeSpaceChecker.CheckFreeSpaceOnSourceDatasore(CBackupTaskSession taskSess, Datastore datastore)
[timestamp] Error       in Veeam.Backup.Core.CVddkSource.Backup(IReceiver receiver)
[timestamp] Error       in Veeam.Backup.Core.CBackupJobPerformer.ExecuteTask(IVmBackupTask task, ITarget target, CBackupTaskSession taskSess)
[timestamp] Error       in Veeam.Backup.Core.CBackupJobPerformer.ExecuteTask(IBackupTask task, ITarget target)
 
You have a workingDir parameter in the vmx file of the VM

Cause

This is caused by an empty value for workingDir parameter in the vmx file of the Virtual Machine, you can double-check the log and search for:
 
[timestamp]  Info           [AP] (Client) output: workingDir = ""\n

Solution

You have two options for resolving this issue:
  1. Remove workingDir entry from the vmx file. 
  2. Workaround: disable the source datastore free space check option in Veeam B&R (Tools/Options/Notifications)
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