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Failed to open VMDK. ESXi 5.5 and Veeam

KB ID: 1875
Product: Veeam Backup & Replication
Version:, 8.x
Published: 2014-04-21
Last Modified: 2020-08-13


After updating Veeam or VMware such that a combination of ESXi 5.5 and Veeam or higher exist within the environment, the jobs fail with error “Failed to open VMDK” and/or “Host not licensed for this feature.” The job will successfully download the VMX, VMXF, and NVRAM, but will fail on the VMDK.

In Veeam Backup & Replication v8 this issue appears with the error “Failed to create processing task for VM <vmname> Error: Cannot access VMX file of VM ‘<vmname>’”  and “Task failed Error: Cannot access VMX file of VM ‘<vmname>’”



This has to do with a change in how VDDK was utilized after within Veeam when interacting with ESXi 5.5.


Solution 1:
To identify if this KB is relative to the issue you are having, please perform the following.

1.   Connect with a vSphere Client to the VC using the same credentials used to add the VC in Veeam.
2.   Click the VC name at the top of the tree on the left side of the vSphere Client.
3.   Click Permissions. If you find that the list is empty as shown below, this KB may provide resolution.

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To resolve this issue, please add the account being used by Veeam as an Administrator within the permissions section at the VC level. (For granular permissions please see the more information section of this KB.)

Solution 2:
1.  Connect to the vCenter server via a vSphere Client.
2.  Open vCenter Server Settings…

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3.  Review the list of License Keys and remove any that are unused or expired.

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More information

If the “Add Permissions” option is greyed out when you attempt to add the account as an Administrator at the VC level please use a different account. (The local Administrator account of the VC will most likely work best.)

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For information regarding granular permissions for the account used by Veeam with the VMware environment, please review the following document:

See VMware KB for a list of changes made to modified permissions in newer versions. 

KB ID: 1875
Product: Veeam Backup & Replication
Version:, 8.x
Published: 2014-04-21
Last Modified: 2020-08-13

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