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EMC Avamar Backup Failes: vmx file is suspiciously small

Written by on . Posted in How to

I recently had an issue back-up a virtual machine with EMC Avamar VMware Image Proxy 6.1.0-402. This happens after upgrading VMware to version 5.1. When the backup started we would see the following errors in in the Avamar backup job log:

  • avvcbimage Error <12016>: vmx file  is suspiciously small (under 30 bytes), please examine the log on the Avamar Administrator for root cause analysis (Log #2)
  • avvcbimage Error <9760>: Backup of VM metadata failed. (Log #2) 
  • avvcbimage Error <9768>: Avtar exited with 'code 163: externally cancelled' (Log #2)

This problem exists since 2010 and should been resolved with VMware release vCenter 4.0 Update 2.0. But it's still there with version 5.1. The solution EMC gave me was to add an parameter to the Dataset. This allows the backup to succeed even if the vmx file is not backed up. The restore for this backup will work for restore to original and restore to existing, but not for restore to new. So let's be honest, not really a solution. It's more of a workaround.


Start your EMC Avamar Administrator and Click Administration

Click Tools and Manage Datasets. Select the VMware Image Dataset. Click Edit Dataset.

Go to the Tab, Options. Make sure the “Windows VMware Image” plug-in is selected. Click the “more options” button. In the “Enter Attribute” box type x22 and in the “Enter attribute value” box type 8192. Then Click the plus sign button and Click ok. Don't forget to do this for Linux to if necessary.

Start a manual backup or start the Group to see if it is working. Good luck!


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