1 person found this helpful
ESXi 6.5 only supports virtual hardware versions up to 13 (see https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1003746).
Depending on which virtual hardware components are used, you may be able to import the VM after changing "vmx-16" to "vmx-13" in the OVF file.
I recommend using Vmware vCenter Converter
a.p. answer helped me see what i did wrong that caused this problem. Based on the documentation, i need to pay better attention to the hardware compatibility options i select when creating a virtual machine. The link he posted was super helpful so i could see what I should be choosing in the future.
As for resolving the problem with existing VM's, VMware Workstation has a built in tool for this. Just go to the VM and then go to VM > Manage > Change Hardware Compatibility. Then follow the instructions. I made a clone first and then chose the option to "alter this vm" because i felt safer with that than doing the "make copy and change compatibility" route. See docs here on this referenced from workstation v9 docs. That route was fast and easy and didn't require editing files manually or downloading additional software.