How can I give my friend a copy of my computer setup?

Episode 1112 (46:51)

Skip from Annapolis, MD

Skip has a business that he runs off of a dedicated PC and he wants to help a friend start a similar business. He wants to be able to clone his hard drive and ship it to him so he can run it as well. Would that work? Leo says yes and no.

The problem is that the computer will be different and the drivers will be an issue. Microsoft's DRM, called "Windows Genuine Advantage" will look at the hardware and if more than a few components change, it won't run, and will suspect it's a pirated system. Leo advises creating a VMWare appliance -- an image that is created using virtualization software. Then he can load the image in virutalization to another computer, which works without dealing with Windows Genuine Advantage.

He can go to and download the VMPlayer. He could also remote desktop to his machine and see how that works. The Intel NUC computer is another option. It's a little computer about the size of an Apple TV.