When you clone a PC, the clone gets a new MAC address. Although no one outside of Microsoft knows Microsoft's formula for fingerprinting hardware to the point that, if the fingerprint changes, the licensing Gods are awakened, the folks at VMware are pretty sure that changes to the MAC address are a red flag.That corresponds directly to the experience I had with a clone of one of my Vista-based VMs.
In that case, you get to experience one of the chief benefits of VMs: you can just In the case of VMware, you don't even need a full-blown copy of VMware on the other PC to open up those files and start the virtual machine.
In my previous attempts at doing this, when I moved a VM between an Intel-based notebook and an AMD-based notebook, I totally sprung the WGA trap. There's another way to copy a VM that's literally called "cloning." Using VMware Workstation's menus, you can select an existing virtual machine and it. When you clone a virtual machine, it asks you what to name the new VM and then it makes all of the necessary changes to all of the filenames.
When you copy a VM, all of that information (filenames, directories, etc.) stay exactly the same.
You just need VMware's virtual machine "player" -- a virtual machine runtime that's freely downloadable from VMware's Web site.
But the question is, in the process of copying a virtual machine from one PC (maybe a busted one) to another, will Microsoft's WGA program detect a change in the underlying hardware and assume that you're a pirate making an illegal copy? The differences are subtle, but important in the context of awakening the licensing Gods at Microsoft.