A. I was contacted by zPOD and they introduced me to their software. I tried it and it works great. zPOD takes your entire OS and puts it on removable media, which you can then plug into any computer and run that OS on that new host machine. Basically, you can take your OS with you anywhere.

The process is pretty simply:

  1. Download the zPOD installation software (which is around 240MB).
  2. Run zinstall_zpod.exe on the machine you want to capture to a removable device. Make sure the removable device is installed on the machine. In my example, I'm going to capture a Windows XP environment to a 16GB USB drive.
  3. After Zinstall launches, enter your activation code and email address and it will activate over the Internet.
  4. The install routine performs a search of the local machine and possible targets for storing the OS. Select the source OS and the target removable media and click the big Go button, as shown.

Zpod

Zpod

  1. Once it's done, you'll have a removable storage device containing the OS that can be placed in another machine. The captured OS will run when RunZPOD.exe is launched

When running a new zPOD, a system tray icon is added that allows switching between the host OS and the guest OS captured by zPOD.

The first time you switch to zPOD there will be a tuning period (this took a long time on my machine, which is really fast) and then the OS is up and running. Your computer will be running the zPOD-captured OS. You switch between the host and guest using the zPOD system tray icon that appears in both.

64-bit OSs can be captured but must run on a 64-bit host OS with a hardware-assisted virtualization capable processor. (The hardware-assisted virtualization capable processor is only needed for 64-bit OSs). Depending on the OS, you may need to reactivate after capturing the OS and running it from removable storage.