Here at work, we have one user with some specialized legacy software, the developer of which has gone "belly up"* a long time ago.
When trying to copy the program to other systems (trying to check if it works in compatibility mode), we get a stern warning from the program telling us that if we use defrag or compactation tools the software may lose its "serial". I understand that the software is trying to do some checks in the contents of the hard disk (probably in which sectors the program is stored) in order to check if it is a legal copy.
The user says us that there she loves that program and that modern alternatives are not interesting (not to mention that there is no budget for it).
So, the only solution that I see possible is virtualization, but I do not know how it works about low level disk access. Does the virtualization process create a verbatim copy of the disk? Must I use a specific tool/setting?
So far, our virtual PCs have been setup with VMWare (ESXi and Player), but we are open to Virtuabox if it would work better.
*Given how old the software is, perhaps the entire devolpment team is now "belly up", literally.