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Can I install an instance of Windows 7 into a Virtual Machine with Virtual PC, activate it using my Technet license and then take a copy if the clean, activated Windows instance for reuse?

This will allow me to experiment with the Windows instance, then if it all goes south, power down the VM, delete the VHD and copy across the original VHD. Will this work and does it violate any license agreements.


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Are you looking at snapshot capability? So you can revert back to the original in case things go awry? – paradd0x Apr 4 '12 at 14:38
Yes, and obviously Technet only allows you to activate so many times so I don't want to have to use one activation every time I revert! – JMK Apr 4 '12 at 14:39
Well, you won't have to activate multiple times if you have a snapshot. Unfortunately, Virtual PC doesn't support snapshots. You could use VirtualBox to do that and it basically reverts to whenever you created your snapshot, such as the final, clean installation. – paradd0x Apr 4 '12 at 14:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Short answer is yes. The original VM will be activated so if you use that copy after the "disaster" it will be activated. However, not sure what happens if you move to a different Hypervisor.

Note that this is not a snapshot but just a way to recover. You have a "master" VM that you copy and use. If there are issues with the copy, you copy the "master" to start over. VMware would allow you to use a snapshot and revert quickly. As VMware is free, may be worth a look.

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I am using Oracle Virtualbox. I want to do different things with Windows7, so I make two copies of my virtual machine. Is it okay to run them one at a time, or can I run them both simultaneously, since they would both be on my own computer and I am the only user? – bgmCoder Oct 8 '12 at 22:04

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