I'm using Virtual Box under Debian and want to create a Windows 7 virtual machine. I'd like to be able to clone it (in case I mess up something and need to reset it later), but have read that clones may need to be reactivated for some reason. Is this true? If so, is there a way around it?
Yes, there's a way around it. It involves editing the .vbox file, and addding/changing the
Here's one link to more details: link
If you have to re-activate an installation depends on several factors. Usually this is tied to certain hardware identification parameters (such as the MAC address of the primary network adapter). If too many of these parameters change, a reactivation is required.
The Windows website itself has this to offer on the question:
However, if you want to avoid this altogether, you might just want to use snapshots.
You can also take a new snapshot of the machine while it is running. There is a Take Snapshot... option in the virtual machine window: