To the problem of "clone your latest snapshot" I found the solution using just the GUI, with no file problems, copying, messing with vmi / xml / UUIDs etc.
It was hinted at in Michael of Innotek's May 10 2007 post at
My setup is Ubuntu running on Sony Vaio notebook hardware, with XP in a VirtualBox.
I had nursed my XP forward through a series of software installs, to get it to where I needed it to be. Prior to every install I would take a snapshot, knowing that installing different types of software on XP often creates multiple problems.
I finished with my installs, and found myself nested 7 deep in my snapshot sequence. In VMWare, I would now clone this snapshot in order to consolidate the changes and finalize it as my XP utility OS.
So how to clone the latest snapshot? The instructions weren't clear, and neither were all the threads on cloning.
1. The clonevdi command line utility appears from other threads to only work on the base installation. This would wipe out all my tweaks. Not an option.
2. Others suggested copying vdi's, xml, etc. While backup copying never hurts, I didn't want to face a mess of out-of-whack files, a problem noted in other threads.
3. There was no straight answer. However, the post noted above states that discarding a snapshot, and NOT THE EXISTING STATE, would preserve the current state of the Box. This is not clear from the GUI, and discarding a snapshot with a lot of work that's gone into it is a scary thought.
I had no more hard drive space to try the copying technique noted in this thread. This was largely due to the fat snapshot footprints (I was shocked when I saw them all, they were in the .VirtualBox hidden directory). So I changed the desktop background, exited XP, went up 2 rungs in my snapshot tree to an earlier shot, crossed my fingers / toes / all other appendages, and clicked on "Discard the Snapshot". The program proceeded in copying changes between snapshots.
After it finished (I noticed that one of my fat snapshots disappeared from .VirtualBox) I went back to the lowest, most latest rung on the tree, started XP, et voila
, my tweaked XP was 100% there, available, and functioning, including the incremental change in desktop backgrounds.
I proceeded to prune my snapshot tree of all branches in between my original XP install, and my fully tweaked production utility install, occasionally starting XP to check and make sure I wasn't losing anything. Everything discarded like it was supposed to, and it was gratifying to see the fat snapshot files disappearing one by one. I can now roll back to a spanking fresh XP install if I have to, or go to my production XP, and I've recovered 30% of my HD space from snapshots I no longer need.
Innotek this is a great product, but I expect that I'm not the only one wanting to clone the latest, not the earliest. Using the term "Discard" in your Snapshot manager context menu is not enough information to make a decision on. I would add an alert box on making this choice that says "Discarding your snapshot will not disturb your existing state", or something to that effect. It is a more accurate description of what happens, and users won't need to parse the forums to figure it out that this is how you "clone" your latest state.
So I can breathe again. Now I need to find a slope.