Why is it necessary to generalize the BCD if he's not booting the clone but it is only stored and never started until needed?
He will need to boot it , to check it is ok , then if his his regular install gets screwed. That is why he is making the clone.
Activation is fine on the same machine.
Clone is the same as an image. Image is usually used sectors - but you can do all sector images. You can restore an image to a different HD on the same machine without activation problems ( unless there is drive letter slippage ).