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This requires backup software with rescue media (a boot DVD or CD) that allows you to perform not only a restore, but an actual backup.
Is it really possible to get a "Bare Metal" image of a new PC system? That is, before even the install takes place? I've reinstalled systems many times but I've only taken the image after the install has been completed because the install gathers specific user related items such as time zone, language, etc. It's not really the factory new image. Is that the best that can be done?
In this excerpt from Answercast #60, I look at a way to use backup software to create a factory fresh image of a new machine.
Actually, I had to think about this for a minute. But then it dawned on me that no, you can actually do better.
What you need is backup software such as (I believe) the Macrium Reflect rescue media disc: in fact, the PC version of the rescue media disc. This may work for backup software other than Macrium Reflect; it just happens to be the one that I'm familiar with and that I know you can do this with.
Before you install the machine, before you even boot the machine from its hard disk, when it arrives factory fresh - instead, immediately boot it from the rescue media.
Now, the rescue media we normally think of as being something that we use to restore a disk image onto a hard disk in the machine. But as it turns out, some of them (including like I said, the PC version of the Macrium Reflect rescue media) will actually allow you to take a backup at that point.
You would install your external hard drive onto which the backup would be placed;
But before you even boot the machine off of the hard drive, you would instead boot it from the rescue media disc;
That would give you a true factory fresh image without any of the
customizations that they might require when you start the machine. Like I said,
the only thing that this requires is backup software whose rescue media (whose
DVD or CD boot media) actually allows you to perform not only a restore, but an
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