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?
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Factory clean image
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.
Backup 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
But before you even boot the machine off of the hard drive, you
would instead boot it from the rescue media disc;
- Then you could image that hard drive before it’s ever even run.
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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