recommend that when you buy a new PC with the OEM OS installed you make the recovery disks (2 DVDs should do it). Use good quality DVDs. Also I think you need to do it before you install any software.
If your HDD dies, put the new one in and use the recovery disks to put the system back into factory supplied state. I believe some will replace the hidden recovery partition giving back its capability and a partition layout the same as the dead disk.
Not all the OEM is bloat, eg drivers
(to at least get you started) and things like ACER's eRecovery.
I use 2 imaging programs on a regular basis (Windows & Macrium) and I'm guessing
that it may be safer to restore my latest image to a new disk after doing a factory restore. My recovery/hidden partition is 17.5GB at the front of the HDD and if it isn't there I'm not sure how the image recovery would work on a new HDD.