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Windows 7: Re-image a laptop in the field

27 Jun 2012   #1

Re-image a laptop in the field

We are currently looking for a solution to re-image a Dell laptop, with a custom Windows 7 image, to an employee in the field. Most of our employees work from home or are out of state in small, temporary offices. Currently, if a user gets a virus or has a BSOD (or any other issue), and I can't remote to the laptop over the Internet, I have to setup a new laptop at headquarters and ship it to their location.

I need a solution that will allow me to re-install our custom image to the laptop, with no CDs or thumb drives. Possible a hidden partition on the laptop that contains a WIM file. Then I can walk the user through a couple simple .bat command that would initiate the re-install of the OS (we have the user's data backed up so that is not an issue).

Has anyone tried anything like this or know of a product that can accomplish this? Most of the solutions I have run across into require a CD or thumb drive and my users can't be trusted to have that available when needed. Any ideas would be great.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Jun 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


The modern way to do this with built-in Windows 7 imaging is to have the user save an image externally which can be used to reimage the HD or replacement in 20 minutes.

Be sure they also make a System Repair Disk which is used to boot for reimaging or repairs.

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
System Image Recovery
Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Boot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2012   #3


Anyway that can be saved to hidden partition and then executed? I hate to have to get external drives for all my users.

And thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Jun 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


You can save a Windows 7 backup image to a Primary partition on the HD shrunk in Disk Mgmt: Partition or Volume - Shrink
Partition or Volume - Create New

However this defeats the purpose of having the image available in the event of a HD failure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2012   #5


OK. I think a found a solution that will work for us. We are going to use the MS Desktop Optimization Pack. More the specifically the DaRT piece of the MDOP. If anyone else is interested: MDOP | Desktop Optimization | Windows 7 Enterprise | Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack | Software Assurance | SA
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Might want to check out what the "backup capsule" in Paragon's imaging app can do. Looks like it might do what you're looking for.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bits

Why not use a recovery partition like Dell uses and also use their Dell DataSafe Local Backup. Easy to setup and works with custom wim file.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Re-image a laptop in the field

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