After years of heavy usage, the physical drive on one of my lab systems had failed. Although I had the convenience of a lab\test system, I took the approach of a production environment to restore the system back to a functional state.
Some additional background on my lab. It is physically located in Hillsboro Oregon inside a Farady cage (i.e. no wireless communications). I am able to login to and interact with my lab systems from any intranet or Internet (with VPN) connection, with a wired connection into the cage. My desk is located in a separate building on the same campus - about a 5 minute walk if I don't stop by the cafeteria or stop to talk with others in the hallway. In general, a majority of my interaction with the lab is remote. Physically touching systems is only required during setup or if systems are not managed via Intel vPro Technology.
First - a temporary operational environment was delivered to the client. One example http://www.symantec.com/connect/videos/delivering-temporary-work-environment-using-intel-vpro-technology
Second - the physical hard-drive was replaced. (i.e. I'll be there in 5 minutes.... when in reality it may be more than 15 minutes)
Third - The last backup was restored to the client. One example how this can be done is shown at http://www.symantec.com/connect/videos/part-3-using-out-band-events-and-alerts-intel-vpro-technology (focus on the latter half where Symantec System Recovery Disk bootable ISO is delivered along with process to restore the last backup).
Except for a short visit to the lab to physically change the harddrive, the scenario was remediated remotely in relatively short timeframe.
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