|Then convince them that YOUR laptop doesn't need to be re-imaged. Short of that I think you are out of luck.|
If you were to partition the hard drive and install all your "file viewers, subscription codes, connectivity software, datahandling programs etc." on the second partition then in the future you could possibly avoid this issue.
That assumes the image would be the same one originally installed.
Look at the link below for ideas on partitioning strategies.