As for the image making, i suggest you install the the OS and all the stuff you need on one computer and use norton to make a ghost of that drive. Save the ghost image on a USB HDD, with the files required to run norton on system boot. You will have to read the FAQ of norton for that. Then boot from you USB HDD and go accourding to the screen.
A Ghost takes half the amount of time you would need to install a full OS with the required softwares. I dont think you would come accross a problem of a corrupt image as long as your HDD stays intact and secure.