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Group Policy Objects

Deploying Microsoft Office With Group Policy by markdmac
Posted: 29 Mar 04 (Edited 25 Oct 05)

One of the biggest headaches any IT team will face in my opinion is the introduction of a new version of Office, Outlook or Exchange being added in for the first time.

If you have more than 25 clients, I am sure you would really rather not do manual installs.  In addition to that, having to configure the user mailbox in Outlook is a combersome task for large numbers of users.

Fortunately, Microsof has provided a number of useful and free tools to deploy a customized version of Office or Outlook etc.  The following steps will help you to create a customized AND PATCHED installation of Office.

Deploying Microsoft Office Software Via Group Policy

1.    Insert the office CD and cancel the auto install wizard
2.    Create an Administrative Install
     a.    Create a folder for the Administrative Install
     b.    Start>Run>    D:\Setup.exe /a
     c.    When prompted enter the install key
     d.    Browse to where to put the Administrative Install (path from step A)
3.    Download the Administrative Patches for your version of Office. Extract the files.
Note: to extract the patches and service packs use the context:  patch.exe /t:d:\extractpath /c where patch.exe is the name of the update or SP file and d:\extractpath is the location to extract the files to.  I find it easier to rename the patches and sp exe files to a shorter name.
     a.    2003: http://www.microsoft.com/office/orkarchive/2003ddl.htm
     b.    XP: http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/xp/admin/default.htm
     c.    2000: http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/2000/admin/default.htm
4.    Download any Office Service Packs
5.    Install the patches by running MSIEXEC.
msiexec /a \\uncpath\OfficeInstall\Office.msi /p \\uncpath\Patches\patch.msp
Where Office.msi and patch.msp are the actual file names on your system.
6.    Download the Office Resource Kit for your version of Office
     a.    2003: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4bb7cb10-a6e5-4334-8925-3bcf308cfbaf&displaylang=en
     b.    XP: http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/xp/appndx/appa04.htm
     c.    2000: http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/b/3/6b34f4c7-44e6-4d85-91d9-1acf9479da7d/orktools.exe
7.    Install the ORK (Office Resource Kit)
8.    Run the Custom Installation Wizard from your programs list.
     a.    Point to your MSI file and answer the questions in the Wizard.  Save the file in the same location as your Administrative Install Point.
9.    Create a software deployment GPO and assign\publish the software package.
     a.    Choose Advanced so you can specify the MST file.  Configure the package to use your MST on the Modifications tab.
     b.    Disable the user configuration settings for the GPO if they are not being used.  
     c.    Apply the policy to the appropriate Computers or OU.

I found it necessary to do a refresh of my Group Policy on my workstation.

On XP run this command:  GPUPDATE /Force /Boot
On Win2K run: secedit /refreshpolicy machine_policy /enforce

Reboot the workstation and watch in glee as it auto installs and configures your software.

Back to Microsoft: Windows servers FAQ Index
Back to Microsoft: Windows servers Forum

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