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Deploying Office on top of Office via GPO

    Question

  • I learned how to deploy office via GPO from the following tutorial:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYPbFyLH66k

    In a nutshell, it had me use the OCT to make a custom file and ran it using a batch file that was added to the startup scripts in a GPO. However, the batch file basically is written to first check if office is already installed and then proceed if it isn't.

    This works great for situations where I am starting from scratch. But I was wondering if there is a way to customize this approach to ADD a missing office feature to an existing office installation.

    For example, most computers have Word installed. Now I have the need to add Outlook to all computers in addition to Word. Is there any way to have a GPO or script ADD a missing office feature onto an existing office installation? And do it silently, out of sight of the users?

    I tried forcing the original script to run by disabling the check to see if office was preinstalled, but this simply caused the Office Add/Remove wizard to popup where I then had to install it manually.

    I imagine there must be someway to silently access/use/manipulate that Add/Remove features Wizard that office uses.

    Thanks for any help!

    • Changed type Frank Shen5Moderator Monday, December 29, 2014 6:50 AM
    • Changed type gc117 Friday, January 23, 2015 7:00 AM Was a question on software deployment, and I would like to mark a response as the answer
    Thursday, December 11, 2014 11:30 AM

Answers

  • For example, most computers have Word installed. Now I have the need to add Outlook to all computers in addition to Word. Is there any way to have a GPO or script ADD a missing office feature onto an existing office installation? And do it silently, out of sight of the users?

    I tried forcing the original script to run by disabling the check to see if office was preinstalled, but this simply caused the Office Add/Remove wizard to popup where I then had to install it manually.

    I imagine there must be someway to silently access/use/manipulate that Add/Remove features Wizard that office uses.

    Yes, there are two methods to do that;

    you can use a slightly modified script, together with a modified customization.msp, or, with a modified config.xml

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179141(v=office.15).aspx

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd630736(v=office.15).aspx

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc178956(v=office.15).aspx#BKMK_modify


    Don
    (Please take a moment to "Vote as Helpful" and/or "Mark as Answer", where applicable.
    This helps the community, keeps the forums tidy, and recognises useful contributions. Thanks!)

    • Marked as answer by gc117 Friday, January 23, 2015 7:00 AM
    Friday, December 12, 2014 10:50 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    >>I tried forcing the original script to run by disabling the check to see if office was preinstalled, but this simply caused the Office Add/Remove wizard to popup where I then had to install it manually.

    Based on the description, it's recommended that we ask for advice in the following scripting forum to see if they can provide some suggestions.

    The Official Scripting Guys Forum

    https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/scriptcenter/en-US/home?forum=ITCG

    Best regards,

    Frank Shen


    Friday, December 12, 2014 8:16 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks I'll give them a shot!
    Friday, December 12, 2014 9:57 AM
  • For example, most computers have Word installed. Now I have the need to add Outlook to all computers in addition to Word. Is there any way to have a GPO or script ADD a missing office feature onto an existing office installation? And do it silently, out of sight of the users?

    I tried forcing the original script to run by disabling the check to see if office was preinstalled, but this simply caused the Office Add/Remove wizard to popup where I then had to install it manually.

    I imagine there must be someway to silently access/use/manipulate that Add/Remove features Wizard that office uses.

    Yes, there are two methods to do that;

    you can use a slightly modified script, together with a modified customization.msp, or, with a modified config.xml

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179141(v=office.15).aspx

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd630736(v=office.15).aspx

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc178956(v=office.15).aspx#BKMK_modify


    Don
    (Please take a moment to "Vote as Helpful" and/or "Mark as Answer", where applicable.
    This helps the community, keeps the forums tidy, and recognises useful contributions. Thanks!)

    • Marked as answer by gc117 Friday, January 23, 2015 7:00 AM
    Friday, December 12, 2014 10:50 AM
  • Thanks for your response. I checked out those links and tried implementing them, but I've run into some snags. I've customized a MSP file to get the job done, but I am having trouble with the script side of things. 

    I made a batch file with a pretty simple command:

    msiexec.exe /p \\server\deploy\office\updates\custom.msp

    I then added that to a GPO as a startup script. Now, if I check RSOP on target machines, it tells me the script has been executed, but it never actually does the install. If I navigate to the batch file manually, and run it, it installs what it is supposed to, so the file itself does seem to work.

    Any suggestions on what could be wrong?

    One other issue that may or may not be relevant. The Custom.MSP is configured for silent installation. But if I manually execute the batch file as I stated, then I do see some progress screens pop up during the install.

    Thanks a bunch for any insight!

    ~Vik

    
    Thursday, January 22, 2015 5:26 AM
  • For your manual invocation test, If you are seeing progress dialogs, that's ok, as long as it isn't seeking user input (such as Yes/No/Cancel or OK) - if user input/decision is required, that will cause issues (it's not unattended+silent).

    You should be able to modify the installation command-line to be:
    msiexec.exe /p \\server\deploy\office\updates\custom.msp /qb

    (which should make it "quiet with no progress dialogs")

    Although your startup script is being executed, the msiexec might be failing, for a number of reasons.
    Check the client computer event log to see if Windows Installer is really being invoked, it might reveal the issue there.
    You may also need to enable some Windows Installer logging, to understand the issue.
    It could be, that the startup script is instructing msiexec to access the MSPfile from an invalid location? (in which case, msiexec.exe would execute and fail with no access to the MSPfile)
    Even if you test manually with a logged-on user, you are at that time, logged on an executing in the security context of the logged-on user.
    A startup script does not run in the security context of a logged-on user (since nobody is logged-on at the time a startup script is executed.
    A startup script will execute in the security context of the computer account (LocalSystem), so depending upon where you have hosted the MSPfile, the computer account might not have access rights to read the MSPfile. Check that the security principal of "Domain Computers" has read access to the MSPfile.

    msiexec.exe does accept arguments for logging (it is /l*v logfile), but sometimes it's easier to set registry keys/values on the client machine to enable msiexec logging.http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223300


    Don
    (Please take a moment to "Vote as Helpful" and/or "Mark as Answer", where applicable.
    This helps the community, keeps the forums tidy, and recognises useful contributions. Thanks!)

    Thursday, January 22, 2015 11:32 AM
  • Thanks a bunch for all your responses. It was a silly mistake, but you were right on the money. The office share was only accessible to domain users and domain admins, I neglected to add access for Domain Computers. That did the trick!

    I would like to mark your original response from 12/12/2014 as answer. I have never posted a question on technet before, how do I do that? I don't see a mark as answer button.

    edit: someone had changed my post type from question to general discussion. I changed it back and marked your response as answer.

    • Edited by gc117 Friday, January 23, 2015 7:01 AM
    Friday, January 23, 2015 6:55 AM
  • One final question regarding this whole thing. The original tutorial had me disable some UAC settings for the deployment. I did not do this because at the time, I didn't run into any UAC issues and it looked like everything went through fine. Now it appears that when my users are running the Office programs from their own accounts for the first time, it does some additional setup that just takes a few seconds, but prompts for admin access to do so. So now I did end up having to go back and disable the UAC settings as suggested by the original tutorial.

    However, this feels like a lazy and unsecure solution to the problem. Any thoughts on how to preserve my UAC settings but have the office installation continue on individual user accounts without prompt?

    Friday, January 23, 2015 3:17 PM
  •  Any thoughts on how to preserve my UAC settings but have the office installation continue on individual user accounts without prompt?

    It's not this?

    Unexpected UAC prompt after you install update 2918614 in Windows


    Rolf Lidvall, Swedish Radio (Ltd)

    Saturday, January 24, 2015 10:29 AM