After doing a per machine AD deployment of some applications like Microsoft Office 2003 & WinZip 9.0, when the user runs the app for the first time, a dialog box appears and automatically configures the app for the user.

What exactly is it within the MSI that causes this to happen? I thought maybe it was if the MSI had HKCU entries and the install was done per machine, but i've tried putting HKCU entries in an install and the user configuration screen or the reg entries never appear.
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What causes this is the "keypath" (a.k.a. "primary key") that is set in the component that holds the HCKU entries. When a user runs the app for the first time, Windows installer checks to see if the registry entry that is set as the "keypath" exists. When it finds that it does not, it creates the missing entry, and also checks for the existence of the other registry keys in that component.

There are more important details about how this "self healing" (a.k.a. "self repair) process works, but it can get a little confusing if one is not used to thinking in terms of keys, components, and features. Let us know if you would like us to elaborate.

Craig --<>.
Answered 11/06/2005 by: craig16229
Third Degree Brown Belt

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