Situation:
We manage our software via Group Policy and either repackage legacy installations into msi packages or (when things go right) simply edit or apply transforms to applications that are already distributed as msi packages.

Problem:
Office 2007 is distributed as multiple msi packages with a single legacy setup.exe. The individual msi packages (for each app in the office suite) cannot be used as standalone installs. The "setup.exe" file, as I have read and been told by our rep at MS, MUST be used for the installation of any Office 2007 application. And of course you cannot deploy .exe files via Group Policy.

Solution Attempts:
I used AdminStudio to repackage Office 2007 via "Installation Monitoring". This failed to produce any .irp or content files for installation and I cannot figure out why. So my next attempt was a single step snapshop, then a multi step snapshot both of which failed during the conversion to msi process. I then used an encapsulation application to wrap the setup.exe into an msi that ran the setup with my administration file (MRP). This of course failed but not because of the encapsulation application... it failed because the Office 2007 setup will not run when other setups (including msi installations) are in progress... and since the wrapped setup.exe is entirely seperate of the Office 2007 installation itself, the installation fails to even begin.

Has anyone successfully deployed Office 2007 via Group Policy? If so, how? I also need to mention that we do not use SMS. I'm not sure why as this would probably make things a little easier but I was told we will not be implementing SMS. :(

Any ideas???
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Ok. I have created a share in the server from where I am trying to deploy office 2007 via GP.
I have pointed to the UNC \\server\share\office.msi and when I rebooted the machine, it seemed
like it was installing since it would say "Installing Microsoft Office 2007". However, when I logged in
nothing had installed. I checked the server's event viewer and it gave me an error 1713. Has anybody
been successful deploying office 2007 and if so, could somebody help.
Answered 02/12/2007 by: jmanuel29
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You cannot install Office 2007 from the individual MSI files on the installation media. The setup.exe files is required for installation as it determines what you have and/or need for the installation of office 2007.
Answered 02/12/2007 by: KrakaJap
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Was installation from the MSI possible in office 2003???? Then how can the deployment
be done if it is not possible through the MSI file.
Answered 02/12/2007 by: jmanuel29
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That's why I started this post... I don't know. Read my initial post again and you'll see what i've tried. 2003 could install from the original msi files... 2007 cannot.
Answered 02/12/2007 by: KrakaJap
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OK, I think I might have found a solution...

For those of you who do not have SMS or do not have the means to install SMS on your network and you want to deploy Office 2007 via a GPO in AD... use a simple startup script! LOL I would probably write a vbscript to test for the existence of a 2007 installation before installing of course as well as making multiple customization files with OCT but this was just a test to see if it would work.

The single line of code I used for testing is this:
IF %COMPUTERNAME% == <computername> CALL \\<network location>\setup.exe /adminfile \\<network location>\<octfile>.msp

Obviously you would fill in anything within <>s for your own network. Everything seems to be working fine but I'll let you know if anything goes wrong.

NOTE: just realized I said this was a deployment through a GPO... obviously it's not. :)
Answered 02/15/2007 by: KrakaJap
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with that single line of code you are able to install office 2007 via GP. Can you elaborate more into that?
I am kind of confused. Do I still need to create the distribution point on the server???
Answered 02/15/2007 by: jmanuel29
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you need to place the installation files in a location on the server that is accessible by anyone, yes, but this will not be through a GPO. you will need to create a startup script that you can deploy through GP or as specified from each client machine to pull any startup scripts that exist. Not 100% sure about doing this through GP as I normally only deploy software or security settings through GP but I think there was an option to deploy scripts as well. So the script should work through GP... so in a sense I guess you could say the installation works through GP... you're just taking that extra step to actually get to the installation via a script.

NOTE: Earlier I made mention to creating multiple MSP files for specific deployment... well this is true, however, you can only use a setup.exe /adminfile installation ONCE! For instance, if you deploy Office 2007 without Outlook 07 and then later want to install Outlook 07... you have to completely remove Office 07 from the machines and then deploy the entire package including Outlook. MS is really pissing me off!!!
Answered 02/15/2007 by: KrakaJap
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Ok so I've finally figured out how to get Office 2007 to deploy via Group Policy and the EnterpriseWW.msi. I can even apply a transform to the MSI (although significantly limited). However, through normal GP deployment, when I remove or disable the GPO the 2007 uninstallation fails every time. I can go in and manually uninstall Office, I can even deploy a script to uninstall Office (but the user retains the ability to cancel this uninstallation). Does anyone have any ideas?

To get Office 2007 to deploy properly through GP via the Enterprise MSI you need to edit the config.xml file. If you want to customize which applications get installed you'll need to edit the line (or create new lines) that determine <OptionState>. To get the ID's required for this tag, look inside the setup.xml file.

So for example if I want to deploy 2007 without Outlook to all lab machines:
<OptionState Id="OUTLOOKFiles" State="absent" Children="force">

This will install everything except for Outlook. Obviously you'll need to edit most of everything else as well such as the PIDKEY, Installation Location, etc. If you want to change the shortcuts you'll have to create a transform for the MSI (DO NOT EDIT THE MSI DIRECTLY!).

So if anyone knows of a way to get Office 2007 uninstalled through GP or at least disable the user's ability to cancel a scripted uninstallation please let me know! :) This is driving me nuts!

I'm also having an issue with Outlook 2007 running on a machine that also retains the Office 2003 installation. Even with Outlook 2003 removed, we have been getting errors in Outlook 2007 and the ability to send/receive/forward/reply/etc. eventually fails. Any ideas on this one? What we've been doing is completely removing 2003 but there are plenty of users (staff/faculty) who wish to have both versions installed for a learning process... at least for a while as well as retaining the ability to return to their current curriculum which involves the 2003 Office system since the 2007 Office curriculum has not yet been developed. Any ideas on this one?

NOTE: There are other threads out there that state MSI deployment through GP is not possible if the user does not have Administrative rights to install software, as the installation does not complete until the user logs in to finish the installation. This is not true... at least not for me. Installation through GP temporarily elevates the user's privileges to install software during the Office 2007 installation. Once finished, privileges return to normal.
Answered 02/26/2007 by: KrakaJap
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