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How to Deploy Adobe Reader XI (11.0.02) through GPO

This method presents a way to install and customise Adobe Reader 11.0.02 (XI) in combination with the Adobe Customisation Wizard and GPO.

The main reason why I tend to use the Adobe Customisation wizard is the extra options you get with the GUI and the ADM/ADMX that Adobe provided only allows for Accepting the EULA and Suppressing the Splash Screen at first startup. If you follow these steps as the updates get released it will be easier later on as the .bat script simply gets added onto.


First we need to create a few folders on our local computer as we will be running some CMD prompt commands. Therefore, it is easier installing on the root of C:

C:\AIP (Our Administrative Install point)

C:\AdobeReaderDownloads (Where the original apps will go)

C:\AdobeReaderTransform (The finalised server version)


Secondly, we need to download the Adobe Customisation Wizard X.

Download the Apps to “C:\AdobeReaderDownloads”


Adobe Customisation Wizard XI (6.2MB)


Download and install (Don’t worry about this until later)


WinRAR (1.4MB) – wrar420.exe



Adobe Reader 11.0.02 (48 MB) - AdbeRdr11002_en_US.exe

11.0.01 (16.6MB) - AdbeRdrUpd11001.msp


11.0.02 (1.5MB) - AdbeRdrSecUpd11002.msp



Creating the Administrative Install Point

1. Download and install WinRAR

2. Download and install Adobe Customisation Wizard XI

3. If you have not signed up to the “Adobe Runtimes / Reader Distribution License Agreement” I suggest you do so, if you have the Admin Distribution Link skip to step 6.

4. You can sign up here: http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/distribution.html

5. Depending on what you have signed up for Adobe will then email you a link to download the administrative versions of Flash, Adobe Reader, Shockwave and AIR.

6. Using the Distrubution link download the Adobe Reader Administrator Distribution package following the three steps presented on the website to ‘C:\AdobeReaderDownloads’

7. Under ‘C:\AdobeReaderDownloads’, Right Click on ‘AdbeRdr11002_en_US.exe’ and click ‘Extract Here…’ with WinRAR

8. After this has completed create ‘AIP.bat’ file by right clicking in the right hand explorer pane, ‘New – Text Document’ and change the name as well as the extention to ‘AIP.bat’

9. Right Click on ‘AIP.bat’ and click ‘Edit’.

10. Add this into the file and then ‘File-Save’:


msiexec /a C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AcroRead.msi

msiexec /a C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi /p C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AdbeRdrUpd11001.msp

msiexec /a C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi /p C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AdbeRdrSecUpd11002.msp


11. Close Notepad and run ‘AIP.bat’ with administrative rights. (right click ‘run with administrative rights)

12. When the install dialogues prompt for a location, install to ‘C:\AIP’. This creates a administrative installer that allows slipstreaming of updates into the actual ‘AcroRead.msi’ which you will have to create a new one each time a new patch is applied. Sadly, you do end up with having four folders and an .msi. It’s just how it is.

13. Copy ‘setup.ini’ from ‘C:\AdobeReaderDownloads’ to ‘C:\AIP’ OR create a text file and save in ‘C:\AIP’ as ‘setup.ini’:


RequireOS=Windows 2000


[Windows 2000]

[MSI Updater]


14. Install and run Adobe Customisation Wizard XI

15. File – Copy Package

16. In the pop up dialogue

> The existing source package is located at: ‘C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi’

> Specify a Name for your package I went with ‘AcroRead’

> Where it is to be copied to: C:\AdobeReaderTransform

17. Click OK and wait for it to copy.

18. Go through the Left hand panel enter in the personalisation you want whether you want to disable looking for updates, silent installation and suppressed rebooting, EULA  e.t.c

19. Once done Click File – Save Package.

This will have generated AcroRead.mst and updated your setup.ini file to enable silent install and more if selected. Close the Customisation Wizard. You can come back to your package at any time by opening up ‘AcroRead.msi’ under ‘C:\AdobeReaderTransform\yourNameOfPackage\’ make your edits and save again.

20. Copy the ‘yourNameOfPackage’ folder from C:\AcrobatTransform\ to your server share

21. Open up Group Policy Management MMC

22. Go to the Organisational Unit that you want to apply software to

23. Right click on the OU and select ‘Create a GPO in this Domain, and link it here…’

24. Write your GPO name. mine was “Software – Adobe Reader 11.0.02” Click OK

25. Right Click on GPO, Click Edit

26. Drill down “Computer Configuration – Policies – Software Settings – Software Installations”

27. Right click “Software Installations”

28. Click ‘New – Package’

29. Browse to your server share of ‘yourNameOfPackage’ Click Open

30. Select Deployment Method: Advanced

a. Under General Tab - Change the name if you want to

b. Under Deployment Tab – Change whether you want the application to uninstall off computers when you remove the GPO

c. Under Upgrades Tab - You can choose GPO’s which this can upgrade over. For example older versions of Acrobat and also gives you the ability to either uninstall then install the new product or just do an upgrade.

31. Click Modifications Tab

32. Click Add…

33. Browse to your ‘yourNameOfPackage’ folder on the server share and select your ‘yourNameOf.MST’ file.

34. Click Open

35. Click Ok

36. Exit out of Group Policy Management, restart the computers and enjoy!


Microbrew mentioned if using SCCM 2012 use "msiexec /i "AcroRead.msi" TRANSFORMS=AcroRead.mst /q" as the installation program command to apply the transformation.

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Deploying Adobe Packages with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager ( SCCM )2012


SCCM was designed for a great variety of network configurations. The best choice of deployment configuration for the Adobe package and its product install folder is the “TS” option, where the Adobe package and its product install folder are placed together on the same distribution server or servers.

 When you create a package for deployment in Windows, the Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition creates two folders in your specified Save to location, Exceptions\ and Build\.

   The Exceptions\ folder contains folders with installers of various kinds (EXE, AIR, MSI) that cannot be deployed using the main MSI installer (because it cannot contain an embedded installer). Therefore, these are deployed using Exception Deployer present in the same folder. You must create separate SCCM installers to run Exception Deployer either in pre or post mode.

The folder can be empty if your package has no dependencies on other installers.

  The Build\ folder contains an MSI file whose filename uses the Package Name that you specified, and two subfolders, ASU\ and Setup\. The subfolders are required to run the MSI file and install the product successfully.

NOTE: The packages created by the Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition silently use the Adobe installer subsystem, which in turn uses the native Windows installer, MSI. Therefore, you cannot wrap an Adobe install package inside of a Windows package for use with MSI because Windows prohibits such a recursive use of MSI.

To create a package and program

1.    In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

2.    In the Software Library workspace, expand Application Management, and then click Packages.

3.    In the Home tab, in the Create group, click Create Package.

4.    On the Package page of the Create Package and Program Wizard, specify the following information:

o  Specify Name for the package with a maximum of 50 characters. This field is mandatory.

o  Description, Manufacturer, Language, Version fields are optional.

o   Check This package contains source files. Click Browse to open the Set Source Folder dialog box where you can specify the type of path you want to use (UNC or local) and browse for or type in the path to the Build\ folder that contains the <packagename>.msi file and supporting folders. Click OK.

             Note: The computer account of the site server must have read access to the source folder you specify.

         5.    Back on Package page of the Create Package and Program Wizard, the path you just selected will be displayed in the Source folder field. Click Next.

6.    On the Program Type page of the Create Package and Program Wizard, select Standard program option and click Next.


     Select Do not create a program option if you want to create package and don’t want to create a program.

•      To create a new program for an existing package, select the package and then, in the Home tab, in the

Package group, click Create Program to open the Create Program Wizard.

 7.    On the Standard Program page of the Wizard, specify the following information:

• Name: Specify a name for the program with a maximum of 50 characters.          

Note: The program name must be unique within a package. After you create a program, you cannot modify its name. 

 Command Line: Click Browse. In the Open File dialog, choose the file typeAll Files (*.*)”, then browse to and select the MSI file. The details of this step may vary for each command you create.

Back on the Standard Program page of the Wizard, append appropriate flags or options to the command after the filename in the Command Line text box. You can use the /quiet flag for unattended installation.

Use the following commands:                     

                            a.    For installing main Msi :

msiexec.exe /i PS_1.msi /quiet

b.    For uninstalling main Msi :

msiexec.exe /x PS_1.msi /quiet 

c.    For installing exception deployer in pre mode:

ExceptionDeployer.exe --workflow=install --mode=pre

d.    For installing exception deployer in post mode:

ExceptionDeployer.exe --workflow=install --mode=post

•      Startup folder field is optional.

•      Run: Specifies the mode in which the program will run on client computers.

      Program can run: Specify whether the program can run only when a user is logged on, only when no user is logged on, or whether or not a user is logged on to the client computer.

      Run mode: Specify whether the program will run with the logged on users permissions or with administrative permissions.

      Be sure that Allow users to view and interact with the program installation option is unchecked.

•      Drive mode: Select Run with UNC name option.

      Reconnect to distribution point at log on: Specifies that the client computer reconnects to the distribution point when the user logs on. By default, this check box is disabled.

         8.    Set fields on Requirements page of the Create Package and Program Wizard as appropriate and click Next.

9.    Review the information on the Summary screen. If you need to change anything, go back and do it now.

Then, from this screen, click Next.

10.  The Completion screen will appear. Click Close to terminate program creation.

To deploy a package and program

1.    In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

2.    In the Software Library workspace, expand Application Management and then click Packages.

3.    Select the package that you want to deploy and then, in the Home tab, in the Deployment group, click


4.    On the General page of the Deploy Software Wizard, specify the name of the package and program you want to deploy, the collection you want to deploy the package and program to, and optional comments for the deployment.

Select Use default distribution point groups associated to this collection if you want to store the package content on the collections default distribution point group. If you have not associated the selected collection with a distribution point group, this option will be unavailable.

5.    On the Content page of the Wizard, click Add and then select the distribution points or distribution point groups to which you want to deploy the content associated with this package and program. Click Next.

6.    Set fields on Deployment Setting page of Deploy Software Wizard as appropriate and click Next.

7.    Configure Scheduling page of the Wizard appropriately.

The options on this page will differ depending on whether the deployment action is set to Available or


Note: Deployment with an intent of Required must have an assigned schedule specified. Click New and select appropriate option on Assignment schedule dialog.

8.    If the deployment purpose is set to Required, select a rerun behaviour for the program from the Rerun behaviour drop-down list.

9.    Set fields on User Experience page of the Wizard as appropriate and click next.

10.  On the Distribution Points page of the Wizard, specify the following information:

      Deployment options: Specify the actions a client should take to run program content. You can specify behaviour when the client is in a fast network boundary or a slow or unreliable network boundary.

•      Check Allow clients to share content with other clients on the same subnet.

•      Uncheck Allow clients to use a fallback source location for content.

11.  On the Summary page of the Wizard, review the actions that will be taken and then complete the Wizard. You can view the deployment in the Deployments node of the Monitoring workspace and in the details pane of

the package deployment tab when you select the deployment.

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