Adobe Reader 10.1.3 - The Path of Least Resistance

This method presents a way to install and customise Adobe Reader 10.1.3 straight through GPO.

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 (Downloads folder)

C:\AcrobatTransform (our finalised server version)


Secondly, we need to download all the Patches and the Adobe Customisation Wizard X which enables us to suppress EULA’s and so forth.

Download the Apps plus the 10.1.3 patch and place them in “C:\AdobeReaderDownloads”


Adobe Customisation Wizard X (3.84MB)


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


WinRAR (1.4MB) – wrar420.exe



Adobe Reader 10.1.3 (51.95MB) - AdbeRdr1013_en_US.exe

10.1.3 (15.8MB) - AdbeRdrUpd1013.msp



Creating the Administrative Install Point

1. Download and install WinRAR

2. Download and install Adobe Customisation Wizard X

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 4.

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

4. 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.

5. Using the link download the Adobe Reader Administrator Distribution package into ‘C:\AdobeReaderDownloads’

6. Under ‘C:\AdobeReaderDownloads’, Right Click on ‘AdbeRdr1013_en_US.exe’ and click ‘Extract Here…’ with WinRAR

7. 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’

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

9. Add this into the file and then ‘File-Save’ (you can remove the pauses if you want to):


msiexec /a C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AcroRead.msi
msiexec /a C:\AIP\AcroRead.msi /p C:\AdobeReaderDownloads\AdbeRdrUpd1013.msp


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

11. When the install dialogues prompt for a location, install to ‘C:\AIP’. This slipstreams the update into the actual ‘AcroRead.msi’ creating a new one with the new patch applied. Sadly, you do end up with having four folders and an .msi. It’s just how it is.

12. 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]


13. Run Adobe Customisation Wizard X

14. File – Copy Package

15. 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

16. Click OK and wait for it to copy.

17. 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

18. 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.

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

20. Open up Group Policy Management MMC

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

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

23. Write your GPO name mine was “Software – Adobe Reader 10.1.3” Click OK

24. Right Click on GPO, Click Edit

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

26. Right click “Software Installations”

27. Click ‘New – Package’

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

29. 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.

30. Click Modifications Tab

31. Click Add…

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

33. Click Open

34. Click Ok

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


  • Nice write up. Just curious, why didn't you head down the path of a Transform creation from step 13 instead of recompiling the vendor MSI? - jlai 11 years ago
    • The Adobe Customization Wizard doesn't recompile the MSI (I did get it to copy from one place to the other so as to not confuse newer peeps) - it generates an .mst and changes the setup.ini file a little depending on preferences set.
      (save package literally pops out a new .mst and .ini)

      secondly, guess the reason I went this way was due to having a GUI do the work instead of having to read the plethora of deployment documentation! haha ^_^ - trancendence 11 years ago
  • You really should register so you can download the bulk installers, they do not have the extra toools bars and crap in them.
    http://www.itninja.com/link/to-bulk-install-adobe-reader - SMal.tmcc 11 years ago
    • Ah thanks! that's the link I missed! ;)
      Edit: Step 3 has been revised - trancendence 11 years ago
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