Patching Office MSI''s without making an Admin Install Point

Where I work (large University), there are many different license keys floating around for office. However, it would be nice to have a place where users can acquire the most up to date version of office, with all the patches applied. This then means that you can't create and patch an admin install point because by design an admin install point stores the Product Key in it.

The only way to actually patch anything is to use the /p switch and to patch an msi you need to use the /a switch which is for the admin install. Therefore, you'd assume that:

msiexec /a {path to msi} /p {path to mst} SHORTFILENAMES=TRUE /qb

But, by doing it this way you always get an error that an admin install point requires a Product Key to be entered. Instead, use the command line:

msiexec /a {path to msi} /p {path to mst} SHORTFILENAMES=TRUE /qb PIDKEY=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Where the x's are your Product Key WITHOUT the hyphens. The hyphens are automatically added because of the PIDTEMPLATE key in the msi.

Now, this should work for all other msi's being patched via msp's. However, it depends on how the software developers did the admin install. Sometimes you will need to add the Product Key like for office, but some you won't (Office 2000 you actually don't need the PIDKEY= paramater).

Again, this is so you can have a patched MSI without having a cdkey embedded in the msi.


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