I posted this in the other board, but realized that the image gurus over here might also have some ideas...

We are having a problem with deploying Office 2000 as part of our standard image. Right now we have to load office 2000, and then pull out the registry entries made into the user profile we installed it on, and import it into default user.

If we don't do the importing and exporting of registry keys, office 2000 asks for the office CD when another user other than the one who installed it logs in and attempts to use any of the office products. This is even if we tell office to run all components from the hard drive. The problem is we are intsalling the media from our IS network drive, but the users don't have access to that drive, so it's going out and looking for that network drive and it's not mapped (and they don't have access to map it).

There has to be a better solution than doing all the registry exports and imports. I know we can copy down the install to the hard drive and do it there, but then we have to leave the office install folder on the hard drive and we don't want users mucking around in there.

What is a way that we can install the software and have it install for all users and never ask for a disk?

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The behavior of the Windows Installer kicking off when a newly logged on user starts an Office app for the first time is known as 'self repair' or 'self healing'.

If the install of Office was done from an administrative installation point, the situations in which you will be prompted for the disc will be minimized. This is because the .msi from the original installation is cached at "C:\winnt\installer" - or "C:\windows\installer" if you are on XP - and the registry knows to check there for the .msi and tables.

If you just do a regular install from an Office 2000 disc - or from a disc just copied to network location, the .msi is not cached in this location in the same manner. This is key to understand.

How do you create an administrative installation point of an .msi? Put the CD in, go to the command prompt, change drive letters to you CD ROM drive, and use the following context: "setup.exe /a"

msiexec.exe /a "path_to_your_software.msi" will also perform an administrative install. For example, Microsoft Office might look like "msiexec.exe /a data1.msi"

The admin installation will look the same as any other installation at first, but then it will ask you where you want to "copy" the files, instead of where you want to "install" them. It will also ask you for the product key. When you do the "program" install from the admin point, it will not ask you for the key.

There are limitations to how much an msi style app that is installed from an administrative installation point can self repair from the cache at C:\winnt\cache:
If just HKEY_CURRENT_USER keys (or possibly other registry keys) need to be created so that the software will run, Windows will just use the cached .msi at C:\winnt\installer. This is what Office is doing for a new user - it is creating the necessary registry keys at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\

If a file, executable, etc, is missing from the computer or is damaged, Windows installer will ask for the path of the original administrative installation point, whether that be a mapped drive, UNC path, or disc.

If the install was done just from an ordinary disc or files just COPIED to a network folder, it will ALWAYS as you for the disc - not matter WHAT is missing or damaged.

Craig --<>.
Answered 11/17/2004 by: craig16229
Third Degree Brown Belt

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Thanks Craig!

I made the install - now on to testing. I'll let you know how it goes.

Answered 11/19/2004 by: primags
Senior Yellow Belt

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Also if you use SMS you you can create a package/program and use the MSI Source Agent to automatically point your MSI sourcelist to the nearest DP. Or you can use the WindowsInstaller object to add a source list manually.

In vbscript that looks something like: ( doing this off the top of my head not testing it )

set oWindowsInstaller = CreateObject("WindowsInstaller.Installer")
oWindowsInstaller.AddSource "{PRODUCTGUID}", "", "C:\SOMEPATH"
set oWindowsInstaller = Nothing

place the office 2000 bits on the path and use this to add it. Then store your RIS image and when the image is restored you basically have something like MSOCache in Office 2003.
Answered 12/01/2004 by: chrpai
Senior Yellow Belt

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What we do is put Office on a network share. Then from the local pc, connect to the network share and run the setup from the network share

So whenever a new user launches Outlook, Word, etc, it'll go thru the motions w/ the server where the data is kept and we don't have to worry about inserting the disc.
Answered 03/17/2005 by: jojohentr
Yellow Belt

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