The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

Office 2007 Silent Deployment

Wrote an e-mail to a friend who was asking about Office 2007 Deployment yesterday. Figured it would make a good post on how to go about creating a silent/unattended install of Office 2007.

In previous versions of Office…specifically I’m thinking of 2003…a silent custom install involved a long hairy command line such as:

setuppro.exe /Settings Files\Custom\Custom_Setup.ini TRANSFORMS=custom.MST /qb!-  /m off11

Yes…that is the actual command line from the SMS 2003 program for Office 2003 that we have used. Now…on to Office 2007. Boy did Microsoft make this easier. Customizations in Office 2007 are handled essentially the same as patches. They are an MSP file that you apply to the installation. And how do you go about creating the MSP? Simple…go to the CD or folder where the Office installation files are and run “setup.exe /admin”. This runs the “Office Customization Tool“. With this tool you can modify most Office setting before a user ever sees the program. You can also control the installation process…entering the product key as well as controlling what level of interaction a user has during the install. You can make it completely interactive or completely hidden…along with several levels in between.

Specifically Joey’s question yesterday was about settings to use when installing Office 2007 via a Task Sequence in SCCM. There are three pre-requisites to a program running in a TS.

  1. The program has to be able to install as the system account.
  2. The installation must be completely silent. It can’t need any user interaction (such as clicking next).
  3. It can’t initiate a reboot. SCCM must control reboots…so that it is able to pick up where it left off in the TS.

Joey’s question centered around #2. The key settings in the Customization Tool for this are found on the “Licensing and user interface” settings. Enter a product key, accept the License Agreement, and check the “Suppress modal” box. I’m pretty sure you also need to ensure that “completion notice” is not checked, but I could be wrong on that one. After finishing setting all of your settings, you will create the MSP using the tool. Copy that tool to the location where you have the install files.

Now…the command line for Office 2007…simply “setup.exe /adminfile custom.msp” where custom.msp resides in the same folder as setup.exe. You can also do a folder at that level in case in which the command line would be “setup.exe /adminfile folder\custom.msp”. Wow is that a lot simpler.

One last thing. If using this in a Task Sequence in SCCM, you also need to ensure that the checkbox for “Allow this program to be installed from the Install Software task sequence without being advertised.” is checked. This is on the Advanced tab of the program properties.

October 25, 2007 - Posted by | ConfigMgr


  1. hey
    first thank for u’re inforation.any way this wont my environment i have office 2003 installed.i wanna upgrade this one to office 2007through in the program command line i have given the command as u mentioned.i wont do any if you know how to fulfil my requirement it a great help.

    Comment by sanka | February 21, 2008

  2. Sanka –
    When you go through the process of creating the custom.msp…when you run “setup.exe /admin”, there is a setting for what to do with previous versions. I’m pretty sure the default is to remove the old version and install new. You’ll just need to explore the various settings that you can stipulate and find what works for your requirements. I’ve never had a problem with the previous version not being removed.

    When you say it won’t do anything…what do you mean? Is the advertisement running on the box?

    Another thing for you to try…to ensure that you have a valid installer and custom.msp…try to remove SMS/SCCM from the process. Just run the installer with the custom.msp from a server share or burn a CD with the install source on it and run from there. It could be that something in your source is hosed. Once you have that working, you can go back into SCCM and make it work there.

    Comment by Jarvis | February 21, 2008

  3. I did the first part and it worked great to create the .msp file. I placed the custom .msp file in the same directory as the setup.exe file. I then created a batch file with the appropriate switch; when I run the batch file I receive the following message – “Please go to Control Panel to install and configure system components”. I am using a Volume License CD as opposed to a Retail CD. Any information regarding this with be greatly appreciated. If you like you can email me directly at

    Comment by Gerard | May 7, 2008

  4. Where are you running the batch file? From an SMS program? Is there a reason for throwing that extra level in? If doing it in SMS, just create a program with your command line in it.

    Also…and this is a bigger one…have you tried it on more than one workstation? The process as listed in my post is correct. It’s possible that you have an issue with the one workstation. Or…if it fails on multiple, you may have an issue with how your computers have been installed/uninstalled previously.

    Comment by Jarvis | May 7, 2008

  5. No, I was running it from a UNC path. Apparently, it must have been to long. I copied the install folder to my C drive, and I adjusted the batch file. Now it is installing fine. Thanks for the quick response. I am going to reboot my computer now to complete the install.

    Comment by Gerard | May 7, 2008

  6. Hello, I have been testing my SMS 2003 deployment of Office2007. Everything seems to work ok as long as I setup to install from the local drive on the SMS server. My problem is I want to install from a corporate share. When I re-direct the package to the share the files do not download to the distribution points & the test fails – waiting for files to down load. Any Ideas what could cause this break in the install? Thanks much.

    Comment by TonyP | August 20, 2008

  7. Tony,
    If I understand your comment, then it sounds like you are misunderstanding the SMS process…but perhaps I’m just misunderstanding your comment.

    You can point the SMS Package to have its source files on a network share…but the install doesn’t actually run from the share…the files are pulled from the DP.

    A couple of things for you to look at…does the SMS Server’s computer account have permission on the share? that sounds like the most likely culprit…it would keep the files from being copied to the DP. You could also check the log files associated with the distribution process to see what shows up. I am assuming also that you have attempted to update the DP after changing the source file location.

    Comment by Jarvis | August 20, 2008

  8. Okay, I have performed all of the back end sms setup, created my msp file that contains everything, set have tried the install many times, The advertisement pops up, I receive the install, I select run, and I see the processor begin to go, and then I here the Microsoft error bonk, no message, no nothing. I have 2003 installed and have setup the msp to remove the prior office. I don’t see an error pointing to anything, I have it running in normal mode so I can see things start, but I don’t see a thing and only here the error bonk…

    Any Ideas???
    Thanks for your help.

    Comment by DEZ | October 22, 2008

  9. I am currently running it from the SMS Package source with the adminfile switch pointed to the location of my msp, and it seems to be running fine. But when running via the advertisement it bonks in the first 2 seconds of running.

    Comment by DEZ | October 22, 2008

  10. Thank You by your information.

    I’ve seen in that to install with a msp custom file is enough to put the .msp file (generated with setup /admin) in the UPDATES folder. Then when you run the setup.exe, it will check the updates folder and automatically run it.

    The installer will apply automatically any update in this folder, including the extracted service packs!


    Comment by joel Franco | September 25, 2010

  11. yep…the updates folder does work well. However…if you are needing to use multiple MSP files for different automated setups of Office, then you can’t just dump them all into the updates folder…you would need to specify them at the command line. That’s the reason I went that route…I had different divisions who were needing slightly different office installations.

    Great comment though!

    Comment by Jarvis | September 27, 2010

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