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OPEN CALL: Help a Newbie Setup an MSI Application Object for Office 2000

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Updated: 15 Nov 2007

Joseph B. wrote: I am new to this whole ZENworks application launcher and I was wondering if you have a step-by-step Idiots guide with pictures to show me exactly how to setup an MSI Application Object for MS Office 2000 because I am really lost on where to put the parameters, setup /a, and all the other good stuff.

I would really appreciate it since I have been trying different steps for about 3 weeks.

P.S. MS Office is the only app that will not work appropriately.

Hey Joseph, welcome to ZENworks. Once you figure it out, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. To start with, you need to bookmark the discussion forums, so you can chat with experts day and night about stuff like this. Go to this page, find the version and feature you want to discuss, and jump in with both feet.

Another site to check out is - an independent resource on the topic of desktop management.

While you're exploring out there, let's see what our Cool Solutions readers have to say about your request.

OPEN CALL: if anyone wants to help Joseph with his problem, fire when ready.


Scott McKenna

First download the Microsoft office resource kit from here.

Using this you can customize the install you want to give each user by creating MST (Microsoft Transform files) specific to each installation. One user might get just Word, another might get Word and Excel, etc. You can even set things like Default folders for opening documents, etc.

One setting I strongly suggest is the ACCESS setting which automatically opens a database rather than asking the user if they want to convert it to ACCESS 2000 - once it is converted the other users that are using the old version will not be able to open it.

  1. Install Office 2000 to an admin share on the network - I have found you only need to do this once and then it can be copied for use at other sites across a WAN.
  2. Build your MST customizations.
  3. Create a ZENworks MSI application object - you can tell it which specific MST file to apply.
  4. Associate the application object to the user/group and choose the method of install - whether you will force run, silent or show application running, etc.

Works great! I have used this with Office 2000 and Office 2003 installs we have done and have not had a glitch.

Ben Baltazar

Download the Microsoft Resource kit, create and apply the mst file.
Launch ConsoleOne and create an app object with an msi.

Hope this helps.

Jared Jennings

Using OrkTools, available from Microsoft, you can customize the Office 2003 Install and then distribute Office using ZENworks application objects or Application images.

  1. Download OrkTools from Microsoft or from this page.
  2. Start Office install from your installation CD, setup.exe /A
    1. Specify location to store the Office install. This would be a location on the server. The Office install then copies all the required files to this location for future installations.
  3. Now launch OrkTools to customize the install and create an MST file which will hold all your customizations for ZENworks to use to distribute Office.
    1. Start Start -> Programs -> Office Tools -> Office XP Resource Kit -> Custom Installation Wizard
    2. Specify location of MSI; this would be the MSI that the Office install creates during the administrative install.
    3. Specify Create a new MST file.
    4. Continue answering the options for Office customization. These would include whether to install Word and other products. I would recommend that the options be "not to install" or "install local".
    5. Make any other tweaks if desired. (This step is not required.)
    6. Select Finish to save the transform.
  4. Create a ZENworks application object.
    1. Specify MSI STD11.msi file located in the administrative install location.
    2. Specify MST created earlier using OrkTools.

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Warren Carver

There are several ways to do this as described in other postings. Many people like the .MST (answer file) method. I, however, do not. If you make an administrative install of Office 2000 (the "setup.exe /a" method) it makes it easier to update AND patch as new SPs come out.

In order to do an administrative install, do a Setup.exe /a from a command prompt from a PC that doesn't have Office 2K on it. It will go through an install and ask where you would like to put the installation files. This will be your admin install, hence, anything you answer here will determine how it will be pushed to the client. For admin installs your clients don't need to enter your key a second time. Then setup is done, and you can use the MSI in the admin install directory (where you asked it to place the files) to push the program though ZENworks. Then you can apply an administrative SP in a similar fashion; just bump the SW version in ZENworks and redeploy O2k with the newest SP.

The MST file works in a similar fashion, but I prefer the cleaner MSI only install. It seems to be a matter of preference.

Ryan Van Thiel

This website answered everything for me when I prepared my first Office deployment. The website includes detailed instructions and screenshots:

Dave Loeffler

You can also use a combination of the methods discussed in earlier posts.

We performed a basic Admin install as Warren suggested for ease of updating the install with service packs and patches. We then created an MST using the Office Resource Kit. This worked perfect to make sure we were at the latest patches and we could customize the deployment to our needs.

Chris Graham

We utilized the Resource Kit to create the MST. We then used a NAL app to launch a batch file that installs Office, Service Pack 2 and added a registry entry to remove the language bar.

We have never had any luck with MSI NAL apps, as most MSI's still need admin rights, so we launch batch files or vb scripts as unsecure system user.

Garrett M. Pichler

I would create an MST that incorporates the CD-KEY, and the installation options that you want. There are several ways to do this. After that I would create a ZENworks MSI object that runs the MSI/MST you created but also sets the object to launch, for example, Word, so that when it's done installing it will launch Word . You can just walk around and if you see Word open, you know it installed. There are some help guides on the Microsoft website that may help you out.

Lillian A. Pagano

I have done Office many times. The easiest way is like others have said, do an administrative install to a server (setup.exe /a). Once that is done, use the toolkit to create your mst file. It is pretty straightforward.

The other thing I did was create an ops file. You do that by installing Office on a clean workstation making any changes to Office options and using the toolkit to add that in. This should help with this issue and this one. Hope this helps.

Lisa Deger

We use a network installation of Office. The only issue with this is that you must patch the network installation copy and then "synchronize" the clients with the network installation. This can cause clients to become out of sync with the network installation, not allowing you to patch, repair or uninstall. I have included some troubleshooting out-of-sync-clients tips below.

Things you should watch out for when installing MSIs.

Make sure you use UNC Paths (do not map temporary drives) to your MSI install so that your client can always get back to the original MSI, otherwise you will not be able to repair, synchronize, or uninstall. I use ZEN MSI packages instead of batch files with the parameters because if the batch file install fails, ZENworks does not know that it failed. (If it executes a batch/cmd file it thinks it was successful regardless of what happens after the batch/cmd is executed). Also if you are stringing multiple MSIs together during an install or workstation setup, only one at a time can run. This way you can control the order by using "Determine the force run order" on the "Identification Tab". If you use command files instead of MSI packages, as soon as it executes the command, ZEN thinks it is done and moves on to the next install and if the next packages is an MSIEXEC install, it will fail because MSIEXEC is already running.

You can specify the MSI options on the "MSI Tab", specify the MST file that you created using Office Resource TookKit. We have created two different MSTs using the ToolKit, one for laptops and one for desktops. We have a 'flag' file on the PC 'laptop.exe' or 'desktop.exe' that we use to control the installation of the applications.

  • For the local version: C:\filelib\flag\laptop.exe if exists MSOffice2000Std-LOC-MSI will install
  • For the network version: C:\filelib\flag\desktop.exe if exists MSOffice2000Std-NET-MSI will install
  • Both applications are associated to all users.

After the initial installation, I do use a command file to update the clients for patches.

Sample Network Patch Update:

msiexec /p F:\Install\Windows_Security\OCT2007\KB942668\WINWORD.msp /a \\SERVER\VOL\APPS\MSOfficeSTD.2k\data1Prm.msi SHORTFILENAMES=TRUE /qb /L*v \\SERVER\VOL\APPS\MSOfficeSTD.2k\MST\OCT2007.log

Once the Network is updated I execute a command file on all clients:

Sample Client Patch Update:

msiexec /qb- /norestart /i \\SERVER\VOL\APPS\MSOfficeSTD.2k\data1std.msi REINSTALL=WORDFiles,EXCELFiles REINSTALLMODE=vomu
msiexec /qb- /norestart /i \\SERVER\VOL\APPS\MSOfficeSTD.2k\data1std.msi REINSTALL=ALL REINSTALLMODE=vomu

Troubleshooting out-of-sync clients:

If your Office installations get out of sync with the network version, I have had some success by updating the registry keys.


The package code needs to match a code from a PC that is correctly synchronized. After you update the code you should be able to run a repair or an update.

The package code will change every time you apply patches to your network installation and these codes must always match or be the last version prior to the patching for the client patch update script to work.

Lillian A. Pagano

I have done office many times. The easiest way is like others have said, do an administrative install to a server (setup.exe /a), once that is done, use the toolkit to create your mst file. It is pretty straight forward. The other thing I did was create an ops file, you do that by installing office on a clean workstation making any changes to office options and using the toolkit to add that in. This should help and Hope this helps.

Christopher Farkas

Just remember, when you install Office, go against the recommendation of the installer to REMOVE the C:\MSOCache folder. This is the temp folder for installing Office from. With this on your PC, patching is much easier. The Install base will go to this folder when it needs files. Very much like leaving the /i386 folder on your PC for the cabs.

It's <100MB and is set to not be viewable, so it doesn't get seen by users and 100MB isn't going to break anyone with today's (nor yesterday's) HDDs.

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