I had to set up an Office 2007 deployment for our clients, and this is the process I followed.

This process installs Office 2007 using a script, Group Policy, and the Office Customization tool. For most organizations, this process is better than using Group Policy Software Installation, since you can fully customize the installation process. After the product is installed, it is no longer managed by the Group Policy; this can be a good thing and a bad thing. One of the nice things about separating it from the Group Policy is that you don’t have to worry as much about moving computers between OUs or changing their Group Policies. If you want to remove the software, you can run a script to remove Office.

This process will remove prior versions of Office 2003.

Note that the following is for Office 2007 Professional Plus downloaded through volume license (see the note on this under the Office Customization Tool, below).

Prepare source files

  1. Create a network share and add the Domain Computers group as read-only on that share.
  2. Copy the Office 2007 installation files into it. If necessary, extract SP2 (or later) into %Office 2007 installation root directory%\Updates with the command, “office2007sp2-kb953195-fullfile-en-us.exe /extract:%Office 2007 installation root directory%\Updates

Customize installation with the Office Customization Tool (OCT)

  1. Download latest Office Customization Tool settings and extract; overwrite the installation root’s “Admin” directory with the extracted directory by the same name (“Admin”, not “ADM”).
  2. Note that the OCT only works with Volume License versions of the software. If you downloaded from MS Action Pack or something similar, and you don’t have a true Volume License version, the OCT will not work. You’ll be able to create the .msp file in the Updates directory, but it won’t complete the installation on the client.
  3. Run OCT to create setup customization: %Office 2007 installation root directory%\setup /admin
  4. Add registry entry to disable the Instant Search notification:
    1. Location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    2. Key: Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Options\General
    3. Type: REG_SZ
    4. Value name: PONT_STRING
    5. Value Data: 60
  5. Setup\Install location and organization name: Organization Name
  6. Setup\Licensing and user interface (Product key, I accept, None, Suppress, No cancel)
  7. Features\Modify user settings\Outlook 2007\Tools | Options…\Preferences\Search Options\Prevent installation prompts when Windows Desktop Search component is not present (Enabled)
  8. Features\Modify user settings\2007 system\Privacy\Trust Center\Disable Opt-in Wizard on first run (Enabled)
  9. Features\Modify user settings\2007 system\Privacy\Trust Center\Enabled Customer Experience Improvement Program (Disabled)
  10. Features\Modify user settings\2007 system\Privacy\Trust Center\Automatically receive small updates to improve reliability (Disabled)
  11. Save customization in %Office 2007 installation root directory%\Updates (the name is irrelevant–the install picks up anything it finds in there; I used “custom”)

Create deployment script

  1. Create “deploy.bat” and place in %Office 2007 installation root directory%. File contents:
%Office 2007 installation root directory%
REM *********************************************************************
REM Environment customization begins here. Modify variables below.
REM *********************************************************************
REM Get ProductName from the Office product's core Setup.xml file.
set ProductName=ProPlus
REM Set DeployServer to a network-accessible location containing the Office source files.
set DeployServer=\\server.domain.com\Software\SW_CD_Office_Professional_Plus_2007_W32_English_1_PA_BP_MLF_X12-38663\ProPlus.WW
REM Set ConfigFile to the configuration file to be used for deployment REM (required)
set ConfigFile=\\server.domain.com\Software\SW_CD_Office_Professional_Plus_2007_W32_English_1_PA_BP_MLF_X12-38663\ProPlus.WW\config.xml
REM Set LogLocation to a central directory to collect log files.
REM set LogLocation=\\server\share\Office12Logs
REM *********************************************************************
REM Deployment code begins here. Do not modify anything below this line.
REM *********************************************************************
IF NOT "%ProgramFiles(x86)%"=="" SET WOW6432NODE=WOW6432NODE\
reg query HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\%WOW6432NODE%Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\%ProductName%
if %errorlevel%==1 (goto DeployOffice) else (goto End)
REM If 1 returned, the product was not found. Run setup here.
start /wait %DeployServer%\setup.exe /config %ConfigFile%
echo %date% %time% Setup ended with error code %errorlevel%. >> %LogLocation%\%computername%.txt
REM If 0 or other was returned, the product was found or another error occurred. Do nothing.

Set the time Group Policy script timeout to longer

  1. Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/System/Scripts/Maximun wait time for
    Group Policy scripts
  2. Set it to 4400 seconds to be safe (Office 2007 + SP2 can take a looooooooong time to install!)

Complete installation

After this, you should be able to reboot the target computer, and the script will run in the pre-logon context. Note that you may need to run “gpupdate /force” on the target machine before rebooting if you need to test it right away and can’t wait for AD to do its thing.