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Use Group Policy to assign computer startup scripts for 2007 Office deployment

Office 2007

Updated: May 22, 2007

Applies To: Office Resource Kit

 

Topic Last Modified: 2008-08-11

Administrators can use Group Policy to assign computer startup scripts to deploy the 2007 Microsoft Office system. A script can be written in any language that is supported by the client computer. Windows Script Host-supported languages, such as VBScript and Jscript, and command files are the most common.

The Group Policy infrastructure includes a Scripts extension that consists of the following components:

  • A Microsoft Management Console (MMC) server-side extension of the Group Policy Object Editor MMC snap-in that is used for administering and configuring scripts. The administrator uses the scripts extension to specify scripts policy settings in a Group Policy object (GPO), and then links the GPO to the site, domain, or organizational unit to which the administrator wants to assign the scripts.

    The Group Policy Object Editor snap-in includes two extensions for script deployment:

    • Scripts (Startup/Shutdown). Administrators use this extension to specify scripts that run when the computer starts up or shuts down. These scripts run as Local System. Scripts (Startup/Shutdown) is located under the Computer Configuration\Windows Settings node of Group Policy Object Editor.

    • Scripts (Logon/Logoff). Administrators use this extension to specify scripts that run when the user logs on or logs off the computer. These scripts run as User, not as Administrator. Scripts (Logon/Logoff) is located under the User Configuration\Windows Settings node of Group Policy Object Editor.

  • A client-side extension, which is a dynamic-link library (DLL) on the client computer that interacts with the Group Policy infrastructure and implements Group Policy scripts on the client computer. A separate process called Userinit.exe runs the scripts.

For more information about Group Policy Scripts extensions, see the Scripts Extension Technical Reference of the Windows Server 2003 Group Policy Technical Reference on the Microsoft TechNet Web site. For information about Windows Script Host, see Windows Script Host on the MSDN Web site.

If you have already deployed Active Directory and Group Policy in your organization, using computer startup scripts to deploy the 2007 Office system provides the following benefits:

Be sure to consider the following issues if you use computer startup scripts as a deployment method for 2007 Office:

  • The product installation is not managed in the same way as Group Policy Software Installation.

  • Group Policy invokes the script and has limited awareness of the installation state thereafter. If the GPO that contains the script is removed (goes out of scope), Office is not removed.

  • Deploying with scripts requires basic knowledge of valid command-line options for Setup.exe in 2007 Office applications. For information about command-line options, see Setup command-line options for the 2007 Office system.

  • Product uninstalls and reinstalls for multiple computers have to be done by using a command line script or batch file.

  • Automatic product reinstall after a user-initiated uninstall does not work in the same way as when Group Policy Software Installation is used. With Group Policy Software Installation, if a user removes a user-assigned application by using Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel, the Group Policy Software installation extension automatically reapplies the advertisement information after the user logs on or the computer restarts. The software is reinstalled the next time the user selects it or tries to open a file with an associated file name extension.

  • Determining exactly which updates and service packs were applied for each client computer may be difficult.

ImportantImportant:
Group Policy provides the ability to affect configurations across hundreds and even thousands of computers in an organization. Therefore, it is critical that you rigorously test all new Group Policy configurations or deployments in a non-production environment before you move them into your production environment. For detailed information about staging Group Policy deployments, see Staging Group Policy Deployments in the Designing a Managed Environment book of the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit.
By default, the system lets combined sets of scripts run for up to 600 seconds (10 minutes) only. Administrators can use a policy setting to adjust this interval to ensure the startup script completes running. The Maximum wait time for Group Policy scripts policy setting specifies how long the system waits for scripts applied by Group Policy to run. This setting limits the total time allowed for all logon, startup, and shutdown scripts applied by Group Policy to finish running. As with any Group Policy deployment, you must fully test your startup scripts in a staging environment before deploying them to your production environment. Testing will help you determine the value to use for the Maximum wait time for Group Policy scripts policy for your particular network environment. Setting this value too low may cause the install to terminate prematurely. There are factors that may affect this value, such as network speed, client computer hardware, and other scripts running on the client computer. By fully testing this policy setting you can determine the appropriate value to use for your specific environment.
The Maximum wait time for Group Policy scripts policy setting is available in the Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Scripts folder in Group Policy Object Editor. For information about configuring this policy setting, see Specifying maximum time for startup scripts to run.

Startup scripts run as Local System and have the full rights required to run as Local System.

NoteNote:
The following procedures assume you have already installed GPMC. You can download GPMC from the Microsoft Download Center site. See Download Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) for more information. If you are using Windows Vista, GPMC is integrated into the operating system.
For more information and procedures for using GPMC and working with GPOs, see Group Policy Management Tools and Using Group Policy Management Console and Group Policy Object Editor sections in Enforce settings by using Group Policy in the 2007 Office system.
You must be logged on as a member of the Domain Administrators security group, the Enterprise Administrators security group, or the Group Policy Creator Owners security group to complete these procedures.

The following sections provide a sample script and instructions for customizing Config.xml install options and deploying computer startup scripts.

The following sample script illustrates how to perform the following tasks:

  • Run Microsoft Office Setup.exe if the product is not already installed

  • Log error or success to a centralized log file

This script example provides flexibility and can be customized for other Office products.

The following requirements apply to the sample script:

  • The target computer must be running Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008.

  • Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI) 3.1 is required if you use a customization patch

  • A Read-only network share containing the Office source files

  • A Read-write network share for storing centralized log files

  • A custom Config.xml file or customization patch to direct Setup.exe to run quietly. For instructions for modifying the Display element in the Config.xml file, see Specifying Silent Install Options in Config.xml File, and Display Element in Config.xml file in the 2007 Office system.


setlocal

REM *********************************************************************
REM Environment customization begins here. Modify variables below.
REM *********************************************************************

REM Get ProductName from the Office product's core Setup.xml file.
set ProductName=Enterprise

REM Set DeployServer to a network-accessible location containing the Office source files.
set DeployServer=\\server\share\Office12

REM Set ConfigFile to the configuration file to be used for deployment REM (required)
set ConfigFile=\\server\share\Office12\Enterprise.WW\config.xml

REM Set LogLocation to a central directory to collect log files.
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.
:DeployOffice
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.
:End

Endlocal

In this example, script logging information is written to computername.txt file. A return code of 0 in the log file indicates that the installation completed successfully. A return code of 3010 indicates that a reboot is required. For more information about other error codes for Windows Installer processes for Office products, see KB article 290158 on the Microsoft Knowledge Base Web site.

To customize Config.xml to specify silent install options
  1. Open the Config.xml file in a text editor tool, such as Notepad.

  2. Locate the line that contains the Display element, as shown in the following example:

    <!-- <Display Level="full" CompletionNotice="yes" SuppressModal="no" AcceptEula="no" /> -->

  3. Modify the Display element entry to specify silent install options. For example if you want to specify that no user interface or modal dialog boxes are displayed, use the following syntax:

    <Display Level="none" CompletionNotice="no" SuppressModal="yes" AcceptEula="yes" />

  4. Save the Config.xml file in the same folder that contained this file before you edited it.

To set up scripts on the domain controller
  • Copy the script and dependent files to the Netlogon shared folder or another shared folder on the domain controller from which you want the script to run.

NoteNote:
The target computer account needs Read permission to the Office source files location, and Read and Write permissions to the log file location. The log file can be stored on the local computer.
To assign computer startup scripts
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Administrative Tools, and click Group Policy Management.

  2. In the console tree, double-click Group Policy Objects in the forest and domain that contains the Group Policy object (GPO) that you want to edit. This is located in Forest name/Domains/Domain name/Group Policy Objects.

  3. Right-click the GPO you want to use to assign scripts and click Edit. This opens the Group Policy Object Editor console.

  4. In Group Policy Object Editor, in the console tree, click Scripts (Startup/Shutdown). This is located in the Computer Configuration\Windows Settings node.

  5. In the details pane, double-click Startup.

  6. In the Startup Properties dialog box, click Add.

  7. In the Add a Script dialog box, do the following:

    In Script Name, type the path to the script, or click Browse to search for the script file in the Netlogon shared folder on the domain controller.

    In Script Parameters, type the parameters you want to use as you would type them on the command line. For example, if your script included parameters called //logo (display banner) and //I (interactive mode), type: //logo //I.

  8. In the Startup Properties dialog box, specify the options you want to use. The following options are available:

    Startup Scripts for Group Policy object. Lists all the scripts that are currently assigned to the selected Group Policy object. If you assign multiple scripts, the scripts are processed in the order that you specify. To move a script up in the list, select the script and click Up. To move a script down in the list, select the script and click Down.

    Add. Opens the Add a Script dialog box, where you can specify additional scripts to use.

    Edit. Opens the Edit Script dialog box, where you can modify script information, such as name and parameters.

    Remove. Removes the selected script from the Startup Scripts list.

    Show Files. Displays the script files that are stored in the selected Group Policy object.

To set the maximum time for startup scripts to run
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Administrative Tools, and click Group Policy Management.

  2. In the console tree, double-click Group Policy Objects in the forest and domain that contains the Group Policy object (GPO) that you want to edit. This is located in Forest name/Domains/Domain name/Group Policy Objects.

  3. Right-click the GPO you want to use to assign scripts and click Edit. This opens the Group Policy Object Editor console.

  4. In Group Policy Object Editor, in the console tree, navigate to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Scripts.

  5. On the details pane (left side of the console), double-click the Maximum wait time for Group Policy scripts policy setting, click Enabled, enter the value you want to use in the Seconds scroll-down box, and then click OK.

    ImportantImportant:
    Make sure you fully test startup scripts in a staging, non-production environment before you deploy them to your production environment.

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Office Resource Kit information.

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