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Customizing Internet Explorer 9 using IEAK

The Windows® Internet Explorer® Customization Wizard 9 provides step-by-step wizards that you can use to create a package that contains a customized version of Internet Explorer 9.

For more detailed information, see Internet Explorer Administration Kit 9.

Internet Explorer Administration Kit 9 customization checklists

Plan activities

Before running the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 9, you should consider performing most of the following steps based on your organization's needs, license agreement, and environmental dependencies:

  • Determine the operating system requirements. Verify that the computer you will build your package from, as well as the computers on which you will install your package, meet the hardware and system requirements for Internet Explorer Administration Kit 9 (IEAK 9) and for Internet Explorer 9.

  • Decide on your distribution method. Decide how you will distribute your custom package (CD, Windows Update, System Center Configuration Manager, or network). After building a customized package, you must replicate the setup and customization files to the selected media, or to a server computer where your users can access the setup files.

  • Gather the URLs for Home, Search, and Support pages. You can create your own Home, Search, and Support pages to provide information to your users. You are prompted for the URLs for these pages when you run the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 9. Consider including corporate standards such as the help desk URL, and other internal sites.

  • Select your build computer. You will need an Internet connected computer where you can install both Internet Explorer 9 and the IEAK.

  • Gather branding and custom graphics. You can use custom branding and graphics in your version of Internet Explorer. You can customize the browser toolbar button, icons for Favorites list, and the Autorun splash screen.

  • Identify trusted network servers. You can enable your users to install the custom package from a network server. To do so, you must either lower the level of your intranet security or specify your network servers as trusted sites. Identify those servers that will be used to deploy Internet Explorer packages to your users.

  • Determine automatic detection and configuration settings. You configure your network so that Internet Explorer is automatically customized the first time it is started. This can help reduce administrative overhead and help desk calls about browser settings.

  • Identify custom components for uninstallation. You can specify the uninstallation program for any custom components that you include in your Internet Explorer 9 package. Your users will be able to remove those components later by using Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel.

  • Gather ActiveX controls. You can assess which controls, if any, are appropriate to use within your organization. You may need to gather an inventory of existing ActiveX® controls already in production use.

Build activities

After installing Internet Explorer 9 and the IEAK 9, run the Customization Wizard from the Windows Start menu. You’ll use components and settings identified in the plan phase here.

  • Prepare your build computer. Create the build environment that you need on the computer that you will be using to build the custom browser package.

  • Create branding and custom graphics. Prepare these files before you create the custom package. You can customize the browser toolbar button, icons for Favorites list, and the Autorun splash screen.

  • Specify your network servers as trusted. To enable your users to install the custom package from a network server, you must either lower the level of your intranet security or specify your network servers as trusted sites.

  • Enable automatic detection and configuration of browser settings. Configure your network so that Internet Explorer is automatically customized the first time it is started. This can help reduce administrative overhead and help desk calls about browser settings.

  • Configure custom components for uninstallation. Register the uninstallation program for any custom components that you include in your Internet Explorer 9 package. Your users will be able to remove those components later by using Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel. Create and use a custom .inf file to control this behavior.

  • Configure ActiveX controls. You can edit the Axaa.adm file directly with a text editor to add any new controls that you want to support.

  • Create a custom browser package. Use the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 9 to create custom packages that include customized versions of the installation tools, Internet Explorer code, and additional components necessary to deploy Internet Explorer to your organization or customers.

Create a custom browser package

The IEAK 9 experience is driven by multiple wizards. On these wizard pages, you are prompted for information about the type and scope of the custom package that you want to create. The custom package installs and configures Internet Explorer 9. The following are the core phases of running the IEAK 9:

  • Gathering information. Identify and specify the file locations, platforms, language, media, and features identified during planning.

  • Specifying setup parameters. Control how to download the most up-to-date version of Internet Explorer 9, identify other components to include in the package, and specify installation defaults.

  • Customizing the setup experience. Specify how setup functions for the custom package for your users, including: CD Autorun customizations, release notes, and the level of user interaction.

  • Customize the browser. In this section of IEAK 9, you’ll apply most of the settings determined during the Plan phase.

  • Additional customizations. Specify settings for Internet sign-up, a root certificate, and access to browser features for the custom Internet Explorer 9 package.

Using additional deployment tools

When you use the Windows Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 9 to build your custom browser, you may want to use additional tools as part of the deployment process. Consider the following applications and how you can use them to support your deployment of Internet Explorer 9:

  • Microsoft Systems Management Software. System Center Configuration Manager and Systems Management Software (SMS) can help automate a large-scale deployment of Internet Explorer 9. This automated installation requires little or no intervention from you or your users. You can create a deployment package that contains all the Internet Explorer 9 installation files, and a package definition (.sms) file that defines how Internet Explorer 9 is installed on users' computers. Then you can create a job to distribute your package to users' computers.

  • Group Policy. Internet Explorer 9 can be distributed through Group Policy. You must first encapsulate the executable file in an .msi package.

  • Windows Update. Internet Explorer 9 is provided through Windows Update as a high priority installation package. If your users have direct access to Windows Update, this provides an upgrade path. The Internet Explorer 9 Blocker Toolkit enables IT administrators to disable automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 9 through Windows Update.

  • Windows System Update Services. By using this tool, you can maintain complete control of which packages are distributed to your users.

  • Network shared folder. Use IEAK 9 to create an installation package and make it available to users in a network shared folder. Users can install Internet Explorer 9 by accessing the shared folder and running the executable file. You can provide a link to the file in an email message or from a webpage. This may or may not require additional engineering if your users do not have local administrative rights on their computers.

Maintenance activities

After you install Internet Explorer 9 on your corporate computers, you have several options for managing these settings:

  • Master .ins file. By storing a master .ins file on a server and downloading the file each time you log on to the network, you can adjust user option settings on an ongoing basis. By directly editing logon scripts, you can manage and regularly update settings from a centralized server.

  • Administrative Templates in Group Policy. For computers running Windows Vista®.

  • IEAK Profile Manager. Enables you to open any .ins file and make changes to settings.

  • Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP). You can use the Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) snap-in to view the policy settings that you created. Start the RSOP.msc file to evaluate locally applied settings.

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