Maintaining and Updating Your Office 2003 Installation

Published : November 11, 2004

When Office 2003 is deployed in your organization, you can maintain and update it as follows:  

  • Distribute an Office 2003 public update

  • Distribute an Office 2003 service pack

  • Update Office 2003 installation settings

On This Page

Distributing an Office 2003 Public Update
Distributing an Office 2003 Service Pack
Updating Office 2003 Installation Settings

Distributing an Office 2003 Public Update

There are two options for the deployment of public updates:

Administrative patching   This is recommended, if the instructions in the “Performing Administrative Patching of an Office 2003 Public Update” section are followed.

Client (standard) patching   Client patching might be more appropriate in some scenarios than in other scenarios. Instructions are provided for this approach in the “Client Patching of an Office Public Update” section later in this chapter.

Performing Administrative Patching of an Office 2003 Public Update

When you perform administrative patching, you apply the public update patch to the Office source in the package source directory, which is then replicated to the distribution points.

You can apply patches to the original source or to a new source.

Applying a Patch to the Original Source

With this option, you apply the public update to the original package source, which is then replicated to the distribution points to update the Office source. If the clients are required to initiate a repair or installation-on-demand operation that requires the original source, then a Windows Installer error appears on the client computer. However, if most clients receive the synchronization advertisement within a few hours of the distribution point update (which is reasonable for most SMS configurations), then it is unlikely that problems will occur on the clients. Therefore, as soon as the patch has reached all distribution points in a site, an advertisement should be distributed with the program update to the clients, so the Windows Installer source can be synchronized.

To apply a public update to the administrative source

  1. Download the self-extracting file for the update from the Office 2003 Resource Kit Web site ( and double-click the file name to extract the MSP file.

  2. Connect to the server share for your administrative installation point (the SMS package source directory).

  3. On the Start menu, click Run and then type the command line for Windows Installer with the appropriate options for your installation. Use the following syntax:

    [start] msiexec /p [path\name of update MSP file]/a 
    [path\name of MSI file] SHORTFILENAMES=TRUE /qb  
    /L* [path\name of log file]

To create and distribute the program update for clients

  1. Create a program for each site called Office Synchronization Program.

  2. Add the command line:

    setup.exe /fvm

    For setup command-line options, see the Setup Command-line Options Web page at

  3. Create an advertisement for each site to advertise this program

Applying a Patch to a New Source

To avoid the potential for errors on the client due to an incorrect Windows Installer source on the distribution points, an alternative method is to create a new SMS package share specifically for the newly patched Office source, and then direct clients to the share using a program advertisement. The clients that have not received the advertisement are still working from the original Windows Installer source, and all clients are always referencing a valid Windows Installer source for repair operations. This method is more complex particularly if resilient resources are being used in the transform file.

To apply a patch to a new source:

  1. Create a new directory and place an administrative installation of Office 2003 in this directory.

  2. Configure the source as described in the Deploying Office 2003 section earlier in this white paper. The new source directory should be identical to the one currently in use.  

  3. Apply the Office 2003 public update to the new source as described in the “Applying a Public Update to the Administrative Source” section earlier in this white paper.

  4. Create a package with this source and distribute the package to the clients following the steps described in the deployment section earlier in this paper.

Client Patching of an Office Public Update

Client patching involves distributing the public update bundle to each client computer and running it using SMS software distribution. There are two options for distributing update files:

  • Distribute the client update file that is downloaded from the Office Web site. You can do this by typing the name of the .exe file in the command line of an SMS program and including the file in the source directory for the package.

  • Extract the file to obtain the raw Windows Installer patch files (.msp). You can extract the .msp files from the client update as follows

    Note: The following command is shown on multiple lines for better readability; enter them as a single line.

    C:\path to update file\MyUpdate.exe 
    /c /t:C:/folder for extracted files

Distributing an Office 2003 Service Pack

The processes for distributing Office 2003 service packs and public updates are similar. However, distributing a service pack provides a new baseline Windows Installer source for future Office public updates. As a result, a public update released after Office 2003 SP 1 can be applied only to an Office 2003 source that has already been patched with the Office 2003 SP1 update. This is an issue for client (standard) patches only.

The procedure for administrative patching of the Office source is the same as that for a public update described in the previous section.

Updating Office 2003 Installation Settings

To update your Office 2003 installation settings, you must:

  1. Create updates using the Custom Maintenance Wizard.

  2. Apply the .cmw file to the client.

Creating Updates Using the Custom Maintenance Wizard

After an Office 2003 installation has been deployed, it is not possible to change the installation settings using a Windows Installer transform file without reinstalling Office 2003. However, you can update these settings dynamically on the client by using a configuration maintenance file (.cmw) produced by using the Custom Maintenance Wizard.  

The Custom Maintenance Wizard is a tool that allows administrators to maintain existing Office 2003 installations on clients. It works with Windows Installer version 1.1 and later. Office 2003 Setup installs Windows Installer version 1.1.

By using the Custom Maintenance Wizard, you can modify features that you set in the Custom Installation Wizard, including default user settings, security levels, Outlook settings, and registry keys.

The Custom Maintenance Wizard creates a .cmw file based on the Windows Installer package (.msi file) used in the Office 2003 installation.

Applying the .cmw File to the Client

To apply the changes to a client, run the Custom Maintenance Wizard from a command line on the client specifying the customization file that contains the changes you want to apply.  

As described in the Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit, you might want to deploy Maintwiz.exe to your clients as part of the Office 2003 package, so that updates made through the Custom Maintenance Wizard can be more easily deployed to clients. See the Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit for more information. The Custom Maintenance Wizard is automatically installed on your computer when you install the Office 2003 Resource Kit.