Office (Outlook) Customisation with VDI

During a recent engagement I hit upon an issue where I had a stateless desktop, no roaming profiles and no persona management available to me, yet my customer wanted to have Microsoft Outlook automatically connect to Exchange without any user interaction.

I messed around with a few ideas, but didn’t want to make any dramatic changes to my customers current environment as this was all for a PoC. After some trial and error with various methods I decided to use the Office Customization Tool to forcefully inject the Exchange profile settings into the Office installation. This is not something I have done for a long time since my desktop support days, so thought I would write this post to refresh mine and perhaps others memories.

I’m not going to delve into what else the Office Customization tool in Office 2010 can do, Microsoft have this covered off in TechNet here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/cc179097(v=office.14).aspx

Firstly either ensure you have your Office 2010 media mounted to your CD/DVD drive or  you have the media available on a network share.

Open the command prompt and change to the location of MS Office 2010.

Launch the OCT by issuing the following command: setup.exe /admin 

Select Product

You will be promoted if you would like to create customzation or modify an existing one, select create new and select your version of Office from the list.

Welcome Screen

From the navigation pane select Outlook Profile and select ‘New Profile’, give the profile a meaningful name.

New Profile

From the navigation pane select ‘Add Accounts’ and Select ‘Customize additional Outlook profile and account information’  then click ‘Add’.

Add AccountA new wizard will appear that allows you to choose a number of different accounts, in my case I selected Exchange, then click ‘Next’.

Exchange SettingsYou are then prompted to add your Exchange settings (don’s add mine it’s just an example!) Before clicking next click ‘More Settings’ and select the ‘Cached Mode’ tab.

Exchange Cached ModeSelect the option to ‘Configure Cached Exchange Mode’ and ensure all boxes are unchecked.

Click ‘OK’ then Click ‘Finish’. Ensure that the new account is the selected account for both ‘Deliver new mail’ and ‘Default e-mail account’ options.

default Accounts

Save the file to the root of your C:\ by clicking ‘File>Save As’ and ensure the filename has no spaces in it.

SaveAs

 

You are now ready to install Office using your custom file. To do so, execute the following command: setup.exe /adminfile c:\outlookmsp.msp (replace with your filename!!)

CMD LaunchAfter a few seconds pause, the Office Installation screen will appear, simply run through the Wizard.

Office Wizard

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