I got a call from a friend who was preparing to set up 400 computers for a nonprofit organization and wanted to minimize the deployment time. I suggested an image-based deployment, but that wasn't possible since each individual computer had to be manually set up.
Obviously, there is a huge time commitment involved in manually setting up 400 machines. To streamline this process, I recommend slipstreaming service packs whenever possible to avoid manually applying them later.
Slipstreaming is the process of integrating a service pack onto a software installation CD. When the software application is deployed, the service pack version will be installed, instead of the RTM version.
Before beginning this process, however, you should research which products currently have service packs that can be slipstreamed onto the installation CD. I've discovered that it's possible to slipstream Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office 2007 onto the Microsoft Office 2007 installation CD.
To slipstream Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office 2007:
- Create an empty folder on your hard drive. You can name the folder anything that you want; I used the name Office 2007 RTM. Next, copy the entire contents of the Microsoft Office 2007 installation CD to the folder.
- Create a second folder on your hard disk. Let's call this folder Office 2007 SP1. Download the Microsoft Office 2007 service pack file and save it to this folder.
Note: If you've used a different drive or a different path, then you will have to take that into account when you issue the slipstreaming commands.
- Open a Command Prompt window and enter the following command:
C: CD\Office 2007 SP1 Office2007sp1-kb936982-fullfile-en-us.exe /extract:C:\Office 2007 RTM\ Updates\EXIT
You will be prompted to accept the End-User License Agreement (EULA), and then the contents of the service pack will merge with the files that you copied from the installation CD.
Keep in mind is that there are several different versions of Microsoft Office 2007 SP1. The command above assumes that you have downloaded an SP1 file named Office2007SP1-kb936982-fullfile-en-us.exe. If you download a different version of the service pack, or if you rename the file after downloading it, then you will need to update the command accordingly.
It's also worth noting that this procedure updates the files in the Office 2007 RTM folder. You must copy those files to an alternate location before you can use them. One option is to copy the files to a network share so that they're accessible from any machine on which you want to install Microsoft Office 2007. Another option is to use a CD-burning application to create a bootable CD that contains the updated files.
About the author: Brien M. Posey, MCSE, has previously received Microsoft's MVP award for Exchange Server, Windows Server and Internet Information Server (IIS). Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal website at www.brienposey.com.
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