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How to bring an unmanaged installation of Office into a managed state

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After you establish an Active Directory structure, and you install Microsoft Office by using Group Policy, Microsoft Windows maintains your installation automatically. In some circumstances, you may need to bring an unmanaged Office installation into a managed state under Windows. This article describes how to bring an unmanaged installation of Office into a managed state.

Note You cannot install 2007 Microsoft Office products on computers that are running the Windows NT 4.0 or Microsoft Windows 2000 operating systems. All references to Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 in this article apply only to Office XP or to Office 2003 installations. You cannot install Office 2003 products on computers running the Windows NT 4.0 operating system. All references to Windows NT 4.0 in this article apply only to Office XP installations. When you either use deployment methods from a network source, or you use Group Policy software deployment methods to bring your Office installation into a managed state, the local installation source files are not copied to the local computer for 2007 Office programs or for Office 2003 product installations.

Installing Office in an unmanaged state

Any installation scenario that does not use Group Policy and IntelliMirror software installation and maintenance results in an unmanaged Office installation. For example, the following scenarios install Office in an unmanaged state:
  • You upgrade to Office under Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, and, subsequently, you upgrade your operating system to Microsoft Windows 2000 Server or Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional.
  • You install Office by using Microsoft Systems Management Server.
  • You install Office by distributing hard-disk images on a CD-ROM.

Reinstalling Office into a managed state

The most straight-forward method for making the transition to a managed state is to remove your original Office installation and reinstall Office from a new network source by using IntelliMirror software installation and maintenance. This is particularly true if you upgrade to Windows 2000 after your initial Office deployment.

For example, suppose that you installed Office in an unmanaged state, and you are now installing an Office service release under Windows 2000. In this scenario, follow these steps to assign the new Office XP package and to remove the original unmanaged Office installation:
  1. Open the Software Installation snap-in for the target Group Policy Object (GPO), and then assign or publish the new Office XP package, as described earlier in this topic.
  2. In the Microsoft Office XP Properties dialog box, click the Deployment tab, and then click Advanced.
  3. Select the Remove previous installs of this product for users, if the product was not installed by Group Policy-based Software Installation check box, and then click OK.
  4. Configure any other options that you want in the Microsoft Office XP Properties dialog box, and then click OK.

Setting up Office for IntelliMirror tools

If you know that, in the future, you will manage Office by using IntelliMirror tools, you can install Office in such a way that you avoid having to remove and reinstall it later.
  1. Create an network source for Office, and then install the Office package (MSI file) and transform (MST file) at that location.
  2. Install Office on users' computers from this location by using Systems Management Server or any other distribution method.
  3. Upgrade to Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 servers and Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional clients, and then create your Active Directory and Group Policy structure.
  4. Using the same network source, assign Office to the appropriate Group Policy Object (GPO). You must use the identical package and transform from the original network source.
  5. Move the computers that have your original Office configuration to the Active Directory container that includes the GPO from step 4. The next time that users start their computers, Windows detects the Office configuration and manages the installation from that point forward.


If the Office configuration that you assign by using Group Policy differs in any way from your original Office installation, Windows automatically removes and reinstalls Office. You must use the same package (MSI file) and apply the same transform (MST file) with no modifications. IntelliMirror ensures that an approved Office configuration is installed on the computer. IntelliMirror also removes any installation that differs from that configuration, even if the differences are minor changes in the transform.

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For more information about GPO deployment of 2007 Office products, visit the following Web site:For more information about deploying 2007 Office with Microsoft Systems Management Server, visit the following Web site:

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Keywords: kbtshoot, kbsetup, kbhowtomaster, KB307803

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Article Info
Article ID : 307803
Revision : 12
Created on : 3/22/2007
Published on : 3/22/2007
Exists online : False
Views : 400