March 21, 2000
New Software Management Features in Windows 2000
New management features in the Microsoft Windows® 2000 operating system offer significant benefits to organizations that deploy Microsoft Office 2000. These new capabilities in Windows 2000 allow you to centrally install and manage Office applications on users’ computers, while Windows 2000 automatically maintains the desired configuration.
New management services in Windows 2000 include the following:
- Remote installation services
Install both Windows 2000 and Office 2000 remotely on client computers. Set up new computers and new users without on-site technical support, and recover more quickly from computer failures.
Store users’ important files on the network and cache them locally.
Centrally define and manage users’ settings on the network.
- Software installation and maintenance
Install, upgrade, repair, and remove Office 2000 on users’ computers by policy.
This article focuses on the software installation and maintenance features of Windows 2000. When you use these features with Office 2000, you can help ensure that -
- Users have access to the Office applications they need to do their jobs whenever they log on to the network – and no matter which computer they use.
- Computers are equipped with essential applications, such as Microsoft Outlook® or virus protection services, whenever they start up.
- Office applications are automatically installed, updated, repaired, or removed according to the rules that you define.
These new capabilities make it faster, easier, and less expensive to deploy Office 2000 in a homogenous Windows 2000 environment. Because many administrative tasks can be accomplished remotely or automatically, users require fewer on-site visits from technical support staff. And because users have persistent access to their applications, data, and settings, they can continue working without interruption.
Relying on Active Directory and Group Policy
In a Windows 2000-based network, the Active Directory™ service provides the framework for centralized administration of users’ computers. Active Directory stores information about objects on the network, and makes this information easy for administrators and users to find and use.
Network objects in this context include users, computers, and printers – as well as domains, sites, and organizational units. A structured data store provides the basis for a logical, hierarchical organization of all directory information.
Active Directory makes it possible to manage all users, computers, and software on the network through administrator-defined policies, known as Group Policy in Windows 2000. A collection of Group Policy settings is contained in a Group Policy object (GPO), and the GPO is associated with an Active Directory container.
The Group Policy object can be applied at any level of the Active Directory hierarchy. You can set policies that apply to an entire site, a domain, or an individual organizational unit.
Group Policy options include the following:
- Registry-based settings, including Office 2000 system policies
- Internet Explorer maintenance
- Folder redirection
- Security settings
- Remote installation services
- Software installation and maintenance
Installing and maintaining Office by policy
After you set up your Active Directory and Group Policy structure under Windows 2000, you use a set of Windows 2000-based technologies known collectively as IntelliMirror® to install and manage Office 2000 by policy. IntelliMirror includes the following features:
- Software installation and maintenance
Allows an administrator to centrally manage software installation, repairs, updates, and removal.
Supports mirroring of user data to the network and local copies of selected network data.
Allows an administrator to centrally define settings for users and computers. Also includes mirroring of user settings to the network.
The deployment and management tools designed for Office 2000 - including the Custom Installation Wizard and Office 2000 policy template files - work with IntelliMirror. By using all these tools together, you can make a unique configuration of Office available to all users or computers in a given GPO, and then rely on Windows 2000 to maintain your software configuration automatically.
For a general introduction to the new management services in Windows 2000, see Introduction to Windows Management Services and Introduction to IntelliMirror on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Web site.
For information about planning your Active Directory structure and setting up Group Policy, look up Software Installation preparation checklist in Windows 2000 Server Help on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Web site.
For additional white papers and step-by-step guides for using the new management services in Windows 2000, see the Windows 2000 Technical Resources Web site.
Using Software Installation and Maintenance to Install Office
In Windows 2000, the IntelliMirror software installation and maintenance feature allows you to manage Office 2000 applications within a Group Policy object (GPO), which is associated with a particular Active Directory container – a site, domain, or organizational unit.
Within the GPO, you specify Group Policy settings to assign or publish Office to users or computers based on their Active Directory group memberships. You set policy definitions for Office 2000 once. After that, Windows 2000 applies them for you automatically.
There are three ways to install and manage Office 2000 applications by policy:
- Assign Office to computers
Office is installed on the computer the next time the computer starts. Users can repair Office applications on the computer, but only an administrator can remove applications.
Office is available to all users in the designated group the next time they log on. Each Office application is installed the first time a user clicks the associated shortcut on the Start menu or opens a file associated with that Office application.
Office is available to all users in the designated group the next time they log on. Users install Office through Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel or by opening an Office document. (Note that under Windows 2000, you cannot publish an application to a computer.)
Avoiding installation conflicts
Do not assign Office to both a user and a computer. When assigned to a computer, Office applications are installed locally (based on settings in the transform). When assigned to a user, Office applications are advertised on the computer, but are not installed until the user activates them – one Windows Installer shortcut at a time.
Assigning Office to both users and computers can create conflicts in which Office applications appear to be installed locally but are actually merely advertised.
In addition, if you assign Office to both users and computers and also apply different transforms, Windows 2000 automatically uninstalls and reinstalls Office every time the computer starts or the user logs on.
Assigning Office to computers
Assigning Office to computers is the simplest way to use IntelliMirror to manage a package as large and complex as Office 2000. This method helps you control the timing of your Office deployment because Office is automatically installed the first time the designated computers are started and the software installation portion of Group Policy is applied.
Assigned applications are resilient under Windows 2000. If a user removes an Office application from the computer, Windows automatically reinstalls it the next time the computer starts.
Supporting knowledge workers with dedicated computers
If you are supporting a group of knowledge workers, each of whom uses a dedicated computer with consistent, high-speed connections to the network, you can assign Office to that group of computers. The next time users start up their computers, the entire Office package is installed. To minimize network traffic, you can apply a transform that installs a subset of Office features.
Supporting shared computers
If users in your organization typically share computers, you can assign a standard Office configuration. For example, bank tellers who work from different stations still perform the same tasks, and you can ensure that the same Office configuration is available to them no matter which computer they use.
Assigning to computers also minimizes potential conflicts when users who perform different jobs share the same computer. These users often need different sets of Office applications or features. By applying a transform when you assign Office, you can ensure that all the Office features required by all users are installed at the outset.
Assigning Office to users
Assigning Office to users allows you to take greater advantage of IntelliMirror management features. This method ensures that users have access to the same Office configuration no matter where they are or which computer they use. Their Office installation is based on Group Policy – and not fixed by their location.
When you assign Office to users, information about the software is advertised on users’ computers in the Windows registry and on the Start menu or Desktop the next time the user logs on. When the user clicks an Office application shortcut or opens an Office document, Windows Installer retrieves the package from the administrative installation point, installs the application on the user’s computer, and starts the application.
Applications assigned to users are also resilient. If a user removes an assigned Office application from the computer, Windows automatically restores the registry information and Windows Installer shortcut the next time the user logs on.
Supporting roaming users
In many organizations, users with unique job responsibilities roam from one computer to another. If you assign Office to users in this scenario, their Office configuration is available to them wherever they log on. You help control which Office configuration is available to a given group of users by applying a transform when you assign the software to the GPO.
Individual Office applications and features are not actually installed until the user activates them by clicking a shortcut or opening a file. Because these users typically have consistent, high-speed network connections, the installation process takes little time.
Targeting groups of users more precisely
Assigning to users allows you to target your Office installation more precisely. For example, you can assign Office to particular organizational units and apply a unique transform to each group.
Alternatively, you can assign Office to users at a higher level in the Active Directory hierarchy, and then filter the Group Policy settings through Windows 2000 security groups. Users who would otherwise inherit an Office installation through their Active Directory group memberships can be prevented from installing Office through their security group memberships.
Publishing Office to users
When you publish Office to users, no information about the software is present in the registry or on the Start menu. However, users can click Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel and view a list of all software published to them.
If a user selects Office from this list, Add/Remove Programs retrieves information about the Office installation location from Active Directory, and Windows Installer installs the package on the computer and applies any transform that you have associated with the Office package.
If you plan to have users run Office Setup themselves (for example, if your organization routinely makes a variety of software applications available to users from an installation location on the network), consider publishing Office to users. In this case, users in the designated group can install Office from Add/Remove Programs anytime they choose.
If you assign the core applications on Office 2000 Premium Disc 1 to all users in your organization, you might also choose to publish Discs 2, 3, and 4 so that users have access to additional Office applications such as Microsoft PhotoDraw™ or Microsoft Office Server Extensions.
Unlike assigned applications, however, published applications are not resilient. If a user removes Office after installing it from Add/Remove Programs, the shortcuts and registry information are not automatically reapplied on the computer. However, the next time the user logs on to the network, Office is republished in Add/Remove Programs.
Applying a transform to customize Office
You help control which Office applications and features are available to users by applying a transform (MST file) when you assign or publish the Office package (MSI file). Note that you can apply only one transform to a given installation of the Office 2000 package.
Important Transforms are applied when Office is assigned or published. You cannot reapply a transform after Office is installed. If you need to modify a managed Office installation, you must remove and then reinstall Office with a new transform.
On the Set Feature Installation States panel in the Custom Installation Wizard, you set installation options for individual Office applications or features.
For example, when you assign or publish Office, you can:
- Set an application to Not Available and Hide to prevent it from appearing on the Start menu or in Add/Remove Programs.
- Set an application to Run from Network to store the source files on the network and allow users to run the application from there.
- Set an application to Installed on My Computer to install it locally. (This option applies only if you assign to computers or publish to users. When you assign to users, applications are not installed locally until a user clicks the Windows Installer shortcut.)
Suppose you assign Office to all users managed by the marketing GPO. In this case, Office applications are advertised on every marketing user's computer. The next time each user logs on, the Windows registry is updated and the appropriate Windows Installer shortcuts appear on the Start menu.
Although Office is now available, the assigned applications are not actually installed. However, users in the marketing department probably start Outlook as soon as they log on. At that point, the following events take place:
- A background Windows service calls Windows Installer.
- The minimal set of files required to run Outlook is downloaded from a distribution point on the network and installed on the user's computer.
- Outlook starts.
If the user receives an e-mail message with an attached Word document and double-clicks the document shortcut, Windows Installer is called to install Word. If the user edits the document in Word and clicks Help for assistance, Windows Installer is called again to install the Help feature.
A user in marketing can delete an assigned Office application through Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. But the installation information that advertises Office in the Windows registry and that adds shortcuts to the Start menu is immediately reapplied. The next time the user logs on, the application is assigned again without intervention from the administrator.
Tip IntelliMirror tools can affect large groups of users, and inadvertent errors or conflicting settings can cause considerable inconvenience. Before you use IntelliMirror to install Office throughout your organization, it is highly recommended that you test your deployment scenario in a controlled setting.
For more information about using Group Policy to set policies for groups of users and computers, see the Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding the Group Policy Feature Seton the Microsoft Windows 2000 Web site.
To find out more about using the Custom Installation Wizard to create a transform, see Office Custom Installation Wizard in the Office 2000 Resource Kit.
How to Assign or Publish Office Applications
Before you assign or publish Office 2000 in a Windows 2000-based environment, you must perform the following preliminary steps:
- Plan and set up your Active Directory structure and Group Policy and security group memberships.
- Determine which users need which configuration of Office.
By default, Group Policy settings apply to all Active Directory containers lower in the hierarchy, so it is usually best to assign Office at the highest possible level. Then you can filter Group Policy through Windows 2000 security groups to target users more precisely.
- Install Office on an administrative installation point by running Setup with the /a command-line option.
- Use the Custom Installation Wizard to customize your Office installation, and store the transform (MST file) on the administrative installation point.
- Give users read-access to the network share that contains the administrative installation point.
Then you are ready to use the Software Installation snap-in to assign or publish Office to users or computers.
Open the Software Installation snap-in
In Windows 2000, the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) provides a consistent interface for using administrative tools called snap-ins. After you set up Group Policy in your organization and install Office 2000 on an administrative installation point, you can use the Software Installation snap-in to specify Group Policy settings for users or computers managed by a particular GPO.
There are several ways to open the Software Installation snap-in, which is an extension of the Group Policy snap-in. If you are applying Group Policy to a domain or organizational unit (as opposed to a site), the best place to start is with the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.
To open the Software Installation snap-in
- On the Start menu, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
- In the console tree, right-click the domain or organizational unit for which you want to set Group Policy.
- Click Properties, and then click the Group Policy tab.
- To create a new GPO, click New and type a name for the GPO; then select the new GPO and click Edit.
To edit an existing GPO, select the GPO in the Group Policy Objects Links box and click Edit.
- To assign or publish software to users, click the User Configuration node.
- or -
To assign software to computers, click the Computer Configuration node.
- Expand the Software Settings node, and then click the Software Installation node to open the Software Installation snap-in.
The following illustration shows the Group Policy Software Installation snap-in for a GPO in which Office 2000 has been published to users.
Assign or publish Office
The Software Installation snap-in allows you to assign or publish the Office 2000 package (MSI file) to a particular Group Policy object (GPO).
To assign or publish Office to a selected Group Policy object
- Open the Group Policy snap-in for a selected GPO.
- Under Computer Configuration or User Configuration, right-click Software installation, point to New, and then click New.
- In the Open dialog box, click the Office folder, and then click Open.
You can also click Browse to locate the Office package on your administrative installation point.
- Select the Office 2000 package (for example, Data1.msi) and click Open.
- In the Deploy Software dialog box, click Advanced published or assigned, and click OK.
This step displays the Microsoft Office 2000 Properties dialog box, which contains six tabs with options for configuring your Office 2000 deployment. These options are described and illustrated in the sections following this procedure.
- After you have selected the options you want on each tab of the Microsoft Office 2000 Properties dialog box, click OK.
The following sections describe options in the Microsoft Office 2000 Properties dialog box.
When you publish or assign the Office 2000 package, relevant information about the package is automatically displayed on the General tab.
On the Deployment tab, you specify whether to publish or assign Office 2000. Note that if you open the snap-in under Computer Configuration, the Published option is unavailable.
Under Deployment options, select check boxes to specify when and how Office 2000 is installed on users’ computers. You can set any of the following options:
- Install Office applications automatically when users open a file associated with an Office application. This setting is turned on by default.
For example, if Word assigned to a user and the user double-clicks a Word document, Windows 2000 installs Word.
- Automatically remove Office when the computer or the user moves to another GPO that does not manage Office 2000.
- Prevent assigned applications from appearing in Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.
This option can be useful when Office is assigned to a computer shared by multiple users. It prevents one user from changing the Office configuration and removing an application required by another user.
Under Installation user interface options, you specify how much of Office Setup is displayed to users during the installation process. The recommended setting (and the default) is Basic, which installs Office quietly and requires no user interaction. (The Basic setting corresponds to the /qb- command-line option.)
Important If the target user is not an administrator, do not select the Maximum user interface option. In this case, the user receives an error message and the Office installation fails.
To set additional deployment options, click Advanced. In the Advanced Deployment Options dialog box, you can -
- Specify that Windows 2000 should install Office 2000 even if the Office installation language differs from the Windows 2000 installation language.
Select this option if you are deploying Office 2000 with MultiLanguage Pack on a computer where English is not the default language. This setting allows you to assign U.S. English Office (the core version) and then install the MultiLanguage Pack to add additional language support.
- Remove unmanaged Office installations when you deploy Office through Group Policy software installation and maintenance.
If you have already deployed Office 2000 in your organization and are making the transition to Window 2000, select this option to remove and then reinstall Office in a managed state on users’ computers. This scenario is described later in this article.
If you are already managing an Office 2000 installation under Windows 2000, you can use the Upgrades tab to deploy a service release or new version. This upgrade scenario is described later in this article.
Associating Office 2000 with a category can make Office easier for users to find in Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. However, you must already have set up categories for your organization in Active Directory. In that case, you can use the Categories tab to assign the new Office package to an available category.
You use the Modifications tab to apply a transform (MST file) to your Office installation. Click Add, select your transform, and then click Open to add it to the Modifications tab.
Note that you can apply only one transform to a given Office 2000 installation, and you can apply the transform only once when you assign or publish Office. If you assign or publish the Office package to several GPOs, however, you can add a unique transform to each one.
The Security tab displays standard Windows 2000-based security options. You can fine-tune your Office deployment by filtering the Group Policy software installation settings through Windows 2000 access control lists (ACLs). To do this, click Advanced and then click the Permissions tab.
Tips for managing Office 2000 through Group Policy
You can assign unique configurations of Office to different GPOs within your organization. For example, if the engineering and marketing departments are managed by separate GPOs, you can include Microsoft Access in the engineering transform, and substitute Microsoft PowerPoint® in the marketing transform.
In a properly designed Group Policy structure, Group Policy applies policies by precedence. As long as you give each transform a unique name, users receive the Office configuration designed for them.
Remember that you cannot change settings in a transform after you deploy Office through Group Policy. If you make changes to the installation later on – for example, if you distribute new installation settings by using the Custom Maintenance Wizard – Windows 2000 automatically uninstalls Office and reinstates the configuration set by Group Policy.
For more information about installing Office 2000 on an administrative installation point, see How to Install Office from a Network Server in the Office 2000 Resource Kit.
For more information about the options in the Software Installation snap-in, including examples of several Office installation scenarios, see the Step-by-Step Guide to Software Installation and Maintenance on the Windows 2000 Web site.
To make Office easier to find, you can specify categories for the list of available applications. Look up Specify categories for Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel in Windows 2000 Server Help on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Web site.
The Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit contains detailed information about Group Policy. For more information about using security groups to filter Group Policy, see "Group Policy" in the Distributed Systems Guide. To view this text online, see Using Security Groups to Filter and Delegate Group Policy on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Web site.
How to Maintain Office Under Windows 2000
After you establish an Active Directory structure and install Office 2000 by using Group Policy, Windows 2000 maintains your installation automatically. But new organizational needs, upgrade schedules, or software updates might require some administrative intervention.
Bring an unmanaged installation into a managed state
In some circumstances, you may need to bring an unmanaged Office 2000 installation into a managed state under Windows 2000. 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 2000 under Windows NT® 4.0, and subsequently upgrade your operating system to Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Professional.
- You install Office 2000 by using Microsoft Systems Management Server – even in a homogenous Windows 2000 environment.
- You install Office 2000 by distributing hard disk images on CD-ROM.
The most straightforward method of making the transition to a managed state is to remove your original Office installation and reinstall Office from a new administrative installation point by using IntelliMirror software installation and maintenance – particularly if you upgrade to Windows 2000 after your initial Office 2000 deployment.
For example, suppose that you installed Office 2000 in an unmanaged state, and you are now installing Office 2000 SR-1 under Windows 2000. In this scenario, use the following procedure to assign Office 2000 SR-1 and remove the original unmanaged Office 2000 installation.
To reinstall Office 2000 in a managed state
- Open the Software Installation snap-in for the target GPO and assign or publish the Office 2000 SR-1 package, as described on the previous page.
- In the Microsoft Office 2000 Properties dialog box, click the Deployment tab, and then click Advanced.
- 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 click OK.
- Configure any other options you want in the Microsoft Office 2000 Properties dialog box, and click OK.
Note When you remove and reinstall Office, be sure to leave the original administrative installation point unchanged on the network until all users have reinstalled. Office 2000 references the original administrative installation point to remove Office, and then reinstalls from the new administrative installation point.
If you know that you will eventually manage Office 2000 by using IntelliMirror tools, you can install Office in such a way that you avoid having to remove and reinstall it later.
To bring Office into a managed state under Windows 2000
- Create an administrative installation point for Office and install the Office package (MSI file) and transform (MST file) at that location.
- Install Office on user’s computers from this location by using Systems Management Server or any other distribution method.
- Upgrade to Windows 2000 and create your Active Directory and Group Policy structure.
- Using the same administrative installation point, assign Office 2000 to the appropriate GPO.
You must use the identical package (MSI file) and transform (MST file) from the original administrative installation point.
- Move the computers that have your original Office configuration to the Active Directory container that includes the GPO from Step 4.
The next time users start up their computers, Windows 2000 detects the Office configuration and manages the installation from that point forward.
If the Office configuration you assign by using Group Policy differs in any respect from your original Office installation, Windows 2000 automatically removes and reinstalls Office.
Distribute software patches or upgrades
After you complete your Office 2000 installation under Windows 2000, you may need to deploy software updates: quick fix engineering (QFE) fixes, patches, or service releases. You can use IntelliMirror software and installation to manage these interim updates to Office 2000, along with full-scale product upgrades.
Note Be sure to test all software updates in a controlled setting before modifying your administrative installation point or deploying the new version throughout your organization.
To deploy a QFE fix or update
- Apply the update or patch (MSP file) to the original Office administrative installation point.
- Open the Software Installation snap-in within the Group Policy object (GPO) that you are using to manage the existing Office installation.
- In the details pane, right-click the Office package, point to All Tasks, and click Redeploy application.
The next time the Group Policy is applied to the designated users or computers, the updated files are copied to their computers.
Note You can redeploy a package only if it is being managed by Group Policy – that is, only if you originally installed it by using IntelliMirror software installation and maintenance or if you brought it into a managed state under Windows 2000.
You can also use IntelliMirror to deploy future upgrades of the product.
To deploy a major service release or upgrade
- Install the new package (MSI file) and transform (MST file) on a new administrative installation point.
- Open the Software Installation snap-in within the Group Policy object (GPO) that you are using to manage the existing Office installation.
- In the details pane, right-click the original Office package, click Properties, and then click the Upgrades tab.
- Click Add.
- In the Add Upgrade Package dialog box, click Browse to locate the new Office package that you want to deploy, select it, and click OK.
- To reinstall with the new version, click Uninstall the existing package, then install upgrade package, and click OK.
- or -
To upgrade the existing Office installation, click Package can upgrade over existing package, and click OK.
- On the Upgrades tab, select the Required upgrade for existing packages check box to make the upgrade mandatory for all users in the GPO.
- Click OK to close the Microsoft Office 2000 Properties dialog box.
- In the details pane, right-click the Office package, point to All Tasks, and click Redeploy application.
Important To avoid a series of removals and reinstallations, make sure that you create an upgrade relationship between the new package and all previous versions of the product. For example, establish an upgrade relationship between Office 2000 SR-1 and both Office 2000 and Office 97.
Prepare for a staged upgrade
Many organizations stage their Office upgrade over several months, which means that some users are still running the original Office version even after the administrative installation point has been upgraded to the new version.
To avoid disconnecting those users from their source files, take the following steps:
- During your initial Office installation, create multiple administrative installation points and specify them as sources in a transform.
- When you upgrade the administrative installation points to the new version, leave at least one source with the original configuration.
This workaround ensures that users can always connect to a source for installing on demand, repairing, or removing Office features.
The Office 2000 Service Release 1 (SR-1) will be available the first quarter of 2000. For more information about deploying Office 2000 SR-1, see Deploying Office 2000 Service Release 1 in the Office Resource Kit Journal.
When to Use Other Installation Technologies
IntelliMirror software installation and maintenance offers significant benefits to organizations that are deploying Office 2000 and other applications under Windows 2000. Not only does IntelliMirror allow administrators to centrally manage software installation, but also to maintain and preserve users’ settings and files.
By itself, however, IntelliMirror is not the most efficient or cost-effective choice for deploying Office in all circumstances. For example, IntelliMirror does not provide the following:
- Support for clients running any version of Windows other than Windows 2000
- Hardware and software inventory and reporting
- Licensing mechanism
- Reports for failed installations
- Precise control over the timing of Office 2000 installations
Because assigned applications are installed on start up or on first use, all users might try to install new applications from the network first thing Monday morning. By contrast, users who do not regularly log off and on the network might not see assigned or published applications at all.
If you need additional capabilities, you can use either Windows 2000 remote installation services or Microsoft Systems Management Server version 2.0 instead of or in combination with IntelliMirror software installation and maintenance.
Windows 2000 remote installation services
Remote installation services (also called Remote OS Installation) is an optional service in Windows 2000 Server. It provides a mechanism for computers to connect to a network server during the initial startup process, while the server controls a local installation of Windows 2000 Professional.
You can use remote installation services to copy a preconfigured disk image – with standardized versions of both Windows 2000 Professional and Office 2000 – to client computers. (To ensure that users receive a managed Office installation, you must use the Software Installation snap-in to assign Office to the test computer before creating your disk image.)
This method can significantly reduce deployment time. A remote installation of Windows and Office together takes only slightly longer than a remote installation of Windows by itself. When clients download the disk image, Office 2000 is fully installed on the local computer – and not merely advertised.
When used together, Remote OS and IntelliMirror offer the following benefits:
- More efficient and cost-effective setup of new computers.
- Dynamic configuration and repair of both Windows 2000 and Office 2000.
- Easier recovery from computer failures.
If the computer fails, you can quickly restore Windows 2000 Professional (by using Remote OS) and restore the user’s applications, data, and settings (by using IntelliMirror features).
Note Like IntelliMirror, Remote OS Installation works only in a homogenous Windows 2000 environment – Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Professional clients. You cannot use it to install to clients running under Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 98/95.
Systems Management Server 2.0
Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) version 2.0 provides a robust distribution model that you can use with IntelliMirror software installation and maintenance. If you are deploying Office 2000 under any of the following circumstances, consider using SMS:
- You want more control over the timing of your Office 2000 installation.
For example, you need to complete the installation during off hours, or you need to coordinate upgrades across multiple sites.
- You are deploying in a very large or complex environment, and you need more advanced reporting and troubleshooting tools.
- You are deploying to users over slow network or dial-up connections.
- You are deploying to a mixture of Windows clients, including Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98/95, and Windows 3.1.
Systems Management Server also gives you the flexibility to deploy non-Windows Installer packages and to target collections of users or computers based on advanced resource attributes (such as software or hardware inventory properties).
With some extra administrative overhead, you can use SMS and IntelliMirror together in a Windows 2000-based environment:
- Install Windows 2000 throughout your organization and set up an Active Directory and Group Policy structure.
- Use Systems Management Server to install Office on a per-computer basis from an administrative installation point on the network.
- Create a Group Policy object (GPO) to manage the group of computers, and assign Office 2000 to that GPO.
- Point the assigned Office package (MSI file) to the same administrative installation point from which you originally installed Office.
The assigned package must contain exactly the same configuration of Office, including the same package (MSI file), transform (MST file), and network installation location.
If the two Office configurations are identical, then Windows Installer turns the unmanaged installation into a managed one. If a user attempts to remove an application or change settings, Windows 2000 restores the configuration as specified by Group Policy.
If you assign a modified Office 2000 configuration to the Group Policy object, then Windows Installer removes your original Office installation and reinstalls the new assigned configuration the next time the computer starts.
Remote OS Installation eases deployment throughout an enterprise network by eliminating the need to physically attend to each client computer. For a detailed outline of the steps necessary to install, configure, and use Remote Installation Services (RIS), see Step-by-Step Guide to Remote OS Installation on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Web site.
For more information about using Systems Management Server 2.0 to install software applications, see the Systems Management Server Web site.
For more information about how these technologies work together, see Understanding the Value of IntelliMirror, Remote OS Installation, and Systems Management Server on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Web site.
To find out how to create an installation image by using the Remote Installation Preparation Wizard, look up Creating an installation image in Windows 2000 Server Help on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Web site.