Office 2007 Customization Tool Settings don’t apply

In building 2 new Citrix servers from scratch over the past week, I’d been having a bit of trouble with the customizations. We already had a customization file for the Citrix farm, but a few new settings needed to be added. The first issue that I ran into was that the new file did not run with the install at all- and gave an error – something like “This update file cannot be applied as this product is not installed”. Come to find out that if you create an .MSP file with one version of Office – say Office 2007 Business, and then try to install a different SKU – say Office 2007 Professional – this is the error you’ll get. To resolve this, you can just place the .MSP file in the ‘Updates’ directory of the install source – the README.TXT in there even says “Any patches placed in this folder will be applied during initial install.” Using this method, Office installed with no aparent issues.

After figuring this out, I went ahead and made a new customization file with the different SKU media- copying the settings from the previous install, and adding the new settings. Then I proceeded to successfully install Office with the /adminfile switch. The only problem was that none of the profile settings took effect! I tried re-running the customization a few times, but to no avail. Turns out that I had used ‘Save As…’ in the OCT to generate the new .MSP…which as Microsoft says here: is bad. So you must use the ‘Save’ dialog instead – in fact, with the ‘Save As’, you can install the customization, but you won’t see the custom12.prf file in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office because, as stated – it doesn’t save with the customization when you use Save As.

So- customization files can only be directly used when they are made with the same product SKU – otherwise, put them in the ‘Updates’ directory for install. AND – use the ‘Save’ dialog instead of ‘Save As’.

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