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Howdy folks, Tryin to keep things going around here....need some advice. I have Win2003 servers and Active Directory.....single domain....approx. 100 client location. Am upgrading all computers from Office XP to Office 2003. My project: Install Office 2003 and all updates remotely without going to each machine. My progress: I tried the method of creating a network share with a compressed CD image, and chaining the updates with OHotFix.exe, but the installation and updates both fail if the users are not administrators of their local machine. The other method I tried was to use group policy and assign the installation. This worked well, but does not support I cannot run the updates.....and once again, I can't just supply a path for users to run the updates, because they aren't local admins. Now for the questions: 1. Can you send out updates for office with group policy? 2. Are there any other methods out there that you all use/know to get this done fairly easily? 3. What about WSUS? Would it be a good solution? I have no experience with it. I have read through and searched a lot of material, but haven't found the answers I'm looking for. Any ideas? How do you all do it?

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Are your clients all Win XP? If so, you could install the software using Group Policy then use Microsoft update on them all to download and install the Office 2003 updates automatically (that would mean setting up each machine individually though). The alternative to Microsoft Update is to use WSUS on a server which you can manage centrally with no intervention needed by the users.

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  • Sagreed
    Here's some links to MS pages on installs and updates. They cover both install and updating via policy and the various 'sources' I recommend the "administrative image" and "Caching installation files locally" methods if your network can handel the bandwidth requirements. Using Group Policy to Deploy Office Strategies for Updating Office 2003 Installations
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  • Joshua2
    I give WSUS the thumbs-up. It's easy and effective. WSUS handles Office updates. We run it on a PC class machine and it goes just fine. There are several options for the client that are a snap to set up (such as asking them to restart after a patch, or forcing it). You'll incur the cost of a server license, but as critical as Windows/Office patching is, this expense should readily justifiable. I think you can run the Office upgrade and then follow up with WSUS patching - especially since you don't have any WAN links to worry about.
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  • PDMeat
    I agree with Sagreed. Do a "slipstream" administrative installation of Office 2003 with service pack 2 installed to it. Then just try the deployment using group policy in windows. It can install an MSI package with "install elevated priviledges" option that can install the software without the user needing to have admin rights. As a final thought: if you're really managing 100 PCs, do yourself a favor and buy a client managment suite like LAN Desk or one of it's competitors like SMS/Altris/etc. LANDESK IMO is the best, but you should see what works for you and if it fits your budget. LANDesk can handle both the software install and the patching with dependenices. I think landesk is about $90 per node (in your case, $9000 for 100 nodes). If you don't have it in the budget to buy a CM Suite, then implement MS WSUS to manage patches and deal with the headache of trying to install software with group policy. The number 1 problem with the group policy install of software is that there is no reporting capability. So now you have to write a VBS script to go out and poll all the machines to see which ones installed successfully, yadda, yadda.
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  • Jcan123
    If you want to use the runas command, then has a solution for encrypting the password. You could start an installation by modifying the runonce key in registry.
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  • egild6
    I have had the same problem when i worked as a system administrator in a school. The answer here is very simple, i goggled the Internet for "free runas software" and i got several good hits. There are free software that makes you able to create scripts that starts up software with elevated rights, by using this software it should be possible to start up the chained installation using Ohotfix. I have tried several of this program and they do the work for me, to start this installation you can use the log on script and the run once to install office. The software is also able to crypt the user name and passwords as well. This is an very easy way to handle with such problems but it works.
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