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Computing > VMware ThinApp - Microsoft Office 2010 Setup Guide

After successfully being able to create a full Microsoft Office 2010 suite ThinApp, I have written a setup guide to detail the steps that had to be taken in order to get all Office applications working and to allow standard windows users (non local administrators) to activate office when launching the ThinApp for the first time. This article has been written using information for VMware sources and my own experience. The following ThinApp capture has been performed on a fresh installation of Windows XP SP3 with VMware ThinApp 4.6.1.

1. Download and copy the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 and Microsoft Office 2010 installation files to the ThinApp capture machine.

2. Ensure you have internet access on the ThinApp capture machine.

3. Install VMware ThinApp on capture machine.

4. Run the Setup Capture wizard, start and complete the pre-scan process.

5. When the pre-scan is complete, on the Install Application page of the Setup Capture wizard, minimize the wizard and install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.

6. The Microsoft .NET installation generates the mscorsvw.exe process that continues for an extended period, we need to stop the process with the ngen.exe tool. Open a new command prompt window and type the following command and press return:

C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\ngen.exe executequeueditems

7. In order for Office 2010 to activate correctly we need to edit the Config.xml file and specify your Multiple Activation Key (MAK). By default, the Microsoft Office 2010 Config.xml file is stored in the core product folder in the Microsoft Office 2010 installation media. Explore the Office 2010 installation media on the capture machine and you should see a folder named similar to "core_product_folder_name.WW folder". For example, if my Microsoft Office 2010 media was Professional Plus, the folder name would be "ProPlus.WW".

8. Open the core product folder and locate the Config.xml file. Open the Config.xml with Notepad and add the following lines to the to the file file and save it to your local C:\ drive:

<PIDKEY Value="Enter 25 Character MAK Here" />
<Setting Id="USEROPERATIONS" Value="1" />

Note: Do not enter any spaces or hyphens when entering the license key in the PIDKEY value, this must be all one string such as ABCDEFGHIJK.

9. To start the Microsoft Office 2010 setup wizard and apply the settings in Config.xml, open a new command prompt window and type navigate to your Office 2010installation media by using for example "cd d:\". When in the installation media directory enter the following command and press return.

Setup.exe /config c:\config.xml

10. When the installation starts click to accept the terms of the agreement and click next.

11. On the Choose the installation dialog box, click the Customise button.

12. Select Microsoft Office and then select "Run all from My Computer" as the installation option.

13. Click "Install Now" to install Microsoft Office 2010, this will likely take some time.

14. When the installation is complete click "Finish". Proceed and click the Start menu, select the Run option, and then type services.msc and click ok. When the services snap-in opens scroll down the list of services and locate the "Office Software Protection Platform" service, right click this service and select stop.

15. Maximise the ThinApp Capture wizard that we minimised in step 5 and then click to start the post scan process.

16. Once the post scan process has completed, change the Inventory name to something appropriate for your use, for example Microsoft Office 2010.

17. Before building the ThinApp project, copy the OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform folder from C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Microsoft to the folder %Common AppData%\Microsoft. To get to the "%Common AppData%\Microsoft folder" open the ThinApp Setup Wizard and click the "Open Project Folder" button, in the resulting window you should then see a folder named "%Common AppData%"  double click this folder then double click the "Microsoft" folder inside. Simply copy and paste the "OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform" folder into this location.

18. On the capture machine open the registry editor and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search\Preferences

In this location, right click in a white space area an create a new Multi-String Value with the name of, without quotes, "isolation_writecopy". Right click the created "isolation_writecopy" key and select "Modify". When the modify window opens, in the value area, enter the following information and click ok:

Value=PreventIndexingOutlook
REG_DWORD=#01#00#00#00

19. In the same registry editor window navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform

In this location, right click in a white space area an create a new Multi-String Value with the name of, without quotes, "isolation_full". Right click the created "isolation_full" key and select "Modify". When the modify window opens, in the value area, enter the following information and click ok:

Value=UserOperations
REG_DWORD=#01#00#00#00

20. In the same registry editor window navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Environment

In this location, right click in a white space area an create a new Multi-String Value with the name of, without quotes, "isolation_writecopy". Right click the created "isolation_writecopy" key and select "Modify". When the modify window opens, in the value area, enter the following information and click ok and then close the registry editor:

Value=ALLUSERSPROFILE
REG_SZ~%Common AppData%

21. Maximise the ThinApp Setup Wizard and click on the "Edit package.ini" button before starting the build process. In the ini file change the "MSIStreaming" value to 1 if you want this to be streamed ThinApp otherwise this will be a local ThinApp.

22. Click the "Build" button in ThinApp and wait for the build process to complete.

23. The ThinApp creation process is now complete and the applications should work and activate correctly on Windows XP systems. If you intend to use the Office 2010 ThinApp on Windows 7 operating systems, some additional changes need to be made to ensure that the product activation works correctly.

24. For Windows 7 machines only, in order for the ThinApps to launch and activate Office 2010 correctly you will need to disable the "Windows Search Service" and completely disable User Account Control (UAC). Disabling these two properties can be achieved by using Group Policy Objects as detailed here and here.

That's it, you should now have a fully functionaly Microsoft Office 2010 VMware ThinApp that works on both Windows XP and Windows 7 operating systems.