How to change 2013 install using custom .msp

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  • Blood


    I have used two .msp files to customise the installation of MS-Office Pro Plus 2013 for two separate parts of our organisation. This has worked fine for several years. The 32bit version is installed on a mix of 32bit and 64bit Windows 7 machines.

    We had been using Office 2003 Pro and some of our databases contain elements that are pre-2003. During testing we discovered that Access 2013 won’t read those pre-2003 elements (it displays blank boxes on the front-end). Because of this, and because we wanted to ensure that existing docs would retain their original formatting in case of incompatibility issues one of the .msp’s does the following: For the existing installation of Office 2003 it leaves all the original elements in place. For Office 2013 it installs all the elements except for Access 2013 (it is not possible to have both Access 2003 and Access 2013 installed side by side).

    Yesterday, a member of staff needed to open an .accdb file which requires Access 2013. I edited the existing .msp, removed Access 2003 and configured it to install Access 2013 and saved it using a new name. I then copied the new .msp file into the updates folder and removed the original.

    Unfortunately, I was unable to get this to change the existing installation. I first tried running setup and discovered that this does nothing to the original installation. After a web-search I tried running the .msp file itself. The various installation dialogs flashed across the screen, but the installation remained unchanged. Next, I tried running the .msp file via msiexec.exe using the /p and then the /update switches. Neither of those worked. I tried running msiexec.exe from the Run command, and from a command prompt.

    I had to uninstall Office 2013 and then reinstall. The new installation picked up the configuration from the .msp file and Access 2013 was installed.

    What did I do wrong? I got the alternative info from Microsoft’s forums so was surprised when the recommended procedures did not work.

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