Tag Archives: microsoft

Office 365 – Get Office 365 wave 2016 now!

Published / by Rens Hollanders / 6 Comments on Office 365 – Get Office 365 wave 2016 now!

Microsoft has released Office 2016 officially a couple of days ago, and this also includes the Office 365 version of the Office 2016 suite.

If you already have deployed Office 365 wave 2013 before, you’ll know the Office 365 Deployment Tool (download the latest 2016 compatible version). This tool extracts two files in a folder which allow you to download the Office 365 click-to-run suite for preinstalling the software on computers.

When the tool is downloaded, run it and extract the files to a folder. From there, modify the download.xml as following:

The difference between the previous 2013 version, is that you can specify the update branch. Read more about it here. Basically it’s similar to Windows 10, do you want to be in the fast ring or the slow ring. So by specifying the branch you”ll decide between monthly updates or every four months!

For installing Office 365 I use a second dedicated installation XML:

And I call the installation of Office 365 from a cmd file, so it can be incorporated in MDT, System Center Configuration Manager or RES Automation Manager:

Want to read more about deploying Office 365? Please check my previous posts on this topic! #Office365

Questions, comment’s, or just want to give your appreciation? Let it hear in the comments!

Cheers! Rens

Office 365 – Updated deployment guide

Published / by Rens Hollanders / 53 Comments on Office 365 – Updated deployment guide

I still very often receive questions about how to deploy Office 365 the best way. In a blog I’ve written february 2014 I explain how to deploy Office 365 through MDT.

At the time the installer of Office 365 didn’t wait untill Office 365 was fully installed, instead the installer was initiated and the MDT task sequence proceeded to continue executing other tasks with the impact as a result that if the machine was being rebooted due to a task in the task sequence the installation of Office 365 failed.

Very recently I’ve downloaded the latest version of Office 365 ProPlus Retail, version: 15.0.4745.1001 which I’ve noticed waits during installation until the installation of Office 365 is complete.

In my previous post, I’ve devised a construction, that copied the Office 365 installation files from the MDT deployment share, to the local computer and be executed on the local machine. With the following configure.xml and install.cmd this isn’t necessary anymore:

Second you’ll need to have an Install.cmd that can be called by MDT to execute the installation of Office 365:

This will make sure Office 365 is installed directly from your deploymentshare, without copying files to the local computer and having to clean up those files later.

Just make sure the Office 365 are imported as an application, with the following files residing in the Office 365 folder:


Cheers! Rens

MDT – Microsoft releases advanced how-to MDT technet articles and more…

Published / by Rens Hollanders / Leave a Comment

Hi guys,

Long time since my previous post but I’m kinda in the middle of moving our stuff after we have sold our house, so I’ve been a little bit occupied at the moment. However there are some great things to report:

As you perhaps might know, TechEd North America has kicked off today, already with some fantastic new things and improvements to report.

One of them is regarding to Operating System Deployment with the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.

As stated by other persons on the web busy with Operating System Deployment, Microsoft isn’t any longer showing how one can perform an Operating System Deployment with MDT, but it is exactly telling us what to do, and how it can be achieved.

Please see the following section on technet, and this link in particular: Create a Windows 8.1 Reference Image

Next thing is that deployment guru and MVP Johan Arwidmark known for his website: http://deploymentresearch.com now has released a weekly update for us “deployment geeks” called: “Deployment News”, you can check in on him every week on his youtube channel

I’ve taken the liberty to embed the first two episodes of Deployment News on this blog!

Deployment News – Episode 1

Deployment News – Episode 2

That I’ll be all for know, I’m working on a post regarding OS deployments with MDT on VMware, since I’ve noticed a big difference in performance between Intel E1000 and VMXNET3 NIC’s

Cheers and see you soon!

Direct Access – Automatic GPO configuration set’s outdated and incorrect WMI filter

Published / by Rens Hollanders / 4 Comments on Direct Access – Automatic GPO configuration set’s outdated and incorrect WMI filter

Just a quick post to inform you about the GPO’s that will be automatically configured when configuring Direct Access.

Today I’ve done a Server 2012 R2 Direct Access implementation, and part of this configuration is that the Direct Access Configuration Wizard will automatically create two Direct Access GPO’s in your Group Policy Management.

  • One for Servers
  • One for Clients
figure 1.1: Group Policy Management


However, the GPO for Clients is configured with a WMI filter, so that if the rules stated in the WMI filter apply, the policy will be set on the system.

figure 1.2: WMI Filters


The WMI filter containes two queries: The 1st query looks for the PCSystemType to match with the number 2, which represents an mobile device (either a laptop or tablet). The 2nd query verifies if the Operatingsystem ProductType, Version, and OperatingSystemSKU matches a number of possibilities:

as we can see here the second query, looks for machines which are: ProductType 3 (Server) which run: Version 6.2 (Windows 8) and have OperatingSystemSKU: 4 (Enterprise) or run Version 6.1 (Windows 7) and another set of SKU’s.

The odd thing here is that, although the Direct Access server runs on Windows Server 2012 R2, it configures WMI filters for Windows 8 and Windows 7, and not Windows 8.1. Also it configures in that same particular filter that the ProductType needs to match #3 which equals a server, and not a workstation (which represents the number 1)

Therefore I’ve modified this query into the following:

This way the WMI filter, filters accordingly to a Windows 8.1 Enterprise operatingsystem running on a Workstation.

Alternatively you can simplify, adapt er even completely remove the WMI query and just apply the GPO to a specific OU. However DirectAccess configures the GPO next to the default domain policy at the toplevel of the domain thus applying to all OU’s and Objects if it wasn’t for the WMI filter.

Hope this blog can be of use when configuring DirectAccess and prevent any delays when troubleshooting!

If there is anything you would like to share, please feel free to contribute in the comments

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Office 365 – Automatic deployment of Office 365 with MDT

Published / by Rens Hollanders / 80 Comments on Office 365 – Automatic deployment of Office 365 with MDT

This blog has been updated by a new blog:
Office 365 – Updated Deployment Guide

Not every blog needs to be technical, sometimes clustering information, that is shattered over the internet can be useful too!

This time I want to explain how Office 365 can be deployed unattended, automatically, first time right!

On my journey into all the new stuff  (for me at least), I’ve encountered allot of things in the past couple of months. Automatic deployment of bitlocker on Windows 8.1, Intune, Server 2012 (R2) etc.

The challenges that arise by trying to work and automate with these new things really make me enjoy my work, because it is fun to do, it provides insight and experience after you have managed to get things working. So was this, when I was looking into Office 365. For a project that involves Windows 8.1, Office 365 and Windows Intune, I was looking on how to gather the right files to do a unattended deployment of Office 365 and it all came down to this:

1. Know which Office 365 plan you have!

First of all, there is this website: Compare Office 365 for Business Plans this Microsoft website explains the number of Office 365 plans that are available and lets you as a customer, reseller or company choose which plan suits best for your purpose.

figure 1.1: Office 365 Business Plans


Based on the chosen plan, Microsoft has a list of official product id’s, just like the regular office suites, which are used to identify which version of Office we are dealing with here: Product IDs that are supported by the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run

2. Know which Product ID you need!

As you can see, the product IDs differ much from the Business Plans names:

The following Microsoft Office 365 product IDs are supported by the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run in Office 365 deployments:

  • O365ProPlusRetail
  • VisioProRetail
  • ProjectProRetail
  • SPDRetail (SharePoint Designer)

In addition to these product IDs, the following non-Office 365 product IDs are supported by this tool:

  • AccessRetail
  • ExcelRetail
  • HomeBusinessRetail
  • HomeStudentRetail
  • InfoPathRetail
  • LyncRetail
  • ProfessionalRetail
  • O365HomePremRetail
  • O365SmallBusPremRetail
  • OneNoteRetail
  • OutlookRetail
  • PowerPointRetail
  • ProjectStdRetail
  • PublisherRetail
  • VisioStdRetail
  • WordRetail

These product Id’s come in quite handy, when trying to retrieve the Office 365 click-to-run files, which are no ordinary setup.exe and some source files, but rather exist out of several cab files (depending on what you are downloading) and a number of *.dat files containing the source files.

3. Acquire the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run!

It all starts with the setup.exe for Office click-to-run which can be downloaded here: Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run

This is no ordinary setup as mentioned earlier, instead it contains the logic to download Office 365 click-to-run based on certain command line switches and a “configure.xml”

figure 1.2: Office 365 click-to-run setup files


4. Know how to use the setup.exe

When downloaded, these files are located in a folder. Open up an elevated command prompt, browse to the folder and type:

setup.exe /?

This will provide the following available information and command line switches:

figure 1.3: command prompt


  • setup.exe /download
  • setup.exe /configure
  • setup.exe /packager

The purpose of each switch is explained in the command prompt.

Based on the configuration of the configure.xml, a Office 365 click-to-run installation will be downloaded to a designated directory. Based on the very brief documentation about the configure.xml, I choose to do the following:

Create one “configure.xml” for downloading and call it “download.xml”, and one “configure.xml” for installation and call it “install.xml”. This way it’s not necessary to change the xml file ever again. Since within the configure xml a download directory is specified, but this directory also functions as a source folder. That’s the reason why I used two xml files, since the download and source directory can be different.

Next I’ve created a command line file (cmd) which does the following when running the Office 365 click-to-run during an automatic deployment:

codeblock 1.1: install.cmd

It copies the source to the local %temp% directory into a seperate folder. It executes the installation of Office 365 click-to-run locally, and unattended, and when done, cleans up the temp folder.

To demonstrate the differences between the xml files, I have provided a screenshot of them opened in Notepad++

figure 1.4: download.xml and install.xml in Notepad++


as you can see I’ve used one of the desired Product ID’s specified by Microsoft’s website, I’ve specified on the download.xml a source path where the files can be stored, and on the install.xml the source path for installation.

5. Incorporate in MDT (or any other tool)

In MDT I’ve created the following:

figure 1.5: MDT Application


First an application, which calls the install.cmd

figure 1.6: MDT Task Sequence


and embedded this step as an “install application” step in my task sequence. Since I use this task sequence to build reference images, I’ve disabled other versions of Office and added the Office 365 click-to-run as an application to be installed.


Deploying Office 365 click-to-run isn’t that hard to do, you just need to know where to look and how to approach the installation. Keep in mind that whatever Office version you download, this software is not branded to one Office 365 account. The software is universally applicable. Since after the deployment you always need to sign into Office with your Office 365 account, thus activating 1 out of 5 available installations for this account.

Anything to report, contribute or have done deploying Office 365 click-to-run in any other (efficient) way. Please feel free to contribute in the comments, or write me an e-mail or contact me at twitter!

Find attached the screenshots and files used for my Office 365 click-to-run deployment


Thanks for reading 🙂