SolutionBase: Using the Custom Maintenance Wizard from the Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit

Learn how to configure and use the Custom Maintenance Wizard from the Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit to customize your Office 2003 installations.

The Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit provides a set of tools that help you administer and fine-tune the Office suite. Here's a look at the Custom Maintenance Wizard (CMW), an application that allows you to modify Office 2003 installations.

What it does

Using the Custom Maintenance Wizard, you can change your Microsoft Office 2003 installation across the enterprise at any time. You'll be able to reconfigure most features, including those you set using the Custom Installation Wizard. If you have groups of users, you can create separate CMW files for each group. To deploy your changes, run the Custom Maintenance Wizard from a command line on the client computers. (For more information on using the Custom Installation Wizard, see my TechRepublic article Leverage Office 2003 Resource Kit's Custom Installation Wizard to speed Office 2003 deployments.

The Custom Installation and Custom Maintenance wizards work similarly. Both read data out of the original Office Installation (MSI) file, and avoid modifying that file. However, the Installation Wizard and its MST file can only be used for initially setting up Office 2003. Any later modifications require the Custom Maintenance Wizard and its CMW file.

Why you need it

At some point you will probably need to modify the Office deployment for your enterprise. The Custom Maintenance Wizard is helpful for making subsequent large-scale deployments.

Download and installation

The Office 2003 Custom Maintenance Wizard is part of the Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit (ORK). To install it, you must download the entire resource kit (7.3 MB) from Microsoft's Web site.

Double-click the downloaded installation file, Ork.exe. Accept the license agreement. Setup will provide three choices: Install Now (with the default installation), Complete Installation, or Custom Installation.

To install only selected utilities, or just the Custom Maintenance Wizard by itself, choose Custom Installation. Then accept the default installation directory or enter a new one.

If you chose Custom Installation, the Advanced Customization screen will appear (otherwise Setup will begin now). Choose options by browsing to each tool and selecting either Run From My Computer, Run All From My Computer, or Not Available. Click Next to confirm your choices, then Finish to start installation.

When Setup has finished, the ORK tools will be listed under Start | All Programs | Microsoft Office | Microsoft Office Tools | Microsoft Office 2003 Office Resource Kit.

Using the Custom Maintenance Wizard

Bring up the wizard by selecting it from the path given above. Only the Office 2003 Custom Maintenance Wizard can be used for Office 2003 installations. Do not use another version, such as the one installed from the Office XP ORK. Naturally, you must also direct the wizard to an MSI installation file for the correct version of Office. In other words, for Office 2003 Professional, point the CMW to that MSI file, not one for another variety of Office 2003.

Wizard tip

There are a maximum of 18 configuration screens in this wizard (your modifications may prompt fewer screens), and the information you enter isn't saved until you click Finish. This means you can potentially lose your settings if your system crashes or you accidentally close the wizard. To avoid having to start over again, click Finish periodically. Then restart the wizard, point it to the CMW file you are working with, and continue configuring your Office 2003 update.

After the introductory screen, you'll be prompted for the location of the Office 2003 installation's MSI file. This file can be located on a network share, for example, or your Office 2003 installation CD. It will have a name such as D:\Pro11n.msi.

Next, choose to create a new CMW file or open a previously created one.

Now accept the default name and path of the new file or modify this information. Note also that beginning with this screen a drop-down navigation menu appears on the upper right, as shown in Figure A. From here on, you can jump to any screen you need, rather than having to repeatedly click the Back and Next buttons. Your current location, as well as items you can't configure, are shown in gray. For example, unless you opt to change the existing Outlook profile in screen 12, you won't be given the option to configure Exchange settings in screen 13.

Figure A

Navigate through the Maintenance Wizard by using the drop-down menu.

On screen 6 (Set Feature Installation States), you can modify most Office 2003 installation options. The screen resembles a user's customized Office install, though as an administrator you have greater control. For example, in addition to the standard options—Run From My Computer, Run All From My Computer, Installed On First Use, and Not Available—you can set each item to Leave Unchanged, Run From Network, Run All From Network, and Not Available, Hidden, Locked.

As in a user's customized install, features appear in tree format, set to their default options, as shown in Figure B. Drill down to the ones you need to change. Here is the complete list of settings. Note that they will vary slightly, depending on the feature selected:

  • Run From My Computer
  • Run All From My Computer
  • Run From Network
  • Run All From Network
  • Installed On First Use
  • Not Available
  • Not Available, Hidden, Locked

Figure B

Using the drop-down list, choose the installation option you want to modify in your next deployment.

If you need to, click the Reset Branch button to restore the default state of that section of the options hierarchy. It's also possible to start the wizard with the entire tree expanded. Use the command-line option /x, as follows:

Path/Maintwiz.exe /x

To avoid installation headaches, be careful that the options you set are actually deployable. Let's say, for example, that during this next deployment you want to install the Excel Add-in for Euro Currency Tools, so you specify Run From My Computer for this option. However, if users don't have Excel installed, the Add-in won't be installed, either. The rule is that options set lower down the tree don't automatically add components higher up the tree. Consider current user settings higher up the hierarchy when you make changes.

The next screen lists default user options that appear in Office 2003 programs after they are installed. You can modify any of these options. The left pane shows the category, while the right pane reveals each option and its current setting. Double-click the setting to change its value. For example, as Figure C shows, under Microsoft Office 2003 (User) | Assistant | General you can specify which Office Assistant to use. A drop-down list of assistants appears when you double-click the setting.

Figure C

Use this screen to modify user options.

Note that once you deploy your CMW file, its values will overwrite your users' current settings. However, be aware that if you disable a feature in the previous screen (Installation Options), the User Options won't apply. For example, if you uninstall the Office Assistant, then specifying Clipit here in the User Options screen won't have any effect on the deployment.

On the next screen you can enter files to be added and removed during the next deployment. Here are few details to note about adding files:

  • If you modify a file after adding it to your CMW file (files are attached when you click Finish), you'll have to run the wizard again. Remove the old file, then add the revised version.
  • Files won't be removed or replaced on a user's setup if that user has independently uninstalled, modified, repaired, or reinstalled Office.

The following screen allows you to add, remove, and modify registry entries. Under the Add tab, you can import a registry file to read in the keys and values. Clicking Add opens a dialog box in which you can create new values and settings. The Remove tab works similarly.

In this case, as well, registry settings you modify won't be applied if the user has independently changed the Office installation.

The next two screens are straightforward and don't need to be covered in detail. They allow you to:

  • Add servers to be used for installation.
  • Modify Office security settings by adding digital certificates and setting the default behaviors for Office applications, templates, and ActiveX installations.

The final screens apply to various Outlook settings. Screen 13 is for modifying an existing Outlook profile, creating a new default profile, or applying changes using a PRF file. (Note that if you leave the existing profile unchanged, you'll jump ahead to the final two configuration screens.)

When you modify or create a new profile, the next screens give you the options to:

  • Configure Exchange settings. This screen covers the standard options. You must define an Exchange server before continuing.
  • Add accounts. You can add POP, HTTP, IMAP, Personal Folder Files (PSTs), Outlook Address Books, Internet Directory Services (LDAP), and Personal Address Books. For each type of account you can specify where to deliver mail—to the default location, Exchange Server, or Large Personal Folders (PST).
  • Specify whether or not to remove Lotus cc:mail and Microsoft Mail accounts (only available if you are modifying an existing profile).
  • Set the default mail format, editor, and indicate whether or not to convert a Personal Address Book to an Outlook Address Book.
  • Configure settings for Send/Receive; Add and Modify Send/Receive groups.

When you're done configuring this installation, click Finish. Your CMW file will be saved to the location you specified.

Applying the CMW file

To deploy the new settings, run the Custom Maintenance Wizard on the client computers. The following command line will install the settings saved in the CMW file (here, called Newdata.cmw, stored in the folder C:\Update):

maintwiz.exe /c "c:\update\newdata.cmw" /qb- 

The /c switch tells the wizard to apply the CMW file; /qb- tells the wizard to display only progress indicators and error messages.

The following command-line switches are available:

  • /c (followed by CMW path and file) applies the specified CMW file to the computer running Maintwiz.exe.
  • /q runs in quiet mode (available only with /c).
  • /qb displays the user interface.
  • /qb- displays only progress indicators and error messages when applying CMW file.
  • /qb+ adds a completion message when running the user interface.
  • /l creates a log file.
  • /x expands the Custom Installation Options tree when starting the wizard from the command line. (Use when creating or modifying a CMW file.)


Not many problems have been reported with using the CMW with Office 2003. The Microsoft Knowledge Base addresses only one quirk. Article 829220 covers situations in which deployed changes to Excel 2003 are not retained after the first time Excel 2003 is run. Unfortunately, although Microsoft acknowledges the issue, there is no fix yet.

Need more help?

Microsoft's version of the Custom Installation Wizard manual is available online. In addition, the CMW provides help for each screen. Just click the Help button.