Office365 Specialize

April 6, 2021

The concept is simple. Can Office 365 / 2019 be installed prior to OOBE/AutoPilot?

Jeff was kind enough to send me his Office Configuration file for this test, so kudos for stepping up.

Keep in mind this is ROUGH and not automated at all. I'm just testing the concept to make sure it works. If so, then I'll look at automation

Configuration File

Here's a sanitized copy of Jeff's Office Configuration file

<Configuration ID="INSERT GUID HERE">
  <Add OfficeClientEdition="64" Channel="SemiAnnual" MigrateArch="TRUE">
    <Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
      <Language ID="en-us" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Groove" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Lync" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="OneDrive" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Bing" />
    <Product ID="VisioPro2019Volume" PIDKEY="INSERT PID HERE">
      <Language ID="en-us" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Groove" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Lync" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="OneDrive" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Bing" />
    <Product ID="ProjectPro2019Volume" PIDKEY="INSERT PID HERE">
      <Language ID="en-us" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Groove" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Lync" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="OneDrive" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Bing" />
  <Property Name="SharedComputerLicensing" Value="0" />
  <Property Name="SCLCacheOverride" Value="0" />
  <Property Name="AUTOACTIVATE" Value="0" />
  <Property Name="FORCEAPPSHUTDOWN" Value="FALSE" />
  <Property Name="DeviceBasedLicensing" Value="0" />
  <Updates Enabled="TRUE" />
  <RemoveMSI />
    <Setup Name="Company" Value="INSERT COMPANY HERE" />
  <Display Level="Full" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />


For this first test, I'll download the content before the install to speed things along. In his case, he is installing from MDT, so this will probably be the method he uses. This is the command I will use to download the content

setup.exe /download Office2019Conf.xml

WinPE Phase

OSDCloud Install

I'll start out by running through an OSDCloud, it doesn't matter what OS or anything. I just need to remember not to reboot yet! In the screenshot below, this is my entry point for installing Office (which shouldn't have run for a VM, but I'm glad it's here)

Copy Content

There's no universally agreed upon path for saving the Office content, so I'll just dump it at C:\MSOffice. Here's what that looks like in that directory with setup.exe, Office Configuration XML, and the Office Data


I'll need to edit the Expand-StagedDriverPack.xml for this test ... in this example I've removed the Driver bit (since I'm on a VM, that doesn't matter)


Here is how the XML looks. The first order of business is to disable the Office Telemetry since this will prevent the Office installation from finishing. This can be added back in the Unattend xml, or in the OS, or I can leave it disabled. PowerShell_ISE is not necessary, but it gives me a WAIT so I can check some things out before rebooting to OOBE

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
    <settings pass="specialize">
        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Deployment" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="" xmlns:xsi="">
                <RunSynchronousCommand wcm:action="add">
                    <Description>Disable Telemetry</Description>
                    <Path>reg add HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\Common\ClientTelemetry /v DisableTelemetry /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f</Path>
                <RunSynchronousCommand wcm:action="add">
                    <Description>Install Office365</Description>
                    <Path>C:\MSOffice\setup.exe /configure C:\MSOffice\Office2019Conf.xml</Path>
                <RunSynchronousCommand wcm:action="add">
                    <Description>PowerShell ISE</Description>

Snapshot and Reboot

Time to take a snapshot and reboot to Specialize and see if this works


I'd take screenshots of how it worked, but I think the video works best so you can see the process taking only a few minutes


Another video. Nothing much to see here, I just did a Domain setup (this was not an AutoPilot test)

Further Steps

  • AutoPilot - this should work fine, but it will have to be tested

  • Download Content - this test was done with the Office data in place, so a test downloading the content will need to be performed. I had done this previously with another configuration, so I'm sure this will work

  • Network Drivers - obviously this will run after the Driver injection, but I will need to perform some tests if the Network Adapter isn't installed

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