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Help with Deploying customized Adobe Reader 8 on Windows 2003 Terminal Server - Thanks.

slsmith asked
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I need to roll out Adobe Reader 8 onto our terminal servers over the next week and am seeking a bit of guidance from you experts.  The trick here is that I have to customize the installer (MSI) to disable a few features and the main thing, to include the Mail/search/save icons on the tool bar by default when a user opens up Adobe Reader.

I used the Adobe customization tool to disable the features and the direct editor to change the registry entries for the toolbar features I need.  This works when I use the custom installer on my local machine for my user account but does not work for other user accounts on my local machine.  I basically need it to apply to all users (current and future) on the Terminal Servers.

Please feel free to ask questions, as I left out some of the details to avoid confusion.  Also, please let me know if I am taking a totally wrong approach.

Thanks for your help.

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Use the customization tool to generate a transform (.mst) file and place it in the same directory as the .msi file.  You can then manually install the program along with the transform with the following command:
msiexec /i AcroRead.msi /passive /norestart TRANSFORMS="AdobeReader.mst"

The changes should be applied for all users on the computer.

You can also install the program through the Software Installation node of Group Policy and specify the location of the .mst file on the Modifications tab.


I have created the transform and used it in the installs I mentioned above in my first post.  However, the toolbar icons which are mandatory for me are not working in other user accounts - only my account from which the product was installed.  

I think it has to do with the direct edit registry changes I made - I am not sure as I am still a novice at installs like this.  I got the advice for the registry changes from somewhere online, but here they are:

(the lines below wrap around)
Registry      Root      Key      Name      Value      Component_

Registry927      1      SOFTWARE\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\8.0\AVGeneral\cToolbars\cFile\cInternalButtons      a0      Open      Registry_Main_User
Registry928      1      SOFTWARE\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\8.0\AVGeneral\cToolbars\cFile\cInternalButtons      a1      Print      Registry_Main_User
Registry929      1      SOFTWARE\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\8.0\AVGeneral\cToolbars\cFile\cInternalButtons      a2      Save      Registry_Main_User
Registry930      1      SOFTWARE\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\8.0\AVGeneral\cToolbars\cFile\cInternalButtons      a3      SaveFileAs      Registry_Main_User
Registry931      1      SOFTWARE\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\8.0\AVGeneral\cToolbars\cFile\cInternalButtons      a4      AcroSendMail:SendMail      Registry_Main_User
Registry932      1      SOFTWARE\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\8.0\AVGeneral\cToolbars\cFile\cInternalButtons      a5      FindDialog      Registry_Main_System
Adobe reader runs very unstable on several TS installs I have. Had to move to Foxit Reader 2.0.


I am not too happy with it either, however, it is not worth the hassle I would get from changing something for our users.
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)


I thought I tried that with no success but may have approached it in another way.  I used the same entries above but with a number 2 replacing the number 1, indication HKLM as opposed to HKCU.  The keys were indeed present under HKLM but they had no effect.  Maybe I missed something and I will try it your way and let you know what happens.

Do a full uninstall and make sure all the user registry entries are wiped out before reinstalling.  If you just install over the top and the entries are already there then it apparently won't overwrite them.


You were correct, you have to completely wipe out the old version before reinstalling with the registry changes made in the Customization tool.  What I ultimately did was to:

wipe out all adobe reader 8 info
install vanilla version
make all changes to reader that I want for everyone and record where the registry changes with regmon
use the customization tool to import the HKCU reg keys into HKLM
remove reader 8
install custom version with new transform

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