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Adding an application to Office install on a remote desktop server

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Last Modified: 2020-04-08
I have deployed Office 2016 Pro Plus on a RDS server, all of which is working fine. However, one of the users who's working remotely is now saying that they need MS Access, which I didn't install during the initial deployment.  I assumed that when I ran setup.exe again (through Install Application on Remote Desktop), it would go into the "Uninstall or Change" mode that you get if you launch it from the Programs list. However, it's not doing that but launching setup.exe as if it's a fresh install.

I'm leery of going through the entire install again, because I don't know what effect it will have on the already installed applications.  Is it possible to launch an .exe or .msi from the Pro Plus CD to install Access only?  Does anyone have any experience with this or a way around doing a complete install again?
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Commented:
I don't think "Install Application on Remote Desktop" is what to do.

You should install on the server using the same account - or at least an admin account - and the same method as you used originally.
The installer should allow you to select "Modify" the current installation.
Jim Dettman (EE MVE)President / Owner
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<<I don't think "Install Application on Remote Desktop" is what to do. >>

 But that's what you are supposed to do when you are on a terminal services server,  other wise supposedly registry entries won't be right.

I don't know the answer for sure though.  I think if you do it through control panel, it might not install properly in the TS environment.  but I share the concern of running the other way and messing up the existing install.

Jim.
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@Jim
No precautions needed. All modern applications that I know (and I am talking about modern= 15 years old or newer), are "TS aware".
See https://helgeklein.com/free-tools/istsawareapp/ for a test tool.

Office 2016 is TS aware.
Jim Dettman (EE MVE)President / Owner
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<< All modern applications that I know (and I am talking about modern= 15 years old or newer), are "TS aware". >>

 Not sure about that.   Just reading a few docs now and O365 Pro Plus with a click to run install requires special handling for TS installs (download, config of .XML file, then install) or it won't license right.

 That aside, I can't find an answer for the question at hand.   Nothing I can find about modifying an existing install and it's not something I've had to deal with.

Jim.
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This is Office 2016 Pro Plus, not 365 and we use it on a TS and I can open appwiz.cpL now and change it at once.
Hypercat (Deb)President
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@McKnife - so you're saying that you've tested running the Pro Plus install with appwiz.cpl and it works fine on a RDS server for all users?
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For all users? Of course. It's not a per user installation.

Yes, tested like that.
Hypercat (Deb)President
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Thanks...No need to get snippy. Just double-checking because, after all, that's the whole point and I don't want to fubar up something that's currently working for all users.
Jim Dettman (EE MVE)President / Owner
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<<I don't want to fubar up something that's currently working for all users. >>
 
 Any chance of backing this up and then restoring to a test VM?
 Lacking any clear insight on this, that might be the best option.
JIm.
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Not getting snippy. Just didn't understand what you meant by "for all users" as there is no per user installation possible for the product that you run.
Hypercat (Deb)President
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@McKnife - gotcha, I guess I should have said something like "for every user who opens the application on the RDweb site," maybe that would have been closer to what I actually meant. In fact, I don't know what could go wrong if I use the appwiz.cpl other than users being unable to run the application after it's installed.

@Jim Dettman - that is a good idea if I had enough time in the day and night and still get some private time and sleep. I'm trying to support multiple clients with (obviously) multiple users, many of whom never bothered to learn how to work remotely until now, even though the capability has been there for most of them for a number of years.  Lotsa support time required.... That said, as I mentioned to McKnife, I think the possible damage would be slight.  It would probably take less time to fix it than to clone the VM for testing.  After all, if I fubar the Office install, I could uninstall and reinstall the whole suite including Access in 10-15 minutes. I'd just have a bunch of people screaming at me by email in the meantime....

I'm going to proceed with McKnife's advice, since he's been around a loooong time, only a month or so less than I have but he has a bunch more points than I, so I know he's a dedicated EE-er and right more often than not.

Thanks for everyone's comments.  I'll post back with results.
Jim Dettman (EE MVE)President / Owner
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Trying times for sure and understand.

 As for the users, I often find that "this was the fastest way to solve the problem even though there was the potential to break a few existing things, so I went that route vs possibly taking days to get it done" often works well.

Best of luck with the install.  Will be waiting to hear the result.

Jim.
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