Microsoft Office X/2004/2008/2011

By: Scott Doenges - Revised: 2011-01-27 Richard

Microsoft Office Icon

Fixing Office X/2004 "Configuring Components"
In an enterprise deployment of Microsoft Office you probably continually see it display "Configuring Components" and it checks/reconfigures components installed. With managed computers with template home folders, this is a bit redundant and is a bad user experience. So it would be nice to make it so this doesn't happen every time a new user launches a Office X/2004 application (i.e. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.).

After the first configuring, many of the files in:


are modified, however, when using some maintenance tools to copy the folder, it will lose an attribute and Office X/2004 applications will re-configure components.

If you copy the folder using one of the following tools/applications, Office X/2004 will NOT perform the "Configuring Components" after each re-launch.
  • Finder
  • Apple Remote Desktop (ARD)
  • RsyncX
  • Path Finder
  • StuffIt (.sit format)
But, if you use one of the following tools or applications, Office X WILL perform the "Configuring Components".
  • Carbon Copy Cloner
  • cp
  • ditto -rsrc
  • CpMac
  • radmind
  • zip
  • tar
  • dmg (probably ASR)
This is because these tools/apps do not preserve the creation date of file system objects. Office X checks the creation date of this file:

~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Carbon Registration Database

And Office 2004 checks the creation date of this file:

~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/OLE Registration Database 11

If it is wrong, it will "Configure Components". If you use a tool/app that doesn't preserve the creation date, you will need to manually reset the creation date.

To get the creation date, use the command line tool GetFileInfo, which is part of the Developer Tools. Like this for Office X:

/Developer/Tools/GetFileInfo ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Carbon Registration Database

file:"/Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Carbon Registration Database"
type: "pref"
creator: "RgEd"
attributes: avbstclinmed
created: 09/26/2002 12:03:23
modified: 01/19/2004 17:46:59

Or like this for Office 2004:

/Developer/Tools/GetFileInfo ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/OLE Registration Database 11

file: "/Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/OLE Registration Database 11"
type: "pref"
creator: "RgEd"
attributes: avbstclinmed
created: 09/26/2002 12:03:23
modified: 01/19/2004 17:46:59

Then, after you copy the ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft folder , run SetFile for Office X like this:

/Developer/Tools/SetFile -d "09/26/2002 12:03:23" "/path/to/copy/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Carbon Registration Database"

Or like this for Office 2004:

/Developer/Tools/SetFile -d "09/26/2002 12:03:23" "/path/to/copy/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/OLE\ Registration\ Database\ 11"

If you are creating new home directories in a large deployment using tools like ditto, you will need to set the correct creation date on the "Carbon Registration Database" for Office X and "OLE Registration Database 11" applications to launch quickly.

A perl wrapper for this command looks like this for Office X:

system "/Developer/Tools/SetFile -d "09/26/2002 12:03:23" "/path/to/copy/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Carbon Registration Database"";

Or for Office 2004:

system "/Developer/Tools/SetFile -d \"09/26/2002 12:03:23\" \"/path/to/copy/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/OLE\ Registration\ Database\ 11\"";

You can either implement the steps outlined above yourself, or if you're a user of Entman, James Reynolds has incorporated the above steps so you just need to put in the appropriate settings into the file.  Just open your file and search for Office and then follow the infile documentation.

Now you just need to keep the data Microsoft stores in the users home folder up to date.  If your deployment is done using Radmind you can scan the home folder for before and after differences after multiple launches of office.  And then you can merge these into the applicable transcripts.  If your deployment uses something like Deep Freeze you just unthaw your image launch MS Office a few times and then re-freeze it.  And if you just use static images just make sure MS Office has been launched several times on the image before you seal it up to for deployment.

Fixing Office 2008/2011 "Configuring Components"
New note: When using with Office 2008 or 2011, the same will still apply.

In the case of Office 2008 you would need to adjust:

~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/OLE Registration Database 2008

For Office 2011 you would need to adjust:

~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2011/OLE Registration Database

Perform the same steps as were performed on Office X and Office 2004 with the files listed and you'll be sure to operate well.