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Currently making some changes to my unattend file in order to meet user requirements. One of the requirements has been to add 3 office application shortcuts to the task bar by default.

I am aware that this can be configured through the Unattend file during the Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup component. TaskBarLinks requires a simple path to the shortcut. The initial image that is placed on the machine contains no software at all. I am wondering if I could populate the path to the link with the path that will exist once the Office has been installed later in the provisioning process (about 10 minutes after booting into Windows for the first time), or will the build fail when that path cannot be found?

I would test this to discover it myself but I am currently away from the office and would need to explore other avenues if this is not a viable solution.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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Did you ever find a solution to this? –  WinOutreach4 Mar 8 '12 at 17:26

1 Answer 1

"...will the build fail when that path cannot be found?"

The deploy won't fail, the deployment will simply be unable to pin the applications because the applications don't exist yet. Since hese taskbarlinks would be generated before the state restore phase where applications are actually installed, the setup will be unable to create taskbarlinks as it would unable to locate the files, and you get nothing. So put office in the image, and use the code below.

Below is how one would pin a windows app to the start menu by default in the answer file.

<TaskbarLinks>
<Link0>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\accessories\sound recorder.lnk</Link0>
<Link1>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\accessories\sync center.lnk</Link1>
<Link2>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\accessories\wordpad.lnk</Link2>
</TaskbarLinks>

While it's quite easy to use unattend.xml to assign links to applications in c:\winows\system32 like the snipping tool, sticky notes or the calculator, it's trickier getting Office in there.

What is far more reliable is the Office Customization tool to at least create desktop icons for office installs (Not the taskbarlinks, but it works.)

Check this workaround out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Olg3uVqwD0

However, if you're really adamant about taskbar links, there are plenty of scripts that do this.

The best script I've found is here: http://theitbros.com/copy-taskbar-icons-windows-7-sysprep-v2/

If you're not a huge fan of scripting things like this, another option is using a "hybrid image" that has just updates + office in it allready, and try running sysprep a second time with a new answer file that then points to the allready installed office, that may just work too.

If Outlook is allready installed in the reference image, This works. I verfied this only works when outlook is in the reference image. The only time I could pin Office apps is was if they existed allready in the image.

%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft Office\Microsoft Outlook 2010.lnk
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