ConfigMgr 2007: How to deploy Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9 – Resources and Caveats



I was searching for a good end-to-end blog post on deploying Adobe Reader 9.x with ConfigMgr 2007 and found there were only a couple of light discussions out there.

In this post, I’ll provide all the information and resources needed to customize and deploy Adobe Reader, as well as a pointer to some tips for side-stepping potential issues with Adobe Reader co-existence with Adobe Acrobat.

In this article

  • Extracting the MSI
  • How to Create the Transform
  • Coexistence of Reader and Acrobat
  • ConfigMgr Command Line
  • Caveats and Issues

Obtaining and Extracting the MSI

You have to begin by filling out a form to tell Adobe how many copies you intend to install, etc. The form tells you approval will come within 3 days. We received an approval e-mail immediately. The file you will download is actually an executable. You will need to extract the MSI. You can find instructions for extracting the Adobe Reader 9 installer file (msi) at this URL:

Abbreviated Instructions for extracting the MSI

  1. Download the AdbeRdr9x_en_US.exe from the link in the confirmation email you receive after filling out the distribution agreement and save the file to your desktop.
  2. Choose Start > Run.
  3. In the Open text box, type: “%UserProfile%\Desktop\AdbeRdr9x_en_US.exe” -nos_ne.
  4. Click OK to start decompressing the file.
  5. When the Adobe Reader 9.x Setup screen clears, browse to the following location
    %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Setup Files

How to create the transform

You need to download the Adobe 9 Customization Wizard for building a transform (mst) file. You can download at this URL:

It works with the following Adobe products:

  • Obtaining and Extracting the MSI
  • Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended
  • Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro
  • Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard
  • Adobe Reader 9

And here’s some of what you can do with the transform

  • Optimize the behavior of the installer by including silent installation, preserialization, multilingual, and custom setup choices
  • Remove previous versions of Acrobat and Reader
  • Suppress the EULA, registration prompts, and the Getting Started window
  • Customize key application preferences — turn off automatic updates, add and set default job options, and customize collaboration and security settings
  • Remove shortcuts from the desktop and the Start menu
  • Edit each Adobe Acrobat application’s registry and installer tables
  • Customize file attachment handling within PDF files, including specifying which file types you want to block
  • Add or edit files that will be installed, including customized JavaScript or plug-ins
  • Preconfigure Acrobat Connect and disable it
  • Preconfigure and lock Enhanced Security settings
  • Deploy custom Portfolio navigators
  • Add or remove custom redaction code sets

    Coexistence of Acrobat and Reader

    You can set whatever options suit your organization, but if you intend to install Adobe Acrobat 9 (Standard or Pro) on systems, do one of two things.

    1. Do not install Adobe Reader on these systems or

    2. On the Installation Options screen in the Customization Wizard, choose the ‘Installer will decide which product will be the default’ option. More on this in the ‘Caveats and Issue’ section below


    ConfigMgr Command Line

    Here is the command line we used in our ConfigMgr environment to deploy Adobe Reader with the customizations we made in the transform (mst). Replace mytransform.mst with the name of your transform file.

    msiexec.exe /q ALLUSERS=2 /m MSIHPSJR /i “AcroRead.msi” TRANSFORMS=mytransform.mst


    Caveats and Issues

    We actually ran into a problems when we failed to follow the advice in the “Coexistence of Acrobat and Reader” section mentioned above. We had issues when we tried to choose the behavior and it broke functionality for reading PDFs in a web browser. You can read about this issue on the support forums at


    I hope you find this information helpful. Please post your questions to the Configuration Manager support forum on this site.

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