Knowledgebase:
Microsoft Office Updates and Deep Freeze
Posted by Adam Zilliax on 28 October 2022 07:07 AM

Overview

This document will provide information on the handling of updates to Microsoft Office on client systems running Deep Freeze.

Customers who are not already familiar with the handling of Windows Updates in the Deep Freeze product should review the documentation linked below;

https://faronics.kayako.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/deep-freeze-and-windows-updates/8

Office Updates

Microsoft Office applications are generally updated through the Microsoft Update service. This is enabled by selecting the option to “Give me updates for other Microsoft Products when I update Windows” in the advanced options of the Update & Security section of the Windows Settings.

Behavior when Deep Freeze is Installed

When Deep Freeze is installed several steps are taken by the product to control the update process and prevent updates from being installed while the system is in a protected state. Specific details on this process is linked above but these will impact the settings related to getting updates for Office applications to install.

The option to enable updates for other products is disabled.

The steps that Deep Freeze takes to control the update process have the effect of disabling the user's ability to configure updates on the client device. This includes enabling the ability to turn on the “Give me updates for other Microsoft Products when I update Windows” option in the settings for the Windows Update client.

While Deep Freeze does disable the ability to change this option it does not control the setting. Customers who need to turn this option on can do so by disabling Deep Freeze, make the required changes, and then configure Deep Freeze to resume control of the update process.

Alternatively, customers can manually edit the following registry key to allow for changes to the update settings;

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU

Key: AllowMUUpdateService (REG_DWORD)

Value: 1 (Enabled), 0 (Disabled)

Deep Freeze does not download updates for other Microsoft products.

During maintenance tasks Deep Freeze will download updates for the operating system that it is installed on, however, when we query the update service for updates we are only querying for the operating system, not for other applications.

Client devices may download these updates during the maintenance period as there are other services that perform updates on the client device that will become active during the maintenance period (outside of the control of Deep Freeze) but that process is not something triggered by Deep Freeze during the maintenance period.

The specific updates downloaded will be dependent on the specific applications installed, as well as the source for the updates.

Recommendations

For most cases, customers can configure the option to “Give me updates for other Microsoft Products when I update Windows” and allow the Office product to handle updates while Thawed, if however, a customer wants to take specific action to force the update process they can look at using the Batch File tasks in the Deep Freeze configuration to do so. 

For customers using Office installed through a Click-to-Run installer the update to the software can be triggered with the following command line; 

“C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\ClickToRun\OfficeC2RClient.exe” /update user displaylevel=false forceappshutdown=true

By entering this command into a batch file task administrators can trigger the update process on the client device and force the Office product to update during a specific time window. 

Note: Administrators should ensure that the batch file task is of sufficient time to allow for the update to download and install on the client device.

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