Configuring the Outlook Address Book After Office Installation

I've used the Custom Installation Wizard (CIW) to deploy Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, including the Outlook mail profile. However, when users open the address book in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, they see only the Global Address List (GAL), not the addresses from their Contacts folder. I can fix the problem by adding the Outlook Address Book to each user's profile, but is there a way to have Outlook automatically configure the Outlook Address Book as part of the original installation?

Outlook does have a problem configuring the Outlook Address Book in some scenarios when the CIW is used to deploy Office 2003 or Outlook 2003, but Microsoft hasn't explained the cause of the problem. The easiest solution is to provide users with a standalone .prf file that will modify the original mail profile to add the Outlook Address Book. The .prf file will supplement the settings in the .prf file that the CIW creates and includes with the .mst file that you use for Office setup.

To create the standalone .prf file, use the same screens in the CIW that you used to create the original mail profile settings. On Screen 17, choose Modify Profile. Skip Screen 18, then click Add on Screen 19 to add the Outlook Address Book. On Screen 20, click Export Profile Settings to export the .prf file. Then, cancel the CIW operation, because the .prf file is all you need. Place the .prf file on a network drive or deploy it to the client machines by using a logon script, the Custom Maintenance Wizard, or whatever method you typically use to deploy files to users.

The necessary operations on the client machines should follow this sequence:

  1. Deploy Office 2003 by using the .mst file created by the CIW, as you typically would. This procedure puts a .prf file that contains the original profile settings on the machine and sets a registry value that tells Outlook to process the .prf file the next time the user starts Outlook.
  2. When the user starts Outlook, Outlook processes the .prf file from Step 1, creates a mail profile that has the desired settings, and displays the Outlook UI.
  3. If the user launches the Address Book dialog box in Outlook and doesn't see the Contacts folder, the user should shut down Outlook and proceed to Step 4.
  4. The user runs the standalone .prf file that you exported from the CIW. The .prf file starts Outlook, which modifies the default profile to add the Outlook Address Book and displays the Outlook UI.

After completing Steps 3 and 4, the user should be able to launch the Address Book dialog box and see the Contacts folder as well as the GAL.

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