Deploy Adobe Acrobat Reader XI (11.0.03) Using SCCM 2012 SP1

There are several blogs on this topic; however, some seem to be lacking one or more details or may not show how to patch and customize Adobe Acrobat Reader XI. In this blog, I will show you how to patch, customize and deploy, via SCCM, Adobe Reader XI (11.0.03).

Pre-requisite: Make sure you have installed Adobe Customization Wizard XI

  1. Download the latest version of Acrobat Reader from Adobe’s FTP site.
    1. The direct FTP link is:
  2. We’re going to download the EXE file: AdbeRdr11003_en_US.exe
  3. Next, from an administrator command line, we’re going to extract the MSI from the EXE file using the following command: AdbeRdr11003_en_US.exe -nos_o”c:\SomeDirectory” -nos_ne
    1. Do not close this command line window as we’ll use it again.
    2. For this example I’m extracting the contents to C:\temp\Adobe XI (11.0.03) folder.

  4. Once we’ve extracted the source files from the EXE file, then let’s run (as an administrator) the Adobe Customization Wizard XI to create the MST file that we’re going to use to customize Adobe Reader XI.
    1. If the customization wizard isn’t run as an administrator, you won’t be able to save the package.
  5. Basically, we’re going to make changes in the the following sections:
    1. Personalization Options
    2. Installation Options
    3. Shortcuts
    4. WebMail Profiles
    5. Online and Adobe online services Features

  6. Once the customization options have been completed, proceed to click on Transform menu option then click on Generate Transform…
    1. Save the MST file in the same folder where the Adobe Reader MSI exists.
    2. For this example, we’re going to save this file as AcroRead.mst
  7. Next, click on File and then click on Save Package.
  8. Back to the command line and let’s create an Application Installation Point (AIP) in order to patch Acrobat Reader.
    1. In the folder where the MSI file was extracted, you’ll notice that file AdbeRdrUpd11003.msp is located there – that’s our patch file that we’ll be applying.
    2. For this example we’re going to create a new folder – C:\AdobeAIP
  9. From the command line, in step 3, we’re going to create the AIP with the following command: msiexec /a AcroRead.msi
    1. Once the wizard comes up, make sure to point it to the folder created in step 8.2
    2. Make sure you run this command from the folder in step 3.
    3. Take a look at the files extracted
  10. Change directory to folder C:\AdobeAIP
  11. Now we’re ready to patch the Acrobat Reader source files, let’s use the following command: msiexec /a AcroRead.msi /p “c:\temp\Adobe XI (11.0.03)\AdbeRdrUpd11003.msp”
    1. This will open a wizard window; make sure there are no error messages during this task.

  12. If the patching process was successful, then we should now have a patched Acrobat Reader XI installation as well as a customization file.
  13. From Step 3 folder (C:\temp\Adobe XI (11.0.03)), copy the MST file to the Step 6 folder (C:\AdobeAIP)
  14. At this time, folder C:\AdobeAIP should contain a patched Acrobat Reader  XI as well as the customization file. We’re going to use the contents of folder C:\AdobeAIP as our deployment files to create our SCCM 2012 deployment package.
  15. Copy all contents of C:\AdobeAIP to the share that SCCM uses to deploy applications in your environment.
  16. Let’s create a new application deployment package in SCCM. First, go to the Software Library section, and click on Application Management and then click on the Applications container to create the new package.
  17. Right click on the Applications container then click on Create Application option.
  18. Point to the network share where you copied the files in Step 15 and select the file AcroRead.msi
    1. You may get a warning message about not being able to verify the publisher of this MSI file, just click on Yes.
  19. In the General Information wizard screen, in the Installation program field, add the following:TRANSFORMS=”AcroRead.mst”
    1. This line should read: msiexec /i “AcroRead.msi” TRANSFORMS=”AcroRead.mst” /q

  20. Continue accepting defaults until the application wizard finishes.
  21. Now, you can deploy this new application to a selected number of computers or users.

Supersedence Notes
In my environment, I’m replacing, or superseding, and older version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Here’s a quick screenshot on how it’s done.

  1. #1 by Anonymous on August 1, 2013 - 10:22 pm

    Would you also need to copy the setup.ini that was modified with Adobe Customization Wizard?


  2. #2 by Edward Gonzalez on August 1, 2013 - 11:50 pm

    You need to copy everything, at least that's what I did.


  3. #3 by Anonymous on September 23, 2013 - 4:33 am

    Great Guide. I have now packaged up Adobe Reader 11.0.04 and deployed successfully in SCCM 2012.

    My next one will be Flash. I believe it will be kinda same.

    Anyways, Thanks heaps mate.


  4. #4 by Edward Gonzalez on September 23, 2013 - 10:29 am

    Glad that I was able to help. Adobe Flash should be a bit easier since you can get the MSI directly from their website.


  5. #5 by Anonymous on December 19, 2013 - 7:26 pm

    Excellent! This helped me out a great deal. Thanks.


  6. #6 by Anonymous on February 5, 2014 - 3:54 pm

    I tried this and deployed it through sccm 2012 and both computers I tested came back as compliant. Problem is they both have 11.0.3 and I was deploying 11.0.6. How do I get it to update it. This is my 1st attempt to deploy using sccm.


  7. #7 by Edward Gonzalez on February 6, 2014 - 3:35 pm

    You need to “Supersede” 11.0.3 with version 11.0.6.

    In other words, go to the properties of the application package for version 11.0.6, then go to the Supersedence tab and configure that to “supersede or update” from version 11.0.3 to version 11.0.6.


  8. #8 by Anonymous on February 11, 2014 - 3:59 pm

    I tried to do that but I don't have any applications to supersede as this is the 1st time I am trying to use sccm to do this. When I go to that tab and click add there is nothing in the list as I have never used it to install adobe as they have never worked. The only thing that seems to work is windows updates sometimes. But that is because of our locations and policies. I am testing this on a small group of local machines. So I guess when I have never used it before to do this how do I get it to supersede another version and can I pick multiple versions as not all computers in our organization are running the same version either.


  9. #9 by Edward Gonzalez on February 11, 2014 - 4:21 pm

    Oh, you installed 11.0.3 manually and you deployed 11.0.6 using SCCM? This different as SCCM has no knowledge of the manually installed version. You'll have to do some research on this, as people do it many different ways to go around this.


  10. #10 by Anonymous on February 13, 2014 - 8:04 pm

    Ok thank you. Yes the previous install was manual. Thanks again for your help though.


  11. #11 by Anonymous on February 27, 2014 - 6:48 am

    In AdbeRdr11000_pl_PL.exe when a extract can't find MSP (8.0)


  12. #12 by Anonymous on March 5, 2014 - 8:30 pm

    Thank you for this guide.


  13. #13 by Edward Gonzalez on March 5, 2014 - 9:01 pm

    Your welcome. I'm glad it helped you.


  14. #14 by Unknown on March 13, 2014 - 6:45 pm

    How do you detect the correct version in SCCM? Using this method sccm doesn't detect that 11.0.06 is installed, and reinstalls again.


  15. #15 by Anonymous on March 17, 2014 - 4:57 pm

    Thx a lot Edward. It was really helpful.



  16. #16 by Edward Gonzalez on March 17, 2014 - 8:59 pm

    I'm glad it helped you.


  17. #17 by Edward Gonzalez on March 17, 2014 - 9:02 pm

    You can do it if version 11.0.06 was deployed by SCCM. You can also doing by writing a script to detect the previous version also, but the easiest is only if you deployed the previous version via SCCM. SCCM has a feature, at the application level, called “Supersedence”.


  18. #18 by sasa on April 14, 2014 - 8:47 am

    Great tutorial. Another question, how can I apply update and deploy it for this deployed app?


  19. #19 by Edward Gonzalez on April 14, 2014 - 5:51 pm

    There are many ways. Personally, I use a feature, in SCCM, called Supersedence. Once there is a new update, I deploy the new updated version and I supersede the older version.


  20. #20 by Anonymous on July 8, 2014 - 12:14 pm

    I have a question though.
    I deployed v11.0.6 using zour method and worked great. But now v11.0.7 is available.
    What would you suggest:
    – superseed the version 11.0.6 with the new one
    – download the new .msp file from here, rerun the process from step 11 and then redistribute the new content to the DP ?

    Thx in advance !


  21. #21 by Edward Gonzalez on July 8, 2014 - 12:20 pm

    Hi Vlad,

    Supersedence works if the previous installation was performed using SCCM. If you manually installed 11.0.6, then SCCM has no record of installing that version, so it may not work.
    You'll have to install 11.0.7 using SCCM and create an MSP to tell Adobe to upgrade/remove any versions it finds on the machine.


  22. #22 by Anonymous on July 8, 2014 - 2:50 pm

    Where exactly do I specify in the .msp file that I want any other versions of Acrobat Reader to be removed ?


  23. #23 by Anonymous on July 8, 2014 - 3:21 pm

    I found it, but it's set by default to “remove all versions of Reader”.


  24. #24 by Anonymous on July 10, 2014 - 11:14 pm

    HI Edward, great guide thank you. Adobe products have been historically hard to deploy and this guide nailed it. I do have one question though, I've tried the patching step and it fails saying that the product may not be installed or is up to date. Any advice on this one, it's version 11.07 I'm trying to patch.


  25. #25 by Edward Gonzalez on July 11, 2014 - 3:24 am

    Give it a try that should work.


  26. #26 by Edward Gonzalez on July 11, 2014 - 3:25 am

    Patching is a bit different; I believe you have to pass a parameter to the MSI, but I'm not sure about that. I usually don't patch; I just remove older versions and install new ones (with all patches). You may be able to find a better answer by going to Adobe's forums.


  27. #27 by Anonymous on July 11, 2014 - 1:11 pm

    It didn't work 😦
    Apparently the installer isn't able to uninstall previous versions.


  28. #28 by Vlad on September 16, 2014 - 1:42 pm

    Hi there,
    I would like you to add to your post something I consider being very helpful (it gave me a lot of headaches).
    We can distinguish 2 different deployment scenarios (concrete cases):
    1) Deployment of Acrobat Reader 11.0.07.
    In this case your algorithm applies and works perfectly (at least it worked for me).
    2) Deployment of Acrobat Reader 11.0.08.
    In this case a double patching should be made.
    – first: msiexec /a AcroRead.msi /p “point_three_path\AdbeRd
    – second: msiexec /a AcroRead.msi /p “point_three_path\AdbeRd

    Observation 1: Both .MSPs are contained in the package downloaded from Adobe's website.

    Observation 2: Apparently the patching rule for Acrobat Reader is the following:
    Reader pattern formula: Last MSI + latest quarterly + latest out of cycle patch
    Acceptable: 11.0.0 > 11.0.01 (Q) > 11.0.02 (OOC)
    Acceptable: 11.0.0 > 11.0.03 (Q)



  29. #29 by Anonymous on January 12, 2015 - 7:15 pm

    thanks for share your expecience with sccm
    i have a question the installation of customizable adobe must be done on the server where the SCCM is installed?


  30. #30 by Edward Gonzalez on January 12, 2015 - 8:08 pm

    Hi, no it doesn't. It can be done from you SCCM management station.


  31. #31 by Anonymous on January 14, 2015 - 3:24 pm

    I have another question, and my apologies for asking again…i don´t want an automatic deploy instead i want Adobe be available for install it when user needs do my environment i have 80 devices and 70 with adobe installed..10 devices don´t have adobe and i need that user can choose install Adobe thru Software Center. i hope you can help me..thanks in advance!


  32. #32 by Edward Gonzalez on January 15, 2015 - 1:31 pm

    Hi, you can modify, or create, a deployment and in the Deployment Settings portion of the wizard, choose Action: Install and Purpose: Available. This should allow those users to manually select Acrobat Reader from Software Center. Hope this helps; this is a very high level explanation though 🙂


  33. #33 by Anonymous on January 26, 2015 - 7:34 pm

    Hello, my environment isn't using SCCM, rather we are using LiteTouch and WDS (MDT2013) to image up our machines. I created the install and my transform, however, ALL of the client machines that have my install are trying to reach out to my deployment share in order to process any updates that come from Adobe for Acrobat X. Do you know of a way to force it to update offline without needing to communicate to my deployment share? Also, the deployment share is locked down to IT so the users can't access it anyway. Thanks!


  34. #34 by Edward Gonzalez on January 28, 2015 - 1:21 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  35. #35 by Edward Gonzalez on January 28, 2015 - 1:21 am

    My solution may not work for your environment. In our environment, we do not install every single update that comes out for Adobe Reader; we do major upgrades only. When you configure the Adobe Reader transform, I believe there's a way to tell Adobe where to look for updates. I may be wrong, since that's something I've not tried.


  36. #36 by Anonymous on March 24, 2015 - 11:48 am

    This is a great post. So glad I landed on your page, nice and easy instructions.


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