How to configure IEAK 7, IEAK 8 or IEAK 9 to deploy Internet Explorer 7, 8 or 9 with the menu bar visible without using Group Policy

System Requirements:

  • IEAK 7, 8, 9
  • Windows Vista, 7
  • Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2

The Problem:

The current version of IEAK allows you to configure the visibility of the command bar, the status bar and the tool bar however the option to make the menu bar (file, edit view etc) visible on the default install appears to be missing from the current revision of IEAK 9.

You can enforce the visibility of the menu bar through registry changes or through group policy, but the former is a headache requiring application during log-in and the latter does just what it says on the tin – it enforces it. Part of the design ideology of IE 9 was to reduce the UI of the browser to the simple necessities. While many users, particularly novice users will want the menu bar, some of your users may simply want to change all of their settings back to the IE 9 defaults.

“The web the way you want it”

More Info

If there is an option for configuring the menu bar visibility in IEAK 9, I can’t see it. Perhaps it is an oversight on the version that I’ve been building against and perhaps it’ll appear in a service release. For the time being, it’s just not there.

The Fix

The fix is to modify the custsec.inf that is generated by IEAK and then applied to the deployments default security context at package build time (.exe or .msi).

  1. Create your IEAK profile with all customisation’s, modifications and settings. Build it once (create the .exe or .msi)
  2. Exit IEAK
  3. Re-open IEAK and progress through the wizard until you arrive on the File Locations screen. Here, before continuing select the ‘Advanced Options…’ button
    IEAK 9 Advanced Options Button
  4. Now browse for the INS file that was created by IEAK during its first pass – note you are looking for the INS file associated with the pass, not the INF file that you edited in step 4. It will be located in the same folder
    IEAK 9 Browse for INS file
  5. Once located, click OK to return to the wizard and re-run through all of the options. IEAK should have remembered all of your preferences.
  6. Stop once you arrive at the ‘Wizard Complete’ screen
    IEAK 9 Pre-build Wizard Complete Screen
  7. Leaving IEAK running in the background. Open the build path’s INS folder in Windows Explorer. If you are building for Windows 7 / 2008 R2 x86 in English then by default this is something along the lines of:
    If you are building for Windows Vista / 2008 x64 in English then by default this is something along the lines of:
    C:\builds\12232011\INS\AMD64_VISTA\ENUNote that you are going into the INS folder, not FLAT or any of the others which have a similar structure.
  8. Locate and open the custsec.inf file in Notepad. This contains the security context data that will be built into the deployment package.
  9. Somewhere under the [AddRegSection.HKCU] section add:
    HKCU,”Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\MINIE”,”AlwaysShowMenus”,0x10001,1,0,0,0This will enable the menu bar by default when new IE profiles are created as part of Windows user profile generation on the local machine. To disable the menu bar simply change it to:
    HKCU,”Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\MINIE”,”AlwaysShowMenus”,0x10001,0,0,0,0
  10. Save and exit Notepad
  11. Return to the IEAK wizard and press the Next button. IEAK will now build the customised installer files
  12. Note that if you re-run IEAK it will overwrite your modifications to custsec.inf as it exits the ‘Additional Settings’ screen. Consequently you will have to reapply them from step 7.

If you wanted the custsec.inf modifications for the other toolbar options they are:

  • HKCU,”Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\MINIE”,”LinksBandEnabled”,0x10001,1,0,0,0
  • HKCU,”Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\MINIE”,”CommandBarEnabled”,0x10001,1,0,0,0
  • HKCU,”Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\MINIE”,”ShowStatusBar”,0x10001,1,0,0,0

Make sure that you test your installers before deploying with this as clearly it is unsupported.