Continuing installation problems plague Office for Mac 14.2.4 update

Microsoft released the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.2.4 Update last Wednesday and within a few hours users were reporting two installation issues. This update was the latest of multiple recent updates for Office 2011 contributing to one or more issues with security, data loss or lack of functionality.

The 14.2.4 update had two installation issues. Microsoft announced workarounds for both.

Retina support missing for some

MacBook Pro with Retina display users were eagerly anticipating an update to correct font appearance problems in Excel, PowerPoint and Word. An unofficial hack bided time for those willing to try it but Microsoft would not support it. The 14.2.4 update added the necessary support.

According to a September 20 update appended to the September 19 Office for Mac blog announcement:

“a small number of users have had difficulty updating to 14.2.4.”

Whereas the install may have worked, the Retina support wasn’t working. The blog update included a video demonstration for correcting the issue, which was to duplicate the Microsoft Office 2011 folder and replace the original with the duplicate.

Retina display workaround demonstration

The package “Office 2011 14.2.4 Update” is untrusted

The second installation issue revolved around Apple’s Gatekeeper feature, which Apple included with OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and added to its Mac OS X 10.7.5 (Lion) update. The 10.7.5 update and the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.2.4 Update were both released September 19.

Customers who already had the 14.2.3 update installed were able to install the 14.2.4 update with no issues. Customers running version 14.2.2 or earlier, however, couldn’t install the update. They received a message that the update was “untrusted” even though the signing certificate was valid.

The 14.2.3 update was Microsoft’s first Office for Mac update to include a signing certificate, which Gatekeeper uses to verify an installer is authentic and hasn’t been altered or forged. The 14.2.4 was the second update to include a signing certificate although the certificates between the two appeared to be different.

According to the Office for Mac blog Microsoft was working with Apple to resolve the problem. The workaround was to simply install the Microsoft Office 2011 14.2.3 Update before installing the 14.2.4 update. Microsoft updated its Knowledge Base article to include this workaround.

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7 comments to Continuing installation problems plague Office for Mac 14.2.4 update

  • Diane

    Some users have found that moving the Automator folder in the Main User’s Library folder (not the User Library) to the Desktop then rename will allow the update to complete the 14.2.4 updater to add retina display. Rename the folder on the Desktop and drag it back. You might need to restart after the changes.

  • Cliff H

    Thanks for posting this Will. Can you confirm if you have tried leveraging differing package priorities in Casper to force 14.2.3 to install prior to 14.2.4? Would this get around the ordering issue? In our environment still seeing the installs fail with an untrusted error in the logs, even after ordering 14.2.3 with lower numbered priority than 14.2.4. Yes, could certainly just repackage, but was hoping to simply leverage factory installers in layered manner.

    • Microsoft consistently names its updater files and I’ve found I can apply the same priority to all Office for Mac updates and let the alphanumeric naming do the sorting for me. JAMF has acknowledged that packages with the same priority are installed alphabetically.

      If you want fine-tuned control in Casper then you can assign each update to a policy, enable each policy to be installed by Other (giving it a unique name) and then call each policy via script using:

      jamf policy -trigger policyName1
      jamf policy -trigger policyName2
      jamf policy -trigger policyName3
      jamf policy -trigger policyName4

  • Cliff H

    On second check, appears the 14.2.3 update package is the problem. Fails due to untrusted cert. Odd?

    installer: Package name is Office 2011 14.2.3 Update
    installer: Certificate used to sign package is not trusted. Use -allowUntrusted to override.

    • The certificate in 14.2.3 is valid. At least when double-clicking the updater and viewing it in the Installer window it displays as valid.

      I’d imagine this is an issue Apple needs to address. It may have something to do with checking for certificate revocation status, which was enabled in new installs of 10.7.5 and higher.

      JAMF as well may need to make the -allowUntrusted option available when installing software.

  • Drew Lane

    I can confirm that on 10.8.2, you can include all of the updates from 14.2.1 – 14.2.4 in a single policy and they deploy alphabetically.

    Unfortunately, as soon as you get to 14.2.3, the whole things still breaks because you get the untrusted error. This is even after I disabled Gatekeeper.

  • Wade

    This was happening for me because I edited the all_quit package. I had to remove all the _CodeSignature folders to get it to work again.

    find /path/to/package -name _CodeSignature -exec rm -rf {} \;