Create a network installation point for Office 2010


Applies to: Office 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2011-10-12

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The first step in a typical corporate deployment of Microsoft Office 2010 is to create, replicate, and secure a network installation point. This article describes how to do that.

You begin by copying all source files from the Office installation CD to a shared location on the network. Users run Setup from the network installation point, or you use the installation point as a starting place to create a hard-disk image or a custom CD or to distribute Office by using a software deployment tool, such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007.

For detailed information about licensing and activation of Office 2010 clients, we recommend that you read the following articles before you customize the installation: Volume activation overview for Office 2010, Plan volume activation of Office 2010, Volume activation quick start guide for Office 2010, Deploy volume activation of Office 2010, Tools to configure client computers in Office 2010.

In this article:

  • Create the network installation point

  • Replicate the network installation point

  • Secure the network installation point

Create the network installation point

Use the following procedure to create a network installation point.

To create a network installation point

  1. Create a folder for the Office source files at a location that can be easily accessed on the server. For example:



    Do not create the network installation point at the root of the server.

  2. Insert the Office CD into your CD drive.

  3. In Windows Explorer, select all the files and folders on the CD. Copy the CD contents to the folder on the network. This location becomes the network installation point.

  4. If you deploy multiple language versions of Office 2010, copy each language pack that you want from the source media to the installation point. When you are prompted to overwrite duplicate Setup files, click No.


    In Office 2010, core Setup files are shared among all Office products and language packs. Because these core Setup files are identical, there is no reason to overwrite the files if you add language packs, for example. Additionally, by not overwriting Setup files, the network installation point remains online and available to users while you add files.

  5. If you deploy multiple Office 2010 products, copy those files from the CD to the installation point. When you are prompted to overwrite duplicate Setup files, click No.

  6. If you create a Setup customization file (.msp file) for the installation, store the file in the Updates folder at the root of the installation point.

    Or, you can enter the /adminfile option at the command prompt to specify a Setup customization file.

  7. If users are installing Office 2010 after product updates are released, store those .msp files in the Updates folder.

The amount of space that is required on the network installation point varies by product and by language. The following table shows approximate space requirements for English versions of Office 2010 suites that are typically installed in enterprise organizations. These figures account for both the installed product and the installation files that are stored in the local installation source.

Product Approximate space required

Microsoft Office Professional 2010

Approximately 3 gigabytes (GB)

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010

Approximately 3 GB

The installation point contains only one copy of the language-neutral core product. Each language that you add requires additional space only for the language-specific components.


Unlike in versions of Microsoft Office products earlier than the 2007 Microsoft Office system, in Office 2010 (and in the 2007 Office system) you do not create an administrative installation point by running Setup with the /a command-line option to extract compressed source files. In Office 2010 and in the 2007 Office system, all installations occur from the compressed source.

Replicate the network installation point

In many enterprise organizations, the network installation point is the location from which users first install Office. After Office 2010 is installed, users do not typically have to rely on the network source for tasks such as updating, modifying, or reinstalling Office. Setup automatically creates a local installation source on each user's computer. However, if the local source is corrupted or deleted, Setup returns to the original network source to re-create the local source on the user's computer.

We recommend that you replicate the network source to multiple locations for the following reasons:

  • Availability   If you create multiple network installation points (which can be in the same physical location), you help ensure that users always have access to a network source. Ideally, the duplicate network installation points are managed by Distributed File System (DFS) technologies and are transparent to users.

  • Proximity to users   Many companies have high-speed LAN networks that are connected to other subsidiaries or branch offices by much slower WAN connections. If you set up a duplicate network installation point at the remote locations, Office source files travel over the slow network connection only one time, and after that, users have access to a closer network source.

  • Consistency   If you create one network installation point with all the customizations that you want and then duplicate that installation point as needed, you help ensure that the same configuration is deployed throughout your organization.

  • Flexibility   If the primary network installation point installs a standard corporate configuration of Office 2010, regional offices can apply additional customizations to the replicated network installation points and can customize Office 2010 for their unique region-specific requirements.

To specify additional network sources

  1. Start the Office Customization Tool (OCT) by running Setup with the /admin command-line option.

  2. In the Setup section, click Additional Network Sources, and then click Add. In the Add Network Server Entry dialog box, enter the path of the location where you plan to copy the network installation point, and then click OK.

    You can add as many additional source locations as you want.

  3. Save the Setup customization file (.msp file) that is generated by the OCT in the Updates folder at the root of the network installation point.

  4. Copy the complete folder structure of the network installation point to the locations that you specified in the Setup customization file.

    Users who install Office 2010 from any of these network installation points have access to the backup network sources. Setup checks these sources automatically when an alternative source is required.

Secure the network installation point

To help make the network installation point for Office more secure, follow these recommended best practices:

  • Make sure that access to source files is read-only. (The Setup.xml and Package.xml files, such as ProPlusWW.xml for Microsoft Office Professional 2010, are digitally signed and cannot be modified.)


    If you are preparing a network share to deploy Office 2010 by using Group Policy computer startup scripts, ensure that you grant Authenticated Users read access to the network share. For information about how to use computer startup scripts, see Deploy Office 2010 by using Group Policy computer startup scripts.

  • Save all customization files that you create as read-only. These include Setup customization files and custom Config.xml files.

  • If you are centralizing log files on the network, make sure that users have read/write permission to that location.

  • Make sure that all users have administrative permissions before the users install Office 2010. You can do this by using your existing software deployment infrastructure.

As with any deployment of Office, test all the customizations and deployment in a non-production environment as part of the deployment pilot tests before you deploy Office 2010 to users in the organization.

For information and procedures to help you deploy volume activation of Office 2010, see Configure and deploy volume activation of Office 2010.