Taking Advantage of a Local Installation Source

When users install Microsoft® Office 2003 from the CD or from a compressed CD image on the network, Setup uses a system service named Office Source Engine (Ose.exe) to copy required installation files to a hidden folder on the local computer. Windows Installer uses this local installation source to install Office, and the local source remains available for repairing, reinstalling, or updating Office later on. Users can install features on demand or run Setup in maintenance mode to add new features.

Setup creates a local installation source by default in Office 2003, but only when you install Office from the CD or a compressed CD image. If sufficient hard disk space exists on the local computer, Setup caches the entire installation source by default. Maintaining this local installation source after Office 2003 is installed offers a number of benefits to users in large organizations:

  • Traveling users, or users with slow or intermittent network connections, can install features on demand or run Setup in maintenance mode to add new features without requiring a source on the network.
  • When Office is updated, administrators can distribute smaller client patches and users can apply them even when they do not have access to the original source.
  • Because Setup caches the compressed cabinet (CAB) files, the local installation source requires considerably less hard disk space than a copy of the entire uncompressed administrative image.

Toolbox     A new enhanced version of the Office 2003 Setup program (entsetup.exe) is available as a download. Setup.exe version 11.0.6176.0 helps ensure that every desktop in the organization gets and keeps a complete local installation source. The new Setup also allows administrators to deploy the local installation source first, and then launch the installation of Office 2003. You can find this downloadable file on the Office 2003 Resource Kit Downloads page.

When you run Setup with the /a option to create an administrative installation point, Setup extracts the compressed CAB files on the network share, and Setup can no longer create the local installation source. However, installing Office from a compressed CD image offers almost all of the same deployment options as an administrative installation point:

  • You can create a transform and modify Setup.ini to customize Office, and you can create multiple configurations from the same compressed CD image.
  • You can set features to be installed on demand; however, you cannot run Office applications over the network.
  • You can chain additional packages to the Office installation, including stand-alone products such as Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003 and Microsoft Office Publisher 2003. Chained packages that support creation of a local installation source inherit the local installation source settings specified for the core Office package.
  • You can use deployment tools such as Microsoft Systems Management Server to install Office on users' computers.

 Note    The creation and maintenance of the local installation source is managed entirely by Office Setup and the Office Source Engine (Ose.exe), and not by Windows Installer.

For more information about how Setup handles creation of the local installation source, see Setup Sequence of Events.

Local installation source provides resiliency

A local installation source gives Office 2003 source resiliency. Users can perform maintenance tasks, such as install on demand or detect and repair without being prompted for their Office CD or a network source. They can also apply binary (client) patches without being prompted for another source -- the source is already available locally.

Office 2003 client patches are also resilient. Even if a user runs Detect and Repair to reinstall Office, Windows Installer automatically reapplies any patches, just as it does for users who install Office from an uncompressed administrative image. Patches (MSP files) are not included in the local installation source (/msocache). Instead, Windows Installer renames them and stores them alphanumerically in another location on the local computer.

Note that if a user completely uninstalls and then reinstalls Office, the user must also reapply any patches. This scenario is analogous to a new client installation.

Creating a compressed CD image on the network

Office 2003 source files are compressed in cabinet (CAB) files to fit on the Office 2003 CD. You copy the compressed CAB files to a network share before customizing the CD image. In this scenario, you do not run Setup to create an administrative installation point; instead, you copy the compressed files directly to the network share.

Unlike the process of running Setup with the /a option — which expands the compressed files on the administrative installation point — the files in the CD image remain compressed. Nor does copying the CD enter the product key or accept the end-user license agreement (EULA) automatically on behalf of all users who install Office 2003 from this network share. You must set properties to handle these aspects of the installation.

To create a CD image on a network share

  1. Insert the Office 2003 CD into your CD-ROM drive.
  2. In Windows Explorer, select all the folders on the CD.

Be sure to display all hidden files so that you see the entire contents of the Office 2003 CD.

  1. Copy the CD contents to a network share.

The complete CD image for Microsoft Office 2003 Professional requires approximately 250 MB of space.

You can deploy the core Office 2003 package and other stand-alone packages — such as Microsoft Office InfoPath™ 2003, Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, or the stand-alone version of an Office 2003 application — from the same compressed installation image. Storing all the installation files on one image is convenient when you are chaining additional packages to the core Office installation or when you are staging deployment of Office 2003 applications.

When different packages use the same name for the Setup settings file, however, the second Setup.ini file overwrites any existing Setup.ini file on the same image. To avoid this problem, give each Setup.ini file a unique name. When you run Setup, use the /settings option to specify the correct Setup.ini file. Alternatively, you can rename Setup.exe to match the INI file name (for example, ProSetup.exe with ProSetup.ini, and FPSetup.exe with FPSetup.ini).

Setting local installation source options

Because Setup creates the local installation source by default, you do not need to set any additional options. Setup creates the local installation source in the following hidden folder on users' computers:

<drive with most space>\Msocache\All users\<Downloadcode>

In Office 2003, Setup caches the entire source by default; if the user's computer has insufficient disk space, Setup caches installation file for only the selected features. Setup retains the local installation source after the installation is complete. You can modify how Setup handles the local installation source by setting the following properties in the [Cache] section of Setup.ini:


Specify a different fixed drive for the local installation source. By default, Setup searches for the drive with the most space or uses an existing MsoCache folder if one exists.


Give users the option to delete the local installation source at the end of Setup.


Enable or disable creation of a local installation source. You can set this property to cache the entire source, to cache installation files for only selected features, or to run the installation directly from the source and bypass creation of a local installation source entirely.

Note that when you force creation of a local installation source, the installation fails if the local computer lacks sufficient disk space. The default setting (CDCACHE=auto) allows Setup to fall back on options to cache installation files for only selected features or to install from the network source when the user's computer has insufficient disk space; however, this scenario may result in inconsistent local installation source configurations across an organization.

 Note    Because Setup creates the local installation source before applying a transform (MST file), you should set local installation source properties in the Setup settings file, and not on the Modify Setup Properties page of the Custom Installation Wizard.

For more information about the [CACHE] section of Setup.ini, see "Setup Settings File" in the Office 2003 Editions Resource Kit Reference.

Customizing the compressed CD image

After you copy the contents of the Office 2003 CD to a network share, the process of customizing an Office CD image is similar to the process of customizing an administrative installation point. You can edit the Setup.ini file and use the Custom Installation Wizard to create a transform (MST file) as long as you point to the MSI file on the compressed image. You can also customize files that reside outside the Office 2003 CAB files, such as the OPC file used by Setup or the Removal Wizard to remove previous versions.

Unlike deploying from administrative installation point, however, you must accept the EULA and enter a valid Volume License Key before users can install Office from the compressed CD image. New functionality has been added to the Custom Installation Wizard to handle these settings and to hide those pages from users during interactive Setup.

To customize the Office 2003 CD image

  1. Start the Custom Installation Wizard and open the MSI file on the CD image.
  2. On the Configure Local Installation Source page, select the option Configure local installation source.
  3. In the Product Key box, enter a valid 25-character Volume License Key.
  4. Select the I accept the terms in the License Agreement check box.
  5. Make any additional customizations you want, and save the MST file.
  6. Have users run Setup from the network share with your transform.

– or -

Copy the entire compressed image onto a CD and distribute copies to users. The volume label of the CDs you create must match the volume label of the Office 2003 CD for Setup to run properly from the custom CDs. The CDs that you create can be used in the same way as the original Office CD, except that Setup runs with your modifications.

 Important    You must obtain the proper user licenses before copying, modifying, or distributing a customized version of the Office 2003 CD. For more information about volume licensing programs, contact your software reseller or see the Microsoft Microsoft Licensing Web site.

Users do not need administrator rights to install new features from the local installation source. However, installing features on demand directly from the Office 2003 CD requires administrator rights each time a feature is installed. This scenario is the only exception to persistent administrator rights after an initial installation with elevated privileges. For this reason, users who rely on an Office CD as an alternate source must be administrators of their computers.

Setting the Windows Installer policy Enable user to use media source while elevated allows a user without administrator rights to run programs from any CD. The installation runs with elevated privileges, and the user has unlimited access to system files and the registry. Setting this policy leaves the computer highly vulnerable, potentially allowing an attacker to run malicious code on the computer. Using this policy to elevate the installation of features on demand from an Office CD is not recommended.

Applies to:
Deployment Center 2003