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Create or Open a Distribution Share

Updated: October 20, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

A distribution share is an optional storage folder for third-party drivers, applications, and packages that Microsoft issues (such as updates).

You can create a distribution-share folder by using Windows® System Image Manager (Windows SIM) or by using a manual technique. The procedures in this topic describe how to create, open, and explore a distribution-share folder.

noteNote
You must use Windows SIM to add packages. For more information, see Add Packages to a Distribution Share.

  1. Create a new folder where you want to place the distribution share. This folder can be on a network share (example: \\server\share\MyDistributionShare) or on your local computer (example: C:\MyDistributionShare).

  2. In the Distribution Share pane, right-click Select a Distribution Share, and then click Create Distribution Share.

    The Create a Distribution Share window appears.

  3. Browse to the folder that you created, and then click Open.

    In the Distribution Share pane, the distribution-share folder opens. Windows SIM automatically creates a folder structure for the distribution share.

  1. In Windows Explorer, create a new folder where you want to place the distribution share. This folder can be on a network share (example: \\server\share\MyDistributionShare) or on your local computer (example: C:\MyDistributionShare).

  2. In this folder, create the following subfolders:

    • $OEM$ Folders

    • Packages

    • Out-of-Box Drivers

    • LangPacks

    noteNote
    Windows SIM recognizes only these subfolder names. For the distribution share to be valid, at least one of the four folders must be present. To enable Windows SIM to read the subfolder contents, the subfolder names must match this list exactly.

  1. In the Distribution Share pane, click the top node of the currently open distribution share.

    - or -

    Right-click Select a Distribution Share, and then click Select Distribution Share.

    The Select a Distribution Share dialog box opens.

  2. Browse to the distribution share that you want to open. The distribution share can be opened only if the following folder structure exists:

    • $OEM$ Folders

    • Packages

    • Out-of-Box Drivers

    • LangPacks

  3. Select the distribution share that you want to open, and then click OK.

    The distribution share opens in the Distribution Share pane.

  • In Windows SIM, right-click the top node in the Distribution Share pane, and then click Explore Distribution Share.

    The distribution-share folder opens in Windows Explorer.

    In Windows Explorer, you can modify files or move files between folders.

See Also

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