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Stage 6: Browser Distribution

The Internet Explorer Administration Kit generates several installation subdirectories in the c:\builds folder. The explorer view of the generated packages should be similar to this:


Explorer view of the generated package.

Web Distribution

The following outlines how Internet Explorer 5 Setup works for users:

  • IE5setup.exe extracts the setup files into a temporary directory.

  • IE5setup looks at the [String] section of IE5setup.inf for the URL location of the IE5sites.dat file.

  • Setup goes to the file IE5site.dat to retrieve the URLs for the download sites and then displays the download sites to the user.

  • Setup downloads .cab files, which are placed in the directory the end-user specifies.

  • Setup extracts the .cab files.

  • Setup installs Internet Explorer and each component the administrator specified.

  • If necessary, Setup prompts the user to restart the computer.

The important files for a Web distribution of Internet Explorer 5 is the file iesetup.exe, the contents of the Download subdirectory, and the file IE5sites.dat. The file Ie5setup.exe locates the URL path to IE5sites.dat. IE5sites.dat is a text file that lists all of the download location information and the path to the .cab files in each location. For the purposes of this guide, it is assumed that administrators are running a Microsoft IIS or Personal Web Server, and that the default Web share location is c:\inetpub\wwwroot. If a different server or path is being used, some of the following locations may need to be changed.


The IE5Setup.exe file is a small (400K) file that can be distributed by e-mail or floppy disk. IE5Setup.exe is created in the following path: c:\builds\<Build_Number>\Download\Win32\En.

Download Subdirectory

The Download subdirectory needs to be copied onto the Web server in a specific location. You can specify the Download subdirectory at the beginning of the Internet Explorer Customization wizard, or copy it to the Web server after the package is created. The Web locations were specified during the Internet Explorer Administration Kit package creation. Administrators should make a note of the location that was specified as the download path for each download location in the Internet Explorer Administration Kit package. Earlier in the Customization wizard Walkthrough in this guide, this path was specified as http:\\www.acmecorp.com\ie5\. The Download folder needs to be copied to a location specified during the Customization wizard. The file path in this example might be c:\inetpub\wwwroot\ie5, because this is the path specified in the file ie5sites.dat. This folder structure can be created simply by creating a folder in the administrator's Web root (in this example, "Internet Explorer 5"), then copying the entire Download folder created under c:\builds\<build_number> to this new folder. In this example, the folder is named Internet Explorer 5 and all content has been moved into it, giving the URL path of http://www.acmecorp.com/ie5.

Note: The c:\builds\<build_number> path will also contain the CD and floppy installation packages if these were created in the Internet Explorer Administration Kit; they do not need to be copied to the Web Server.


Explorer view of the Web download folder copied to the Web share location.

The IE5sites.dat File

IE5sites.dat is a text file that contains the path to the cabinet files for each download site specified during the Internet Explorer Administration Kit package creation process. The IE5sites.dat file will be put in the correct place by copying the entire Downloads subdirectory to the path specified in the Customization wizard.

CD Distribution

Copy everything from within the c:\builds\<build_number>\CD subdirectory onto the root of the CD. Unlike a Web distribution, the CD subdirectory itself is not copied. The root of the CD-ROM will contain the Win32 subdirectory, Autorun.inf, and a setup file.

Multiple Floppy Distribution

The Internet Explorer Administration Kit will create a subdirectory called \mfloppy. Within this subdirectory are version-specific package folders, and within these are individual disk folders. Copy the files within each folder to the root of each disk.

LAN Distribution

The Internet Explorer Administration Kit will create a \Flat subdirectory within the \builds folder. This subdirectory contains all the installation files in a single folder that can then be easily copied to a network share. The advantage of using the flat LAN installation is that it is simpler to distribute than a Web installation.

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