OFF2000: How to Force UNC or Mapped Drive Path to Office Network Source

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This article describes how to customize the form of the path that Office uses to access the source location after an installation. You can force the path to be a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path or a mapped, drive-letter path. Unlike previous versions of Office, this is not determined at the time the administrative installation is performed.
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The administrative installation point is a share on your network server that contains all of the files needed for a user to install or run Office if a feature is installed as Run from Network. You must connect to the share and run Setup to install Office on your computer. When you install Office from this installation point, an entry in the Setup.ini file instructs Office Setup whether to store a UNC path or a mapped, drive-letter path to the installation source. It is possible to control what type of path to apply to access the Office administrative installation point by modifying the path to the MSI file in the Setup.ini file. The MSI file contains the default installation instructions for Office 2000.

In most cases, the form of the path (mapped drive or UNC) used to access Setup.exe will also be used to reference the Office files on the network. For example, if you map drive H to \\Server1\Office and run Setup.exe using the following connection
then Office Setup will also look for the Office files on drive H. Setup will always look for Office on drive H. If a user has mapped a drive but runs Setup using a UNC connection, the UNC path will be used to reference the MSI file. The method that Setup is referenced is also how the Office files and programs will be referenced. When Setup is complete, all references to the source location in the system registry will reflect the path used to reference the Office files.

Controlling the Path

An administrator can control the form of the path (mapped drive or UNC) used by Setup by modifying the Setup.ini file on the source location for the Office files. Add the fully qualified path to the MSI file in the Setup.ini file. In the examples below, the Setup.ini is pointing the installer to load the MSI file, Data1.msi from \\Server1\Share1.

UNC Example


Drive Letter Example


NOTE: The file, Setup.ini is hidden by default. You must configure Windows Explorer to show hidden files before Setup.ini is visible.

For more information about customizing Office Setup, see the Microsoft Office Resource Kit on the World Wide Web at

Article ID: 228574 - Last Review: 10/25/2013 22:20:00 - Revision: 2.0

Microsoft Office 2000 Premium Edition, Microsoft Office 2000 Professional Edition, Microsoft Office 2000 Small Business Edition, Microsoft Office 2000 Standard Edition, Microsoft Office 2000 Developer Edition

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