Open a Distribution Share

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2


This content applies to Windows 7. For Windows 8 content, see Windows Deployment with the Windows ADK.

A distribution share is an optional storage folder for device drivers, applications, and packages issued by Microsoft, such as hotfixes and installation customization files. Windows® System Image Manager (Windows SIM) requires a specific subfolder structure to open a distribution-share folder.

If you create a distribution-share folder by using Windows SIM, the correct distribution-share folder structure is created for you. For more information, see Create a Distribution Share.


Windows SIM can open only distribution shares that include at least one of the four specific subfolders: $OEM$ Folders; Out-of-Box Drivers; Packages; and LangPacks.

To open a distribution share

  1. Click the top node of the currently open distribution share.

    - or -

    Right-click and then select Select Distribution Share.

    The SelectaDistribution Share dialog box opens.

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

    $OEM$ Folders


    Out-of-Box Drivers


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

    The distribution share opens in the Distribution Share pane.

See Also


Create a Distribution Share
Explore Distribution Shares
Add Files and Folders by Using $OEM$ Folders
Add Out-of-Box Drivers to a Distribution Share
Add Packages to a Distribution Share