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 Select a Distribution 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