Did you LocalCache and find that Office still requires the installation CD when patching?

Update 09/24/2004:  I am no longer looking for more information related to this issue.  Please see this blog entry for the latest information about LocalCache issues.  Thank you to all who provided information that helped determine just how prevalent this issue is and where to go searching for the bug.

Last year I posted a blog entry that mentioned my work on the local installation source (LIS) feature (that I call “LocalCache”) for the Microsoft Office 2003 System.  That blog entry generated quite a few comments where people mentioned that patches to Office were still requiring the installation CD.  Then I saw a link from Scoble’s blog to this blog entry where people were complaining that they needed the original Office CD to install updates.  Finally, K (who is the developer in Office that took over LocalCache when I moved to Windows) mentioned over break that his new laptop required the installation CD when demonstrating how installing a patch from Office Update shouldn’t require the original source media.  Needless to say, it appears there is something not quite right with LocalCache out in the wild.

So K and I spent this last Monday morning trying to reproduce the problem on some machines other than his laptop.  Unfortunately, after several attempts we never had the problem occur.  Independently, one of the Office testers also tried to reproduce the problem with the MSDN Universal CD (where I first heard of the problem) and couldn’t get it to occur then either.  PSS hasn’t had a lot of people calling in about this one and don’t think there is an issue here.  However, I think that there haven’t been may calls because customers are (unfortunately!) used to requiring the original installation CD when patching.

K and I are going to beat on this problem a bit longer (we thought we found something that might be the issue on Monday but didn’t pan out).  So, I’m out here asking that if you installed Office 2003 and have subsequently tried to install the patches and the patches required the original installation media, would you please contact me?  Just send your email address and I will likely get back to you asking for a bit more information about your machine’s configuration and how you installed Office 2003.

I really want to kill off this bug (or at least understand what is going on if there turns out not to be a bug) and any help you can provide will be much appreciated.

Comments (46)

  1. Philip says:

    Excuse my frankness here, but I have suffered from this stuff too much.

    I have nothing to do with patching (I explain in my next comment), so unfortunately I cannot give a detailed example on what you are looking for. But I have seen dozens of pictures from similar cases.

    But I could talk hours about the problem the original installation sources are always wanted when not wanted by me.

    Of course, if the problem would affect only my own setups, it could be that I don´t understand something correctly, but with Office, I have never installed an Office without such problems.


    The most known point is approved by Microsoft.

    If you install first from (InstallSource) a local drive or net, and try to overinstall the same version next time from CD, it doesn´t work.

    Two links which are concerned with this:



    To my understanding this behaviour is due to the method things like "LastUsedSource" and "SourceList" are stored in registry.

    In other words, you are not always able to repair an installation (REINSTALL=ALL , REINSTALLMODE=vemus, for example), if you don´t use the same installation source as before. This is a big problem for my needs!

    2. I had several time Office 2000 installations which wanted some CDs inserted which was impossible.

    One point was installing a single Outlook 2000 first and Office 2000 later (or the other way round, dont´t remember it exactly :-).

    I think with Office XP / Outlook 2002 it was the same, but not as bad. Only I remember, Office mixed the installation sources.

    3. Not a use case, but how you adress this: A user installs Office Professional and later he installs another office product using the Office Premium CD. I cannot puzzle it out exactly, but I discovered some strange behaviours here. At least, if a mix is not possible I would expect, that an overinstallation is not possible at all !!


    Finally, the whole enforcement of remembering of the old installation source is totally needless for our needs. Net paths are changing, users doesn´t want to look for their installation CDs every day – the users are vicimized with this, I think .

  2. Philip says:

    I have never understood why many people (MSI generally) is so addicted to patching.

    The whole idea what I have understood from MSI V3.0 was "patching will be better". I would have made thousands of other improvement suggestions to MSI, but patching??

    Maybe I have to learn more. So, I have understood so far, that basically I make a patch for exactly one setup build.

    When I have to fix hundreds of errors, things are getting crazy for me and for the customers.

    Patching means, I get dozens or hundreds of variants of my products out there. No serious testing of so many szenarios is possible!!

    So it would be very much better to have a setup type "service pack or maintance pack" which makes "minor upgrades", with a dedicated version number increase which a customer can follow.

    Unfortunately MSI has made "minor upgrades" quite weird or at least difficult to use, for example you need at least an own "handmade" bootstrapping setup.exe which looks if the program is already installed (REINSTALL=ALL, REINSTALLMODE=vemus for example) or not.

    Another necessary setup type would be "hotfix" for which I would recommend using a msi setup without the standard actions "PublishProduct", "PublishComponents", "PublishFeatures", "RegisterProduct" (I hope I didn´t forgot one.) So you get an invisible installation, which you cannot uninstall of course, so this is recommended basically if you don´t add new resources like files or registry entries to your old setup.

    But patching?

  3. Ron says:

    Betcha the culprit is anti-virus software. Many anti-virus programs have "heuristic" scanning features which attempt to identify suspicious pattens in a file’s content or suspicious file access, even if the file does not contain a match against existing signatures. Fast-spreading and fast-mutating viruses have motivated anti-virus vendors to implement these features. Unfortunately, some products ship with such features enabled by default, or they make it too easy for users to "just check all the checkboxes…you do want to be protected from everything, don’t you?" Users are rarely able/willing to figure out whether quarantined files are legit or not; the few who bother to glance at logs/notifications are just wanting to re-assure themselves that the anti-virus software was money well spent.

    Just to make things more confusing, some anti-virus products can quarantine files without moving or renaming the files. Since the anti-virus software is typically hooked into all file system access, it can simply lock-down a file by blocking all access to it. This means that you could look inside MSOCache and see all the right CAB and MSI files, yet Windows Installer won’t be able to access them.

  4. Carmen says:


    I’m trying to build a patch. I’m using orca, msimsp.exe and patchwiz.dll. The problem is that i can’t manage to create a correct patch. It happens like this: i have the two images(the target and the upgrade), i edit the pcp file with all the information requiered(as explained in Platform SDK), but generated msp file has a big problem. When viewing it from Orca(Transforms->View Patch), the patch table that it adds to the original msi file is EMPTY. This is why when i apply the patch the installer doesn’t install the new files, but reinstalls the old ones(as neither of it’s files is marked as patched). I really don’t undestand what is that i do wrong about it. Could you be so kind to give me some advices regarding this problem?

    Thank you…

  5. Carmen,

    I think that you will be much better served going to one of the Windows Installer newsgroups ( http://msdn.microsoft.com/newsgroups/default.aspx?dg=microsoft.public.platformsdk.msi&lang=en&cr=US ) than trying to get support on a blog.

  6. asd says:

    I’ve tried this too.

    It always seem to happen just after you remove your temporary files (not the office temporary files).

  7. tekwyzrd says:

    I’m having an ongoing problem with Office 2003. Part of the problems were resolved by the removal of supposedly compatible third party add-ins for word. The offers by the installer to repair my install of office have stopped. The current problem is a repeated occurrance of the installer’s inability to find certain files. I was recently forced to reinstall components of office 2003. If I run the setup from the cache it discards a .cab file and asks for the cd. Then it can’t find the file on the cd.

    It seems to me that ms needs to rethink their whole method of installing and maintaining software.

  8. HardSoft says:

    I reckon this is due to the installation of other MS apps.. It has happened a couple of times for me where the last time it was Visio 2002 that was installed. I suspect that these apps are trying to add some link or association or whatever with Office. Except that it simply ends up bugging the hell out of us instead of offering a nice additional feature..??

  9. Laura says:

    When I try to run the Office update, it tells me that I need sku011.cab… this file doesn’t seem to exist on the network source I used to install Office in the first place.

  10. Terence says:

    SKU011.CAB request on critical office patch is killing me…even tried the admin install…no go…whats up here?

  11. Tony says:

    I am yet another SKU011.CAB victim. Anyone get a resolution yet?

    Thanks – tony_in_dallas@yahoo.com

  12. Note, I have removed a comment that gets too close to the line of software piracy for me to leave posted here.

    Omar, I appreciate the sentiment to help.

  13. Omar says:

    No problem (Y)

  14. Frank Buzin says:

    I am getting prompted for media when I try to chain updates at the end of a custom Office 2003 Pro install. Once this happens and I am forced to abort the patch install, I can see sku011.cab and near a dozen other files get removed from the LIS. From then on any patch requests the media. Still trying to find the best way to make a CD to install Office 2003 Pro from and chain all the patches. Currently my custom transfom is getting used and all the settings from the setup.ini but chaining updates is not working for me.

  15. Omar says:

    Try a repair but try the standard option or a custom install. Pirate copies of Office will not function properly after an update as applied. Thanks Rob you inspired me to get legit office software lol.

  16. Omar says:

    What does the error prompt you for or what does it say?

  17. Frank Buzin says:


    Since you didn’t address anyone by name and this feedback section is flat, I can only assume your comment is directed to me.

    Yes all copies are legit and work fine for everything but chaining the patches at the end of the install. I’m trying to roll out a customized Office install via CD to a few remote users. I’m seeing this on every test install I do. Running repair is not something one would expect to do during deployment.

    There is no error message per se, just a prompt for the Office 2003 setup media as soon as it starts applying the first patch.

    I may have to forgo the chaining of the patches and apply them after the install, but it would be nice if I could chain them as MS states can be done.

  18. Frank Buzin says:

    OK a little closer… I had chained full patches (not the binary diff) as we just wanted them on the CD so they could be used to patch existing installs w/o source too. This worked fine when ran from a network share but not a CD.

    So I removed the chained sections and then ran the install. Then manually ran the patches via a batch file. Same problem when the batch file pointed to the patches on the CD, but copy the patches from the CD to the HD and modify the batch file to point there and the full patches work perfectly. But the minute the patches are on readonly drive (CD or a network drive with readonly access) the full patch files fail as they request the Setup media. ** And here is where a bigger problem lies ** Once I aborted the full patch install of KB828041, it removed near a dozen files from the LIS. Any addition attempt at patching prompts for the SDU011.CAB which was there before, but gets removed when I am forced to abort the KB828041 install.

    Going back now and trying to chain on binary client patches in the install.

  19. Frank Buzin says:

    Well just tried the binary patches and not go from CD either. "Please insert the disk: Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003" when running KB828041 from a chained install section as described here:


    Tried first using the "Windows Installer method" like this:





    BUT… msiexec doesn’t like that syntax and I had to had to add a /p to get it to even run:

    CmdLine=/p MSP_file

    That runs fine from the HD or a network share using either the full or binary patch, but neither works from a CD. I’m going to try the OHotfix method now but this is getting old.

  20. Frank Buzin says:

    OK for the final update using Ohotfix to chain patches in the setup.ini file… it results in the exact same prompt for media when ran from CD (but works when ran from the HD) as the other methods. I didn’t really expect otherwise as the Installer has to be invoked at somepoint. Unless someone can show me other-wise I think it is impossible to do a chained install of patches when doing a customized install of Office 2003 from CD. Please someone tell (and show) me I am wrong!

  21. Frank Buzin says:

    For the final, final update. I ended up calling a batch file from single ChainedInstall_1 section that copies the patch msp files from the CD to the %temp% dir and then installed them from the HD. Worked like a charm but that console window has got to go. VBscript or a small compiled exe will be made tomorrow (with lots more error checking and such) and I will be done with with this. I hope this rambling will help someone avoid these issues.

  22. Frank Buzin says:

    SDU011.CAB = SKU011.CAB in a few posts back. :->

  23. I’m having the same problem it seems many others are having with the "SKU011.cab file not found" message when I try and open Excel after downloading a Microsoft Office update. I’m not a computer technician…I use this as Office as a tool in my work, but it seems sad to me that Microsoft doesn’t even understand its own software since they can’t figure out how to fix it (and calls to their service dept. indicate they don’t really care). All I know is that I won’t be downloading any more "updates" from MS since it seems they cannot be trusted

  24. Imagine a blog entry where I follow up on the request for help tracking down the Office source prompt for SKU011.CAB (and others).

  25. Note: I removed a comment that linked to a download site for the Office CDs. I do not feel comfortable having people use my site to point at possible piracy locations. Sorry.

  26. Yves says:

    Had the problem too, so changed the registry with instructions I found on a german site

    Go into Registry Editor (Start, Run, "regedit"). Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, Software, Microsoft, Office, 11.0, Delivery. There should be only 1 directory under Delivery, which is your DownloadCode (mine was 90000409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9). Select that directory. On the right side of the screen, right-click on CDCache. Change the value to 0.

    and problem solved

    When I started Excell it complained about the eurovalue converter xls, don’t no if it had something to do with it.

    Greetings Yves

  27. Jordi (Catalonia) says:

    Yves: thanks, merci, gràcies!

    This reallly worked! 😉

  28. leighkidd says:


    months of trying to figure out how to fix this


  29. Please note that Yves’s description above will essentially disable the LocalCache Feature.  You can do the same thing by using the LISTool (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=10fa7aa3-695b-42c3-9045-b812ba0fed3e&DisplayLang=en) and choosing the "Delete and disable LIS" option.  The advantage of using the LISTool is that it will also correctly delete all of the cached files on your system.

  30. Senthil Kumar says:

    Hi Yves,

    You are a genius dude…please post this in some other place also. That was awesome work and now I was able to get into excel 2003.

    Great job. This will be useful for lots of people who are still trying to find a way to fix this.

  31. Mkatub says:

    Estimated Yves, GRACES(THANKS)!

    Perdoná my Englishman(English), is not very good.

    But it(he,she) could not stop being grateful for this solution to you.

  32. swissG says:

    #69/22 WORKED

    solved loading problem that recently started. When ever I wanted to open a certain bible program Windows was wanting to "configure" and could not find the SKU011.CAB. Now it works as before!

  33. kronos says:

    Thanxes m8, easy and clean…. All the problems solved.

  34. rao says:

    Thx. Yves. You are the man.

  35. manar says:

    the file of SKU011.CAB not found although it is clearly appear in the office folder so the Excle program doesn’t work

  36. avin says:

    thanks man… it really worked. keep up the good work!!!

    ur cool

  37. milatos says:

    I have a message for Yves: Thank you a million times!!!

  38. Eric says:

    I was also getting the SKU011.CAB file cannot be found prompt when opening Excel. I did what Yves said and that worked, but now I’m getting a new error message from NAV when trying to open Excel files:

    Norton Antivirus 2005 does not support the Repair feature, please uninstall and reinstall.

    After clicking OK 3 times it goes away and I can access my files, but obviously something’s wrong. I think my problems started when I attempted to use Disk Cleanup Utility yesterday. Anyone know what to do about this NAV message?  I didn’t even renew my Norton virus protection and it STILL bugs me all the time!

    Help would be appreciated. Thanks.  

  39. Phill says:

    I did as Yves said, and now i get a new message, saying

    "Error 1311. Source File Not Found  C:/MSOCache/All Users/90000409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9/E2561410.CAB

    Verify that the file exists and that you can access it"

    Then gives me the option the Retry or Cancel.

    I went to the location, and E2561410.CAB isnt there….Any Advice?

  40. Krog says:

    Oh my dear heavenly father. I do not know why people still use Microsoft products. They are obviously a bunch of bodgers who don’t care about documentation or support.

    I have this problem every time I create a new user on a system. I don’t get this message on desktops that were set up before setting up Office 2003, but any new desktop accounts will automatically ask for the CD-rom. The CD in question is 200 miles away in my office, does MicroSoft have a solution to the “I shouldn’t logically need my installation media but who said MicroSoft was logical” error. I’m totally sick of fixing MicroSoft mistakes EVERY DAY!

    I tried this solution, switching the 2 to a 0 in the registry editor. Didn’t seem to make a difference.

    Someone told me I should just be doing full installs, so that the CD is never needed. Well this isn’t quite the solution I was looking for but if it saves me running hundreds of miles for installation media then so be it.

    My advice. Stop using MicroSoft!

  41. sravja01 says:

    Yves – Your solution works. Great job mate!!!

    Rest – Try Yves solution first before trying anything else. Do backup your registery files first, just in case. But if its SKU or SKD 011 on startup, this solution works.

  42. Bib says:

    Yves you are fantastic!!! your solution worked!!! Thanks!!!

  43. Alex says:

    I also got that ‘SKU011.CAB’ message when I tried to open MS Excel 2003 and I still can’t fix it!!

    I did everything! I downloaded that LIS thing from the Microsoft website. Didn’t work.

    I did what Yves said. Didn’t work either.

    I now get a message telling me I need a file named ‘PRO11.MSI’.

    Please help??

  44. rob says:

    Yves Is a genius, followed instructions to the letter. worked perfectly afterwards. nice one. carry on the good work… I’m now a happier computer illiterate..  

  45. I am so sorry to start the sku001.CAB disucussion again, but trying to detect and repair the office program – off of the original CD!!!! and still get the errormessage that the sku001.cab file is missing…please tell me what to do to finally get over this message!