One of the issues with Visual Studio 6 is the total size of the MSDN help
files required. Users requiring all the help files for VB, need to set
aside approximately 1.3 Gbytes of disk space. Even then, the original installation
disks are often required, when specific topics are queried, proving
1.3Gbytes does really cover all help files, especially if topics are
shared by multiple development platforms within Visual Studio. One
alternative is to install all the MSDN help topics as this results in no
prompting for missing help files from the MSDN CDs. However this requires around 2 Gbytes of disk space, which is a big wedge of drive
capacity even by today's standards.
This situation becomes a greater issue for organizations with many
developers, where tens of Gbytes of drive capacities are used just for
Luckily MSDN changed the licensing requirements for the MSDN Library
Subscription in September 1999 to allow for sharing of the MSDN Library
Subscription media within organizations. Essentially, all CDs are copied
to a shared network drive and the MSDN library is then installed to user's
PC's from the share. Running a minimum install, users can save drive
space, but efficiency will depend on your network load and architecture.
Most 100 Mbyte networks offer little delay when comparing local and
network MSDN installations, especially if the server hosting the
installation folder isn't a dedicated server with an exceptional load such
as a DB or Web server.
To correctly create the network installation folder, all contents from
the MSDN Library Disc 1, Disc 2, and Disc 3 must be combined into one
folder with the identical directory structure as Disc 1. To assist loading
the MSDN installation CDs to the share use the Network Copy utility found
in the root directory of CD1.