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In SharePoint 2010 there is a prerequisite installer. There are options to install the prerequisites from a local source.

That's great, but is it also possible to tell the prerequitiinstaller to download the files and keep them in its prerequisite directory?

I don't want to download the files manually as it is a big pain in the back to get these files from the Microsoft website.

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This might help as you can run the PreReq installer from the command line with arguments, but I don't think you can tell it to persist them somewhere. http://blogs.msdn.com/opal/archive/2010/04/25/faq-sharepoint-2010-rtm-installation.aspx

You could just download them a single time which doesn't take a long at all.

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