I'd like to share you my experiences regarding installing large software packages like Office packages or development packages from Borland or Microsoft.
There are two situations possible:
1. You are running the operating system natively installed on a computer
2. You are running the operating system as an application under virtualization program like Vmware
Before installing a huge software package there are some preparations needed in order to gain better performance:
Ad 1. Disconnect the computer from internet and disable the antivirus package for this session only.
Ad 2. Disable internet and antivirus package for this session only.
Now it's time to install the package. I've had to install two big fat packages: Office 2007 Home and Student and Access 2007 upgrade. The performance of installing both packages was pretty good. Both large packages installed in a mere 30 minutes, because of the temporary absence of antivirus and disabled internet. After the installations are completed you cannot activate both packages yet, because in the first attempt there was no internet available for this time and you will surely fail the exam called "Product Activation".
Now installation is completed there are a few post-install actions required for activating the software if needed:
Ad 1. Connect the computer to internet and re-activate antivirus.
Ad 2. Enable internet and re-activate antivirus.
Now it's time to reboot the computer and wait for some updates to be applied over the newly installed software.
After this it's time to activate the software when needed. In my case with Office 2007 and Access 2007 it was necessary to activate and now I've passed that exam.
For large updates as known as service-packs it is advisable to treat them if they were huge installs. With internet and antivirus enabled the performance will be poor due to security checking. Temporary disabling internet and antivirus will also put security offside for a while, but this isn't harmful, since internet is also temporarily disconnected. I've had to wait a long time for running service pack 1 of Office 2007 because of the fact that both internet and antivirus were activated during update session. It's better to download an offline update version of the service-pack of Office 2007 or another application and manually apply it whilst internet and antivirus were disabled for that time.