Installing Sharepoint 2010 Farm on a Single VMWare VM

If you are like most of us Sharepoint Admins (or SQL Server DBA’s in a Cluster Environment, for that matter), you will often want to run through a new service implementation on a Virtual Machine taking a snapshot and running the install several times over, making notice of “gotchas”, recovering to the snapshot point, and running again with the new installation knowledge.  basically, running the installation repeatedly until it comes out completely clean.

If you try to install a server farm, with  services distributed over multiple farm servers, but you try to do it on a single VM server (ie, you want the full farm experience, but use the one VM server for all Farm Server roles), the first problem you will run into is that SP Setup for Farms will not let you use local accounts (ie, machine accounts, not Active Directory Accounts).  This is a problem if your test server is not on the domain and only has local accounts.  But the setup program will not let you use local accounts, and unless you complete the setup and the config wizard that follows it, you cannot create your Sharepoint_Config (and associated content) database.

Here’s one way to get past that:

Go through the Sharepoint Server Setup, and at the end, where it says “Installation Complete… You must now run the configuration wizard…” STOP RIGHT THERE.  Leave that window open, and:

  1. Create a local account for Sharepoint Services (ie, something like “sp_services”) and give it a password.
  2. Open SQL Server Management Studio and create a Windows Login for that service account (SERVER\sp_services, in this example) and give it syadmin access.  (It is claimed that only dbCreator and SecurityAdmin roles are required, but I just give it sysadmin since this is a test server only).
  3. goto START… All Programs… Microsoft Sharepoint 2010 Products…  Sharepoint 2010 Management Shell.
  4. In the window that opens, type “new-spconfigurationdatabase”, and press the enter Key.
  5. For DatabaseName, enter “Sharepoint_Config” (which is the default config database that Setup would normally create), and press ENTER.
  6. For Database Server, enter the name of your database server.  If it’s a named instance, remember to use “SQLServerMachine\InstanceName”.
  7. Provide the Service Account name and password that you just created.
  8. Enter a passphrase for the server farm.  Something like “SP FarmPassphr4se”.  REMEMBER WHAT YOU TYPE for passphrase.

After that, you should be able to continue with the configuration wizard and instead of being presented with a choice between connecting to an existing farm (which fails because you cannot use Local machine accounts), or creating a new farm, you should instead see a prompt saying that the server is already connected to a server farm (the one you just created in Management Shell).

You can continue with the config wizard from that point.

About combatdba

I'm a production DBA at a terabyte-class SQL Server Shop
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