Home > SharePoint > Just another SharePoint VM–Part 1–Installing Windows Server 2012

Just another SharePoint VM–Part 1–Installing Windows Server 2012

Of a whim, I just wanted to start again to build a VM to learn something new. Being a SharePoint guy that hasn’t yet started playing with SharePoint 2013, that was my natural choice. But that wasn’t the only choice to make. Before, I started installing SharePoint 2013 Preview on a VM, I had to make a choice of what VM technology to use and what guest operating system to install on it. Since Windows VM is not an option with 64-bit guest operating systems, I tried my next best bet which I have used before – Oracle VM Virtual Box.

I then had to figure out if I wanted to do what was tried and tested – Windows Server 2008 R2 or go to Windows Server 2012 and see what I can figure out. I chose the latter – just so I can learn something new as opposed to just following instructions others had written down.

I shall not go into the details of how I set up the VM and so forth here – it is a pretty standard experience on VirtualBox. I will mention however that I started with 6 GB RAM. Not sufficient for even a simple single server installation of SharePoint 2013 by any means because the Microsoft recommendation is 24 GB. But with only 8 GB RAM on my host machine and several thousands of dollars short of buying my own blade server, it was the best I could do. Also, I used a dynamically expanding disk set to a maximum size of 100 GB.

The Windows Server 2012 installation experience doesn’t change at all from other versions of Windows – client or server. If anything, it is closer to the standard Windows Client operating system installation experience. Select a language, select an installation type (keep data or new install), select a disk, select an administrator password and done.

When you’re done installing and first login (through a metro style interface), the server manager launches with the below information.


The above is what you see after you’ve just installed Windows Server 2012 and logged in – the new Server Manager view. The following is the list of features and roles that are already turned on:




Next steps

1. Changed the time zone – I am not going into how to do this – everybody knows.

2. Turned off IE Enhance Security Configuration for Admins and Users – again, very simple to get to from the server manager view – just click on the link:


3. The network that the host computer was connected to was auto-detected and configured to be shared in – no problems there.


4. Kicked off the start menu to check what was there and here’s what is available to begin with – simple and minimalistic:


5. Launched IE 10 – yes, IE 10. Since I haven’t done this on Windows 8, the first thing I did was point it to www.html5test.com. Why am I obsessed with this incomplete standard? No reason. Just cause. Still nowhere close to Chrome.

6. Changed the machine name to "DEV" and restarted for the changes to take effect.

7. Disabled the firewall for both private and public network – again very easy to do through the link on the server manager view.

8. Ever tried restarting Windows Server after Windows Update? That’s what I did next. 88 seconds to the login screen after restart. That is super fast compared to what I am used to. Very impressive!

Adding Roles

Next thing I wanted to do was add the Active Directory Domain Services role. Start by clicking on the "Add Roles and Features" link on the Server Manager dashboard

We start with the Before you begin screen which we always skip anyway. One thing to consider here is the assignment of a static IP to the machine. Especially since we intend to promote the machine to domain controller and that will require DNS setup. I have however deferred this to see if and how I’ll be prompted.


Next, we have something new. You can choose to install roles on a physical machine or a VM.


Next, since you are able to add multiple servers to the management dashboard, you are required to pick the server to add the role to:


Back to Windows Server 2008 familiarity on the next screen – select the AD DS role and moved on


Additional features required by AD DS are displayed


Click on "Add Features" and moved on by hitting "Next" on the Server Roles screen. The Feature selection screen is displayed.


Made no additional selections here and moved on. Here is where we get told that a DNS Server is required on the network and if one doesn’t exist, you will be prompted for the role on this machine which will obviously occur.


Just one change on the confirmation page allowing you to select to restart the target server if necessary. Checked it and clicked "Install".


After installation, something else that is different is there is a link available on the Results page to promote the machine to a domain controller. Nice! Not that it took me very long to “run dcpromo” but still a nifty little convenience. Clicked the link.


The Configuration Wizard is launched and we are asked for a domain to join. Created a new forest:


Some quick choices follow. Since it is going to be a standalone machine, I chose to keep the functional levels to Windows Server 2012. Since a DNS would be required, kept that checkbox checked. You don’t get a choice with GC which it will automatically be and since it is the only DC, it cannot be an RODC. Chose a restore password and moved on.


On the next screen showed up a warning relating to how DNS delegation will not be possible without an authoritative parent zone. Hit "Next" and moved on.


Chose a NETBIOS name on the next screen and went on.


The next few screens are about selecting where the files go, review the options selected, getting the Powershell script if you are interested which I just hit "Next" through.

On the prerequisites screen is where we get warned about the DNS requiring a static IP address. Ignored all warnings and went on to hit "Install".

Installation went successfully and the machine restarted per choice made in earlier screen. After restart, back to the server manager – I like how it adds the new roles to the navigation on the left for quick configuration.


At this point, we have Windows Server 2012 setup and configured and are ready to move on to the next step – that of installing SQL Server 2012. However, before we move on to that, there is the small matter of putting in place, the service accounts we’ll need to use for SQL Server and SharePoint.

Read about setting up the required service accounts in Part 2.

  1. October 27, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Just started on Hyper-V with Windows 8 RTM last Thursday myself. I’ve found VirtualBox to be ok in the past, too, though.

    • lennyankireddi
      October 27, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      The reason I went with VirtualBox is because I didn’t have Window 8 installed and on Windows 7, you don’t have options. Now that SharePoint 2013 and Windows 8 are both RTM, I am raring to reinstall using Hyper-V. Thanks for sharing, Tom.

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