How to install SharePoint 2013 on Windows 2012R2

If you want to jump straight to the condensed solution, then please feel free to go to the Condensed Installation instructions below. If you find this post useful or have any feedback then please leave me a comment so that I know my efforts were not wasted!

Installing Microsoft Backoffice products on Microsoft Operating Systems has over the years become a much easier proposition and is largely the reason why SQL Server got the reputation of being “easy”. Except it isn’t. Ask any idiot to install a SQL Server instance and create a database and there is a good chance that they will succeed, but ask them to install SQL Server correctly and configured to best practice, suddenly the knowledge gap becomes a little more obvious.

I recently had a requirement to deploy SharePoint 2013 and at very least expected a relatively easy installation. Working along the lines of current is probably best, I decided that Windows 2012 R2 was probably the right choice of OS going forward. Famous last words.

The Problem with SharePoint 2013 on Windows 2012 R2

Prior to SharePoint 2013 SP1, Windows 2012 R2 is not supported and I suppose it shouldn’t surprise anyone since SharePoint 2013 came onto the market before Windows 2012 R2. Anyhow, I gathered that I could install SharePoint 2013 onto Windows 2012 R2 and then patch up to SharePoint 2013 SP1. No big deal right?


Before I start delving into the problem and solution, it is important for me to highlight that it is possible to download a Microsoft provided slip-streamed iso of SharePoint 2013 with SP1 assuming you have access to a lovely MSDN subscription. Using this media would avoid the problems documented within this post.

However there will be many of you who do not have access to a MSDN subscription and may be using Microsoft Evaluation Editions for your test lab. Quite (un)helpfully Microsoft do not provide a slip-streamed Evaluation Edition of SharePoint 2013 -and as far as I know never provide slip-streamed Evaluation Edition images apart from exceptional circumstances. At this point you may ask yourself “Why not create my own slip-streamed install?” but unfortunately this would put you in an unsupported state due to package changes as mentioned in the blog post SharePoint 2013, SP1 and Slipstreaming.

So let’s get back to business…

The SharePoint media provides the ever so useful pre-requisite installer to help automate the configuration and installation of (you guessed it) pre-requisites prior to installing SharePoint. The problem with this approach is that on Window 2012 R2 the pre-requisite installer fails resulting in the error “There was an error during installation. The tool was unable to install Application Server Role, Web Server (IIS) Role” (the MSDN iso of SharePoint 2013 SP1 succeeds).

pre-requisite installer error

After a little bit of playing around, it became obvious that things were not going to be plain sailing and so I resorted to Google-Fu expecting to find an authoritative and straight-forward set of instructions from either Microsoft themselves or a SharePoint MVP/ community SharePoint expert. Sadly what I found was a whole melting pot of solutions -some of which appeared to be slightly more complicated than I suspected they needed to be. For instance many suggested enabling a whole long list of Windows Features through PowerShell, even though we can see quite clearly in the pre-requisite check a fairly simple list. Furthermore there was not one single set of instructions I found that took into account the latest releases of SQL Server or Microsoft AppFabric Cumulative Updates.

I decided to have a go myself and see if I could simplify this process and arrive at what I hope will be the definitive solution, so that you (hopefully) won’t have to waste your time like I did!

Defining our list of pre-requisites

Probably your first port of call is to take a look at the Microsoft Hardware and software requirements for SharePoint 2013 which will give you a useful starting point -at least for minimum software requirements, but we can see from the pre-requisite installer feedback that in Windows 2012 R2, Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 and Windows Management Framework 3.0 is already installed by default. The problem with this pre-requisite checker is that it is intended as an automated way to install the pre-requisite components rather than providing feedback for a manual install. After further executions after enabling a couple of Windows Features I decided that it didn’t really suit my purposes and instead decided to run the SharePoint setup executable hoping that it would provide a simpler way to get feedback.

Thankfully setup immediately reports back on progress and provides those missing requirements.

setup missing pre-reqs

Installing the pre-requisites

The first thing I do is to enable those easy Windows-Features through PowerShell. I notice the Windows Identity Foundation requirement (you may find various posts alluding to the fact that this is a download but it is in fact a Windows Feature in 2012 R2).

Get-WindowsFeature Windows-Identity-Foundation|
Add-WindowsFeature -source:D:\sources\sxs

I will deal with the Identity Foundation extensions in a moment but for now the second feature of interest is Application Server and this is simple enough to add.

Get-WindowsFeature Application-Server|
Add-WindowsFeature -source:D:\sources\sxs

Next we can add the IIS Web Server (better known as the Web-Server feature); I include all management tools since I find the ability to troubleshoot and configure locally particularly valuable when problems are hit.

Add-WindowsFeature -source:D:\sources\sxs `

There is also a requirement for the IIS 6 Management Compatibility component and this can be found through the Web-Mgmt-Compat feature:

Get-WindowsFeature Web-Mgmt-Compat|
Add-WindowsFeature -source:D:\sources\sxs

I did initially think that the WCF Data Services 5.0 requirement equated to the Net-WCF-Services feature, but I was wrong. It is instead an executable that we need to download and we shall cover these downloads next.

I originally tried the most recent WCF Data Services download (version 5.6.0) but found that the SharePoint installer surprisingly did not detect it. After running the installer again I opted for Uninstall and instead downloaded version 5.0.512 which can be found at and installed it without incident. This time, setup no longer reported this component missing.

You will recall we enabled the Windows Identity Foundation feature, but were still missing the Identity Extensions (1.0). After fumbling around for a little while expecting to find it as a sub-component Windows Feature to enable, I realized that it was a download as reported by several articles. The extensions can be downloaded from -irritatingly I could only find a direct link! Installing this component was painless and now the requirement was removed from the list of missing components.

The next (and probably the most frustrating and problematic) component I installed was Windows Server Appfabric which can be downloaded via and attempting GUI based execution caused me a few issues.

AppFabric MS Update

I first checked that I didn’t want to use Microsoft Update since my environment was disconnected from the Internet. Next I selected all the AppFabric features (which meant checking Caching Services and Cache Administration) and completed the installation.

AppFabric Features

Probably the must annoying aspect of the AppFabric installer is that it can leave your installation in a bit of a pickle. First off, if you cancel the installation and try and rerun SharePoint setup you will almost certainly receive a warning about Microsoft Update being required to run this tool (a crazy situation if you consider the dialog screen earlier), and the second point to raise is that even if you do perform a GUI based installation of AppFabric you will realize upon rerunning the SharePoint setup that it errors with the message “Windows Server Appfabric is not correctly configured. You should uninstall Windows Server Appfabric and reinstall it using the SharePoint Products Preparation Tool.” -obviously in our situation we cannot do this!

To get around this conundrum you will first have to uninstall this failed installation of AppFabric. I confess I had a torrid time performing this having first used the command line /r switch but now could not get the SharePoint setup error to disappear. Eventually I noticed that the AppFabric installation was still registered after looking through Control Panel/ Programs/ Programs and Features but the GUI based removal kept erroring with message about the .NET Framework 3.5! To resolve this latest snag, I re-installed AppFabric before heading back to the Programs and Features app to remove it again! A fudge but it worked.

Once the SharePoint setup only complains that AppFabric is missing (and not that it is incorrectly configured as described above), you can perform the AppFabric installation for SharePoint correctly through the command line:

WindowsServerAppFabricSetup_x64.exe /i CacheClient,CachingService,CacheAdmin /gac

I should highlight that I have seen various references indicating that you must use quotes around the parameter options but this has not been my experience so far. Once installed (you will not receive a notification of completion!), reboot your server once more.

AppFabric must be patched to CU1, but I decided to try applying 1.1 CU5. I should have known better since the installer really must have CU1 installed and you can obtain this from and installation can be performed through the GUI.

The next component to address is the Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 SP1 and you can download this from and install with no problems. Obviously in my case I chose for my installation. Extract and execute the synchronization.msi installer from the Microsoft Sync Framework directory.

For some reason I could only find the Microsoft Information Protection and Control Client as a download link, simply download from and install. Like the Appfabric GUI I chose not to enable Microsoft Update.


A restart is required after installing this component.

The final component to add is the SQL Server Native Client. The pre-requisite states Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Native Client, but SQL Server 2012 Native Client appears to work too. Note that SQL Server 2014 does not have its own Native Client and instead installs 2012 Native Client. As mentioned earlier, my personal preference is to always deploy client management tools for troubleshooting so I would tend to always deploy the Native Client from full SQL Server 2014 installation media so that I can include those tools (such as SQL Server Management Studio). If you don’t have this requirement then you can download and install the SQL Server 2012 Native Client either as part of the SQL Server 2012 Feature pack or directly from and installation is of course fairly trivial.

By this stage you should have met all pre-requisites and while a reboot is not necessary prior to installation, I advise doing so for one last time before running SharePoint 2013 setup -which you will be happy to see now prompts you for a license key! :)

Once SharePoint 2013 installation has completed do not forget to install SharePoint 2013 Service Pack 1.

Condensed installation

This section is intended as a quick and concise way for you to run through all the pre-requisites before attempting to install SharePoint 2013. If you run into any problems or want a more detailed explanation you should read the entire post described above.

1. Enable the Windows-Identity-Foundation feature:

Get-WindowsFeature Windows-Identity-Foundation|
Add-WindowsFeature -source:D:\sources\sxs

2. Enable the Application-Server role:

Get-WindowsFeature Application-Server|
Add-WindowsFeature -source:D:\sources\sxs

3. Enable the Web-Server role and management tools:

Add-WindowsFeature -source:D:\sources\sxs `

4. Enable the IIS 6 Management Compatibility component:

Get-WindowsFeature Web-Mgmt-Compat|
Add-WindowsFeature -source:D:\sources\sxs

5. Download and install WCF Data Services (5.0.512) from

6. Download and install Windows Identity Extensions (1.0) from

7. Download and install Windows Server AppFabric (1.1) from through the command line:

WindowsServerAppFabricSetup_x64.exe /i CacheClient,CachingService,CacheAdmin /gac

8. Reboot Server.

9. Download and install AppFabric 1.1 CU1 from

10. Download and install Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 SP1 from (extract and execute the synchronization.msi installer from the Microsoft Sync Framework directory).

11. Download and install Microsoft Information Protection and Control Client from

12. Reboot Server.

13. Download and install the SQL Server 2012 Native Client from (minimum requirement is SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1).

14. Reboot Server (for good measure) and SharePoint 2013 installation should work.

15. Post SharePoint 2013 installation do not forget to patch to SharePoint 2013 Service Pack 1.

I hope this post was helpful to you, and if you would like to see more like this or have any useful feedback then I look forward to receiving your comments.

Posted in SharePoint, SQLServerPedia Syndication, Windows | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Changing the boot order of generation 2 Virtual Machines in Systems Center VMM and Hyper-V

On Windows 2012 R2 hosts, Hyper-V introduced the concept of generation 2 Virtual Machines, which provide various benefits and a set of restrictions to those VMs configured in this way. In most cases the performance improvements and functionality they provide make it desirable to create new Virtual Machines as generation 2 -assuming that you will run them on generation 2 capable hosts which at this time of writing is Windows 2012 R2 Servers! Furthermore you will also be restricted by your guest operating system because Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 are not supported by generation 2. There are also further considerations to take into account with regards to Linux support by Hyper-V and we shall look at that topic another time.

Benefits of generation 2 Virtual Machines include improvements to boot time support but with this come a few changes. Assuming you are deploying your Virtual Machines through Systems Center 2012 R2 -and realistically this is a given for any Enterprise worth their salt, there are a few changes to be aware of. For situations requiring it, a change to boot time ordering can be achieved easily for generation 1 VMs via the Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager Console. Click a Virtual Machines Properties and navigate to the Hardware Configuration pane. Scroll down to the Advanced grouping (found at the very bottom of the Hardware Configuration) and select the Firmware item.

Hardware Firmware Boot OrderFrom the Firmware screen it is quite obvious how to change boot time ordering and helpfully, the CD (/DVD) is the default first option in the list. In other-words it is unlikely that you will ever need to change the default ordering for generation 1 Virtual Machines.

Generation 2 Boot OrderingWith generation 2 Virtual Machines there are a few changes to the Firmware screen. Helpfully the Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager Console provides a breadcrumb link to documentation describing how to set the boot order for generation 2 virtual machines. HOWEVER reading through this documentation we are presented with the following statement:

“To customize the startup order for a generation 2 virtual machine in System Center 2012 R2, you must use a Windows PowerShell command that specifies the first boot device, rather than an ordered list of boot devices”

This is not great news but at least we are provided with the necessary information so that we are able to configure boot ordering through PowerShell. Clearly the use of Set-SCVirtualMachine, Set-SCVMTemplate, or Set-SCHardwareProfile PowerShell commands should be high on our list and perhaps the preferred option for configuration especially in those instances where we are trying to change a Systems Center template or hardware profile – but is PowerShell our only option for Virtual Machine boot ordering?

boot-hyper-vWell one very quick and easy way to get around this situation is to instead fire up Hyper-V Manager (you can also use this also to connect to remote Hyper-V hosts). After selecting the Settings of your Virtual Machine, scroll to the Hardware group (top left grouping) and select the Firmware item. Now you will be presented with a screen very similar to the generation 1 Firmware pane through Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager Console. Simply select the DVD Drive and move its order up to the top of the list and click OK to save.

Now whenever your Virtual Machine boots, regardless of whether you have opened an interactive connection to the VM through Hyper-V Manager or Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager Console, the boot sequence will boot the DVD first, allowing you a quick and easy way of temporarily changing the order. If you don’t catch the DVD boot on the first startup, restart the VM while still connected and wait for the Press a key… sequence. Easy.

One slightly surprising observation I made while looking into this, was that after changing the boot order in this way, I did not see any change to the FirstBootDevice property of the Virtual Machine Object when queried through PowerShell. I need to investigate this fully, but my advice for now is to always remember to revert the boot order back to default setting for the Virtual Machine after re-installation of its Operating System. If you intend upon making the change permanent or make the change to a Systems Center Template or Hardware Profile then instead use the PowerShell cmdlets mentioned earlier.

Posted in Hyper-V, SQLServerPedia Syndication, Systems Center, Virtualization | Tagged

Speaking at SQLBits XIV (after all!)

I don’t think it is a particularly big secret that I am a fan of SQLBits (more posts can be found here). I remember being at the PASS Summit in 2010 and enthusiastically talking about the SQLBits conference to those that cared to listen and was rather taken aback by the lack of awareness outside of Europe during my time there, so I like to think that my enthusiastic ramblings over the years have contributed in some very small way to promoting the conference to a wider global audience. SQLBits gave me my first speaking break, which allowed me soon after to speak at SQLRally in Orlando, so I am always grateful to them for offering me that opportunity.
Ye Olde Cluster Curiosity Shoppe

I was not going to speak this year (having also regrettably been forced to withdraw last year at the last minute for reasons outside my control) for a multitude of reasons, but nether-the-less knew the event would rock regardless of my presence (some would say more so!). As time went by, it became increasingly likely that I would attend on Saturday in any capacity, so I am now very pleased to announce that not only will I be attending, I will also be speaking again!

My session this year is one of my current favorites which I hope to polish in time for the big day. I’m presenting Ye Olde Cluster Curiosity Shoppe in which I will discuss a miscellany of top tips, warnings and advice from nearly 20 years of SQL Server Failover Clustering. This is not one for the faint of heart and you really should avoid coming to the session :) …in the words of Tubbs and Edward

“This is a local shop for local people. There’s nothing for you here!”

Posted in Community, Events, Personal Development, SQLServerPedia Syndication | Tagged , | 2 Comments