Installing SharePoint 2013 Correctly on Windows 2012

This article is part 1 of a series of SharePoint 2013 articles to provide instructions on how to install a SharePoint 2013 farm correctly. 

Why does this article exist and why is it different to others ?

I wrote this for 2 reasons.  1. Firstly the reason is to help and show people how to set up SharePoint properly as opposed to the standard next, next , finish approach which is also available and not recommended,  2. To help me find the information I need quickly and easily when doing related tasks.

I have tried to add tips and shortcuts as well as try to explain why certain things need to be as they are where I can.  I hope you find this useful.  Following this article which starts of with a new clean install of a single server SharePoint farm other articles will look at how to configure the core services followed by the BI services.

There are also many ways to implement SharePoint such as running through the GUI, using XML unattended files through to complete automation using scripts from Codeplex available here These methods are recommended when doing farm installs regularly. It is however recommend to fully understanding the installation rather than rely on a script to do all the work and not really understanding what the scripts are doing or how to troubleshoot when things don’t go to plan.

The Environment

The environment I have used is a Windows 8 Professional  Dell Latitude laptop with 16GB of RAM and an SSD Drive running Hyper-V virtualization software. The domain controller (DC) and database server (SQL Server) are installed on this same VM on the same virtual network.

Creating the first SharePoint 2013 server of the farm

The first server created would be the server that runs the Central Admin site. Ensure a SharePoint installation account and farm account exist in Active Directory with no special permissions. Examples used are SPSetup and SPFarmapp here.

SQL Server

The virtual machine also has the SQL Server database engine installed as well as the Reporting Services (SharePoint integrated mode) installed.  We won’t cover SQL install here and there will also be a PowerPivot feature installed in the BI section later.

The following features have been installed as the default instance.  in a production environment you would not require the SQL Data Tool generally. I have added them for ease later if I need them.


Also make the SPfarm admin on the server if you are configuring user profile sync (not covered here) if not installing a domain controller !  Domain admin for this and spsetup if you are (in your lab!).


There are numerous pre-requisites that are needed in order for SharePoint to run properly. Shortcuts can be taken for example using the same service account for everything but this can come and bite you hard in the future so be warned.

SPsetup is an administrator on the SharePoint servers and has the sysadmin role in SQL Server.

There are a number of tools and add-ons that are required that the SharePoint pre-req installer will go and download from the internet..

The following roles are installed as part of the prerequisite installer.

  • Web Server (IIS) role
  • Application Server role
  • Microsoft .NET Framework version 4.5
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Native Client
  • Microsoft WCF Data Services 5.0
  • Microsoft Information Protection and Control Client (MSIPC)
  • Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 SP1 (x64)
  • Windows Management Framework 3.0 which includes Windows PowerShell 3.0
  • Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) 1.0 and Microsoft Identity Extensions (previously named WIF 1.1)
  • Windows Server AppFabric
  • Cumulative Update Package 1 for Microsoft AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server (KB 2671763)

    The roles and applications are installed by SharePoint automatically if there is an internet connection. If the server has no internet connection (and many don’t) then download each application and place them onto the server.

    A full list is available here.

Service Accounts

It is also best practice to create service accounts for your sites and services.  We will be using service accounts for :-

– SharePoint core services (e.g. SVCSPApp)

– SharePoint BI Site application pool and BI Services  (e.g. SPBISVCApp)

– PowerPivot, SSRS, SQL  Service accounts.

The accounts need to exist in active directory with no special permissions.  There are extra steps required for the User Profile Sync Service which I may cover in another article.


Installing the SharePoint 2013 Prerequisites

My server has internet access to ease the process. When I have scripted this part of the installation I will add it as a new linked article.

Click the splash html app file to start the installation program and wait for the following screen to appear. Click the install prerequisites option.



· Click Next


Your system may need a restart a few times. The server will continue with the installations upon restart. If there are problems ensure the installer files are still available after the reboot (mounted for example if using an ISO file).




SQL Server Permissions

Ensure the SPSetup account has dbcreator, public and security admin roles on the SQL Server.

Ensure SQL Server has MAXDOP set to 1.


Additional hotfixes are required for SharePoint 2013 on top of the pre reqs.

These are listed here:-

Windows 2008 R2

· KB 2554876 at

· KB 2708075 at

· KB 2759112 at

Windows 2012

· KB 2765317 at

Install SharePoint Binaries

Log onto the server as the SpSetup account which should also be in the Administrators local group on the SharePoint server being installed.

Start the setup.exe program and enter the license key.


Agree to the Licensing Terms.


Check the file locations and change as necessary.


  • Click Install Now.
  • UNTICK and don’t run the Configuration Wizard once above step is complete.  Click Close.



Configure the Farm

Run the following command from the SharePoint PowerShell console. This will ensure the core databases are not created with long GUIDS appended to their name as per default.

Enter the SQL Server name or alias (strongly recommended) for the database server that will hold the SharePoint databases. Our SQL Server name is SQL and our databases are named SharePoint_ConfigDB and SharePoint_Admin_ContentDB respectively.

New-SPConfigurationDatabase -DatabaseName SharePoint_ConfigDB -DatabaseServer sql -AdministrationContentDatabaseName SharePoint_Admin_ContentDB

Once started a popup will be displayed asking for the farm admin credentials.

  • Enter the FARM Admin account here, not the setup account.


  • Enter the farm passphrase and wait…..Do not press any keys until it is complete.


Wait for the confirmation of the passphrase as it could take a few minutes. Pressing anything during this time will require restarting this process.

If you make an error here you can restart by disconnecting the farm and removing the databases created and starting again. Run Disconnect-SPConfigurationDatabase to remove the database farm config and start the above command again.

Open the SharePoint 2013 Products Configuration Wizard from the start menu.



  • Press Yes to confirm the warning.


Follow the screens and click Next on each.


Leave above as default. Specify port number on Central Web Application page and authentication. Leave as NTLM and I prefer to choose a consistent port rather than use the random port generated by the installer.


Enter the port number or leave as random. Leave authentication as NTLM for Central Admin unless Kerberos is a requirement. In most cases this is not required for Central Admin.


As we ran the initial PowerShell script the standard farm admin screen and passphrase screen are note shown and so the configuration begins.


Wait for this to complete. Once complete the following screen will be presented.


Click Finish and the Central Admin page should now open up in IE.

Enter the appropriate response to the customer improvement program screen.


It is important to select Cancel on the next screen as this will stop SharePoint configuring itself with all the default values and nasty databases names with GUIDS. Click Cancel !


You now have a nice clean and shiny Central Administration site available for use.



Some Central Admin Differences


SharePoint 2013 introduces the concept of Apps which are an extension of the previously used solutions to add functionality to SharePoint farms.  Apps do not replace solutions and require configuration of the App Management and Subscription Services.  Apps also reduce security concerns previously where developers needed access to a farm administrator to deploy solutions.  Now Site Collection administrators can manage the apps.  Apps can also run on the SharePoint server, other servers or even a client browser.  Apps can be made available by developers online for On-Premises or Office 365 SharePoint implementations.


Settings Options

These are now accessible at the top right hand side of the screen.



Please see the second article in this series which goes through the configuration of the key basic services correctly using the GUI and scripts.


Pre req error occurs when installing on Windows 2012 R2 (currently not supported I believe).

“Error: This file does not exist”.  I have tried to manually add the IIS and App roles but same error persists.


See the following technet blog article for further details.


About Mitesh Chauhan
Mitesh Chauhan, Azure Cloud Solutions Architect. This is my blog where I share articles and thoughts on IT Infrastructure and architecture. The topics I am most passionate about are Implementation and architecture of rock solid Cloud Infrastructure based around SQL Server and Windows Server mainly using Microsoft Azure. MCTS - Azure Architecture MCTS - Azure Implementation MCSE Server Infrastructure (Windows Server 2012) , MCITP SQL Server 2008, Togaf Certified, Prince 2 Practitioner.

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