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Note: This is a cross-post from my blog post at I only wish to get the message out to the SharePoint community as best as I can. 

This post is a guide on how to install SharePoint 2010 on Windows Server 8 Beta

With all of the recent Beta releases, I just had to test installing SharePoint 2010 with the Windows Server 8 Beta. I am passing along my experience and notes to the community. It was an adventure to say the least - when you choose to work with Beta software you get a Beta experience. This is how you learn and ramp up for when the final versions are released.

This install was quite manual when I first did it, and I hope my script, SharePoint 2010 on Windows Server 8 Beta - Install Pre-reqs and Roles/Features, and notes will help you get through this install.

Simply put, the SharePoint 2010  installer doesn't work with the Windows Server 8 Beta due to security and compatibility changes. This means that you need to follow my procedure as outlined below (or come up with your own). I've installed SharePoint 2010 on Windows Server 8 Beta many times now - my procedure is streamlined and intended to communicate the best way to do the installation from scratch based on my experience. In my opinion, the procedure I present below will be valid until Microsoft issues an updated SharePoint 2010 installer.

 As an FYI, for installation media, I used the following from MSDN (requires an MSDN subscription):
  • SharePoint Server 2010 with Service Pack 1
  • SQL Server - pick your flavor:
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 x64
  • SQL Server 2012 RC0
I advise you to read this entire post before installing ... Keep in mind that Windows Server 8 Beta is just that, beta software...

The installation procedure:

1) Install Windows Server 8 Beta

For early adopters like myself, this will likely be in a virtualized environment. I didn't encounter any issues installing this OS. The install is straight forward. I did not encounter any issues installing Windows Server 8 Beta.

2) Join your new Windows Server 8 Beta instance to a development/test domain

I have a development environment and joined the new Windows Server 8 Beta to my development domain. I suggest you do the same. Please note that I have not tested the install without joining the Windows Server 8 Beta OS to a domain. I will test this soon.

3) Install SQL Server

This includes running my PowerShell Script from the TechNet Gallery to Install the Prerequisites and Roles Features to run SharePoint 2010 on Windows Server 8 Beta

There are many blog posts available online on how to install SQL Server so I won't rehash that here. At this time, I have experienced mixed installation results based on the SQL version. Tread water accordingly. I have installed SharePoint 2010 using:
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 x64
  • SQL Server 2012 RC0
I have experienced SharePoint 2010 to work fine with both of the above SQL versions on Windows Server 8 Beta - the only difference being the SQL install procedure.
DO NOT install SharePoint 2010 in Stand Alone mode - even for "testing". You can do it (it's not really recommended anyway), but you won't be able to install the 2008 Management Studio Express (based on my testing) so what's the point? I've tried it so I could report the results here. Just install a full version of SQL Server the first time and save yourself a headache.

If installing SQL Server 2008 R2 x64:
  • While installing SQL Server 2008 R2 x64, you will encounter the following message: "This program has compatibility issues". When you see this, click on "Run the program without getting help".

If installing SQL Server 2012 RC0:
  • Go ahead and install SQL Server 2012 RC0. You should not experience any issues installing this version of SQL - I didn't.
  • Once the installation of SQL Server 2012 RC0 is completed, run my PowerShell script -  SharePoint 2010 on Windows Server 8 Beta - Install Pre-reqs and Roles/Features. This is free and available on the TechNet Gallery.
  • DO NOT install my script first if installing SQL Server 2012 RC0. I got some weird .NET Framework errors which I am still investigating...

Notes on what my PowerShell script does:
  • Download from the TechNet Gallery - SharePoint 2010 on Windows Server 8 Beta - Install Pre-reqs and Roles/Features
  • Install Windows Server 8 Beta Roles/Features
  • Change IIS 8 Default App Pool .NET Framework to v2.0 - SharePoint 2010 needs this so you don't run into errors
  • Download SharePoint 2010 Prerequisites
  • Install SharePoint 2010 Prerequisites. For each prerequisite, you'll see each installer and be prompted.


4) Create an 'Emulated' ServerManagerCMD.exe

This is the part I believe most should be able to get to without assistance, however you'll likely run into issues.
ServerManagerCMD.exe isn't supported or shipped with Windows Server 8 Beta and the SharePoint 2010 installer requires it - you can read up more on this at tool at PowerShell will take its place moving forward.

I have to give credit regarding where I found this part of the solution - visit

The post is in French, but essentially what the author says is that the installer calls ServerManagerCmd.exe and waits for a particular return code: 1003. If you simulate this, you can trick the installer into sufficiently thinking that ServerManagerCMD.exe is actually there doing what it was designed to do and the install will proceed.
As a side note, this is also a reason why the Prerequisite installer fails - it also uses ServerManagerCMD.exe to configure the IIS Roles and Features. Since ServerManagerCMD.exe doesn't exist there are issues. Beyond that, the SharePoint 2010 installer won't install all of the correct Roles/Features required. That is a major reason why I wrote my PowerShell script as outlined in Step 3.

The author of the mentioned solution provides a Visual Studio 2010 project with the source code and an already compiled binary version which 'emulates'  ServerManagerCMD.exe. I need to recommend here that you download the source code and compile it yourself... I shouldn't have to say it, but it is not recommended to download an executable off of the Internet! You need to compile it with a file name of ServerManagerCMD.exe. Once you have the executable, copy it into the C:\Windows\System32 folder. The binary file and Visual Studio 2010 project downloads are at the bottom of the author's blog post.

All this program does is execute the following code:

namespace Hand.ServerManagerCmdEmul {
   class Program {
        static void Main(string[] args) {
              System.Environment.ExitCode = 1003;

Once you have this 'emulated' ServerManagerCMD.exe in place, you can install SharePoint as per normal. If you don't have this 'emulated' ServerManagerCMD.exe executable in place, even with the required server Roles/Features and Pre-requisites installed, you'll see this error when attempting Step 5, i.e. attempting to install SharePoint Server 2010:


5) Install SharePoint Server 2010

There are many blog posts available online on how to install SharePoint 2010 so I won't rehash that here. One important thing of note is that my PowerShell script you installed in Step 3 is that after installing IIS 8, it will change the default application pool .NET Framework version to v2.0. This will ensure that SharePoint 2010 web applications are created without issues and that you won't run into any errors when configuration wizard completes. By default IIS 8 has the default application pool .NET Framework version set to v4.0.

6) Load up Central Administration

...and start playing with SharePoint 2010 within the Windows Server 8 Beta!Enjoy!

Important Notes about the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell:

  • In short the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell  doesn't work... You can try all you want to add a PowerShellExe.config file to C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\ with what you think should work. In my experience, it doesn't work and there are some issues for Microsoft to iron out here. After SharePoint2010 is installed, the PowerShell 2.0 engine is installed but it makes no difference. I did reach out to Gary Lapointe on this. When I wrote to him, he didn't have a Windows Server 8 Beta lab available to test on the spot... With this said, the methods what we both tried in our environments where PowerShell v3 was enabled (which defaults to .NET 4.0) to support .NET 3.5 yielded the same results - it doesn't work. If you do find a configuration to make it work please 'Contact Me' and I'll update this post.
  • DO NOT uninstall PowerShell v3. It has way too much awesomeness and beyond that, it will fubar your Windows Server 8 Beta installation (thank goodness for VM snapshots!). If you do this hoping it will make the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell work, once you login to Windows after a reboot, you'll be presented with a command prompt and won't be able to do much. I am not even going to share the procedure or code on how to remove PowerShell v3 because you shouldn't do it.

PowerGUI Version 3.1.2058 to the rescue!

 I am sure that Microsoft is well aware of the SharePoint 2010 installer and SharePoint 2010 Management Shell problems on Windows Server 8 Beta - changes made in the Windows Server 8 Beta are impacting many applications in addition to SharePoint.

I suspect that Microsoft  likely won't approve of the "hack" outlined in Step 4 above, however it is the only way you'll get SharePoint 2010 installed at this time (at least that I have found). I hope to see a fix for the installer issues it in the not too distant future. Windows Server 8 Beta is just that, Beta, and with this in mind, I feel that the "hack" and other workarounds to get it up and running for testing is necessary. I am sure all fellow SharePointers want to test IIS 8 and get used to the new Windows Server 8 Beta interface/experience - which I think is cool. With this said, the new interface/experience does take some getting used to so play around early and well before Windows Server 8 (or whatever it will be called) goes to RTM.

Here is a screenshot proving my environment from March 1st, 2010. This was a fun build. I am sure I'll blow this up and rebuild it many times with different configurations.

 Click to enlarge. 
]SharePoint 2010 on Windows Server 8 Beta