Sharepoint Foundation 2013 on a Windows Server 2012 DC?

Posted on 2015-02-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2015-02-09
I found out something the hard way and that is that you cannot run SharePoint Foundation 2013 on a domain controller.  I should have researched it more.  I am getting rid of our Windows Server 2003 domain controller and I installed a new Windows Server 2012R2 server to take over that role.  I installed the OS and then set up SharePoint and it was working great.  I copied all of my documents and folders to it and got it working like a champ.  Luckily, I kept the SharePoint 2.0 server running on the old server while I was transitioning other things to the new server.  I made the 2012 Server a domain controller and SharePoint never worked again.

Now, I have a dilemma.  I don't want to keep a Windows Server 2003 around just to keep our SharePoint server running for internal use.  I also do not want to spin up another VM with Windows Server 2012 as a member server because I don't want to spend the money on a license JUST to be a SharePoint server.

I really didn't expect this.  Things were going so well that I figured I'd be hit in the face with the Microsoft 2x4 at some point.  It happened.

Any advice?  We really do depend on SharePoint a lot to keep a lot of company files available in PDF form, like manuals, policies, etc.  It was so easy!
Question by:Steve Bantz
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Expert Comment

by:Will Szymkowski
ID: 40594252
Based on your situation and how much detial you have provided, Sharepoint should not care what OS version you are running on your Domain Controller. Make sure that your Sharepoint server is in fact point to DNS from your new 2012 server.

Also, because you originally installed the Sharepoint on the DC (2003) server there are probably still elements that remain there. and when you power it off you are loosing core functionality. Because this is not a supported method you may have to rebuild your Share Point environment correctly.

Check to ensure DNS is correctly pointing to the new 2012 DC and try again.

LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Rainer Jeschor
ID: 40594484
from MS official documentations it is not recommended to install SharePoint on a domain controller but it is supported.
The problem you have is you have installed in the wrong order. You should have installed / promoted the server first to be a domain controller and later install SharePoint - not the way around.
I also assume that you did a standalone installation (using the built-in SQL server express edition) and not a complete one?
Some components use local security groups, which will be overriden as soon as you promote the machine to DC.
I have installed SharePoint very often on DCs for local testing and development - but I have never done the reverse order.

Author Comment

by:Steve Bantz
ID: 40594776
Yes, this was an install on a brand new Windows Server 2012 member server.  I did the standalone install and it did install SQL Server Express and was working well.  When I say I migrated the SharePoint 2.0 server, I just meant I set it up from scratch on the new 2012 server and then made the same folders as the old server had and copied the documents up to the new servers.

I see what you are saying.  I did promote it after getting sharepoint working.  I read some articles saying that once it is a domain controller, SharePoint Foundation will no longer work as a standalone because Windows Azure doesn't work on DCs.

I tried uninstalling and reinstalling SharePoint Foundation but now it doesn't even ask to install SQL Server Express.  It wants to know of an existing SQL server to connect to and of course, there isn't one.  Now that it is a DC, the install process looked really different in terms of what it gave you in the wizard.
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

Rainer Jeschor earned 2000 total points
ID: 40594858
yup, that is true as the built-in SQL express could not be installed on a DC (at least not with the implemented way). Therefore you have other installation options (Complete installation).
BUT you can download and install SQL Server express OUTSIDE (and before) SharePoint and connect then your SharePoint farm to this instance (on the same machine).
Limitations of installing SQL on a DC (you have to scroll down to the end):

Most of them are NOT an issue in regards to express edition.


Author Closing Comment

by:Steve Bantz
ID: 40599197
I was able to get it installed after installing SQl Express as you mentioned.  It is much more complicated to configure compared to installing SharePoint Foundation as a standalone test server using the wizard to do everything, but it does work.  Thanks

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