Building a Microsoft CRM VM on Windows Server 2012

Here’s an updated cheat sheet on the steps required to install a single-box CRM VM on Windows 2012.   Follow these steps to install a standalone Domain Controller, SQL Server, CRM Server that you can run on your laptop for demo or development purposes.  These steps are not suitable for a customer environment.

– Create a new VM (I recommend Oracle Virtual Box) – and give it 4GB of RAM and 2 processors if you can (2 GB RAM at a minimum)

– Install Windows Server 2012 64-Bit

– Install the VM additions into the VM (more virtualization software has software you need to install into the VM to improve host/guest interactions)

– From the Local Server link in Server Manager change the Computer Name to something more meaningful, set the Time Zone and turn off IE Enhanced Security Configuration:


– From Server Manager install the Active Directory Domain Service role

– Look for the notification, click the link the promote the server to Domain Controller (dcpromo is no more in Windows 2012) and complete the wizard (you will need to select the option to create a new Forest):


– From Server Manager install the Web Server role

– From Server Manager install Windows Identity Foundation

– Install SQL Server 2012 64-bit (full-text search, SQL Mgmt Studio, SSRS, BIDS)

– Launch Group Policy Management, right-click and select Edit.  In the editor browse through to the password policies and simplify (make your life a little easier):


Now by all accounts you should be able to just do a normal CRM Server install at this point.  There is a special update to the CRM Server installer that should be picked up during install so long as you opt to check for updates during the install process.   This doesn’t seem to work at this point in time so the workaround is to download the neccessary update and do a command line install that references that update…

– Download the Self-Healing Setup (SHS) files that came out shortly after Rollup 13:


– Locate the cab file for your language pack (English is 1033), unzip and place somewhere that is easy to refer to (e.g. on the C:)

– Create an XML config file for your CRM Server installation so that you can request the SHS update is utilized, per these instructions: and per this older blog post:

– To execute the install you run a command line like:   SetupServer.exe /L C:\install_log.txt /config C:\config.xml

And you are done!    Installation of other CRM components is as per normal form this point on.



5 thoughts on “Building a Microsoft CRM VM on Windows Server 2012

  1. Gareth Tucker Post author

    Today I decided to install the CRM SSRS Data Connector. I hit a problem, the CRM installer complained that SSRS was running under a local service account. To fix this I launched “Reporting Services Configuration Manager” and switched over to the Local System account. After that the connector installed ok.


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