Tag Archives: vm

Building a Microsoft CRM 2011 VM – A Quick Checklist

Here’s a simple checklist for those (like me) that only do this infrequently.  The instructions are minimal, as they assume you know how to complete each step:

p.s. I recently purchased a drive caddy that I can swap my DVD-ROM drive out for and an SSD drive and now run my VMs on the SSD and it is brilliant!

Provision the Windows/SQL Platform:

  • Get your hands on the install media for Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit SP1 (or whatever the lastest SP is at the time)
  • Define a new Win2008 64-bit Virtual  Machine (VirtualBox is good for this)
  • Enable a shared folder in the VM configuration so you can easily move files between host and guest
  • I have a quad-core laptop with 8GB ram and I like to give my VM 4GB ram and 2 cpu’s.
  • Complete the Windows 2008 installation and initial configuration
  • Install VM Additions
  • Change the Computer Name to something more user friendly like “CRMServer”
  • Turn off “Internet Explorer Enhanced Security” (via Server Manager)
  • Assign a static IP address to the VM ( will do)
  • Run dcpromo.exe (type dcpromo at a command prompt) and promote the VM to a Domain Controller
  • Add the Web Server role to the VM
  • Upgrade to the latest version of IE and set Google as your default search provider
  • Install Adobe Reader, Silverlight and Flash
  • Install Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word and Excel)
  • Optionally create AD accounts for the various CRM and SQL Services, or, just use the default domain administrator account or the network service account for everything.
  • Install SQL Server 2008 R2 (or SQL 2012) (including Full Text Search and SSRS, and set SQL Agent to auto start)
  • Test SSRS (http://servername/reportmanager)
  • Create an Organizational Unit in the AD to house  the CRM AD Groups (I tend to create one called “CRM”)
  • Go into Group Policy and set passwords never to expire (screenshot below)
  • Run Windows Update and install all patches

Install CRM:

  • Install CRM Server
  • Test CRM (http://servername:portnumber)
  • Add sample data
  • Create 5-10 demo users in the AD, add them to the Domain Admin group
  • Add the above users into CRM and assign them the CRM Sys Admin role
  • Install CRM Reporting Extensions (SSRS Data  Connector)
  • Test CRM Reports
  • Install the latest CRM Rollup Packs
  • Configure Outlook to send/receive via a Hotmail account
  • Install the CRM Outlook Client and associated Rollup Pack
  • Test the CRM Outlook Client
  • Optionally install Visual Studio, CRM SDK, CRM Dev Toolkit and 3rd party tools like the View Replicator, Ribbon Editor, oData Query Designer, Metadata Browser, etc.
  • Optionally install and configure SharePoint 2010 and the CRM-SharePoint integration
  • Consider creating a SQL Maintenance Plan to schedule nightly SQLbackups
  • Shutdown the VM and then take a backup copy of it

Some screenshots:

Editing Group Policy (from Start\Admin Tools\Group Policy Management):