Installing and Configuring SharePoint 2013: Running the Prerequisite Installer

10/1/2013 3:19:06 AM

1. Preparing the Environment

Before starting the SharePoint installation and configuration for this environment, several servers were built with dedicated roles to make it easier to translate to your environment. There is a dedicated domain controller, a dedicated SQL Server, and a dedicated SharePoint server. All machines are running Windows Server 2012 Standard with the GUI. All current Windows Server Windows Updates have been applied.

The domain controller, named DC, is a single-processor machine with 1GB of RAM. A new Active Directory (AD) forest was created for the domain DC has all the AD roles and hosts DNS for the domain.

The SQL Server, named SQL, is a four-processor machine with 8GB of RAM. It is running SQL Server 2012 Standard RTM. The machine is a member of the domain. SQL was installed using the blog post at Even if you have SQL Server already installed, confirm that you have changed the Max Degrees of Parallelism setting to 1 and have set up the permissions correctly. Both of these steps are covered in the blog post as well. For this environment the AD account Contoso\sp_install has been given the SQL Server roles of dbcreator, public, and securityadmin.

The SharePoint server, named Server, is a four-processor machine with 8GB of RAM. It is a member of the domain. The AD account Contoso\sp_install has been made a local administrator on the SharePoint server. Nothing else has been done to the machine. Tasks such as adding the Web Server (IIS) role will be handled by the prerequisite installer included with SharePoint.


In order to install SharePoint you need to login to the SharePoint server with an account that is a local administrator on that server. Therefore, in this example you will use Contoso\sp_install to remote desktop into Server.

Once you are logged into the server you need to get a copy of SharePoint Server 2013. Whether you download the trial version from the Internet or have the official DVD copy, when you run setup.exe the same thing happens. You are prompted for a license key, and based on that key you get your version of SharePoint.

Download the SharePoint Server 2013 trial from For some reason, the download for this version is an IMG file. If you are using Windows Server 2012, then you can right-click the file and mount it, which works the same as inserting a DVD. If you aren’t using Windows Server 2012 or are otherwise having problems working with the file, then check out This handy free utility enables you to mount IMG and ISO files natively in Windows. This is quite handy, especially if you used TechNet’s download, which is in the form of an ISO file. Thank goodness for consistency.

3. Running the Prerequisite Installer

The prerequisite installer is a wonderful little tool that you are likely already familiar with, as Microsoft uses a similar tool with several other Server products. As the name suggests, it handles the download and installation of any programs that you need to install before you install SharePoint. Otherwise, you must manually download and run at least 11 different programs from There’s useful information on that page, but if you’re interested solely in the prerequisite installer, here’s the direct section link: The prerequisite installer will also install and configure the Windows Server roles and features you need, such as IIS.

This section uses the prerequisite installer but it is quite possible that your SharePoint server will not have access to the Internet, which makes it hard to automate the process. In that case, you have a couple of options. You can either download the programs from the preceding link and then manually install them individually or you can script the process. The latter method isn’t really scripting, but running the program with a whole bunch of parameters. If you run prerequisiteinstaller.exe /? from a command prompt, the screen shown in Figure 1 appears, displaying all your available options. You need to download all of these bits, place them in a directory and then create a command line that tells SharePoint where to find them. If you decide to go the route of creating your own command line, be sure you save all your work for future reference, as it will prove extremely helpful if you will be installing a lot of SharePoint servers without Internet access. If not, this is a lot of work with very little gain. TechNet has a nice article at with additional details if the command line is your chosen path.



Whatever you decide, you must still run the prerequisite installer to ensure that installation is complete. In other words, even if you manually install and configure everything you still need to run the tool to confirm you did everything successfully. It only takes a couple of minutes and prevents any unpleasant surprises later.

It isn’t unusual for the prerequisite installer to require rebooting your machine once or twice as it runs. Don’t fight it; instead, go get something to drink while it reboots. When you log back in to Windows, the prerequisite installer will automatically restart — that is, assuming it can get to the file. If you had to previously mount an IMG or ISO file, that mounting often doesn’t survive rebooting, so when you log back in you get an error. Not a big deal. Just click OK, mount the file again, and then manually run prerequisite installer again. It will skip the steps it has already completed and continue. Just keep running it until the Installation Complete message appears.

Use the following steps to run the prerequisite installer on the SharePoint server. You can be logged in as any local administrator on the server. The account type isn’t important until you are ready to install SharePoint in the next section.

1. Open the folder containing the SharePoint install files. If you downloaded an IMG or ISO file, then you have to mount that first.
2. Double-click prerequisiteinstaller.exe.
3. At the Welcome screen, click Next.
4. Read all of that license goodness and select “I accept the terms of the License Agreement(s),” then click Next.

After several minutes the install will do one of three things: complete successfully, prompt you to reboot so it can keep going, or error out. If it prompts you to reboot, just click Finish and the server will reboot. When you log in after the reboot, the installer will automatically resume. If it does not, you may need to remount your ISO or IMG file. See the Login and Mount the ISO section if you need to troubleshoot the error message seen in Figure 2.



If you get an error, it will contain a link to the error log. The log file is relatively readable, so you should be able to determine the cause of the failure. Usually it is an Internet connection issue. Also, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to just try again before troubleshooting. SharePoint 2010 had a bad habit of just wanting to be run twice. When you get the Installation Complete message, click Finish.

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