Using AutoSPInstaller To Install SharePoint 2013

This section talks about the software you should have ready on your system before starting the installation and configuration process of your SharePoint 2013 farm using AutoSPInstaller.

Step 1 – Software Download
  1. Login to your SharePoint Server as your domain\sp2013setup local administrator account
  2. Download SharePoint 2013 Server (w/ SP1 preferably) –
  3. Download latest Cumulative Update –
  4. Download lastest AutoSPInstaller –
  5. Download latest AutoSPInstallerGUI –
  6. Download latest AutoSPSourceBuilder –

  7. Extract contents of AutoSPInstaller to C: drive (i.e. C:\SP)

  8. Mount your SharePoint 2013 Media File to a drive

  9. Optional (steps 9-12) – Slipstream install any cumulative updates and download prerequisites for an offline install by extracting AutoSPSourceBuilder to C:\SP  Ensure that the SharePoint farm has internet connection to do step 9-12

  10. Open Windows PowerShell as administrator

  11. Change directory to C:\SP (“CD c:\sp“) and run “Set-ExecutionPolicy ByPass

  12. Choose cumulative update (when prompted) and set parameters for an offline prerequisite install by running “.\AutoSPSourceBuilder.ps1 -GetPrerequisites $true

  13. Extract AutoSPInstallerGUI to C:\SP

  14. Ensure that C:\SP\AutoSPInstaller\AutoSPInstallerInput.xml file is not marked as read only


Step 2 – Farm Configurations and Installations

This step guides you through some of the basic configuration options that AutoSPInstaller and AutoSPInstallerGUI give you when configuring your farm. More advanced configurations are described on the AutoSPInstaller and AutoSPInstallerGUI CodePlex sites, which is now depreciated. So ignore the next steps below and go to the online GUI at to create a configuration XML file for the SharePoint farm

  1. Run AutoSPInstallerGUI.exe from C:\SP

    NOTE: Alternatively AutoSPInstallerGUI is out of date and there is now an online version of GUI where you can upload the AutoSPInstallerInput.xml file

  2. Go to File -> Load XML and point to the C:\SP\AutoSPInstaller\AutoSPInstallerInput.xml configuration file

  3. On the Install tab, fill in the necessary components and how you would like your install to be configured
    1. Set the Environment
    2. Optional – Set it to offline install because you ran AutoSPSourceBuilder and auto slip streamed the cumulative updates and downloaded the pre-reqs
    3. Enable Auto Admin with the setup account (sp2013setup in my case) password so you don’t have to keep logging in after reboots to continue the process
    4. Change the search Index Data Directory to a different drive if possible
    5. Set your PID key (product key) and SKU version

  4. On the Farm tab, populate all the appropriate settings for each sub-tab
    1. Ensure you put in a Passphrase so that you can easily add more servers to the farm
    2. Create a database alias in case you ever need to move the SQL Server
    3. Set the DB Prefix with the environment name to easily identify your databases

    Recommend changing all log file locations to a separate drive

  5. Leave or customize the defaults in the web application tab

  6. Set the Service Application tabs properties


  7. Configure the enterprise service apps if required

  8. Configure Other properties if required

  9. Go to File -> Save to save your XML file and close AutoSPInstallerGUI
  10. In C:\SP\AutoSPInstaller, right click and run the AutoSPInstallerLaunch.bat file as admin


And voila! Once the script has been run, you should have a semi-running SharePoint farm.

Uninstalling SQL Server 2012

Before You Uninstall
  1. Back up your data. Although this is not a required step, you might have databases that you want to save in their present state. You might also want to save changes that were made to the system databases. If either situation is true, make sure that back up the data before you uninstall SQL Server. Alternatively, save a copy of all the data and log files in a folder other than the MSSQL folder. The MSSQL folder is deleted during uninstallation.

    The files that you must save include the following database files:

    • Master.mdf
    • Mastlog.ldf
    • Model.mdf
    • Modellog.ldf
    • Msdbdata.mdf
    • Msdblog.ldf
    • Mssqlsystemresource.mdf
    • Mssqlsustemresource.ldf
    • Tempdb.mdf
    • Templog.ldf
    • ReportServer[$InstanceName] (This is the Reporting Services default database.)
    • ReportServer[$InstanceName]TempDB (This is the Reporting Services default temporary database.)
  2. Delete the local security groups. Before you uninstall SQL Server, delete the local security groups for SQL Server components.
  3. Stop all SQL Server services. We recommend that you stop all SQL Server services before you uninstall SQL Server components. Active connections can prevent successful uninstallation.
  4. Use an account that has the appropriate permissions. Log on to the server by using the SQL Server service account or by using an account that has equivalent permissions. For example, you can log on to the server by using an account that is a member of the local Administrators group.


To Uninstall an Instance of SQL Server 2012
  1. To begin the uninstall process, go to Control Panel and then Programs and Features.
  2. Right click Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and select Uninstall. Then click Remove. This starts the SQL Server Installation Wizard.

    Setup Support Rules runs to verify your computer configuration. To continue, click Next.

  3. On the Select Instance page, use the drop-down box to specify an instance of SQL Server to remove, or specify the option to remove only the SQL Server shared features and management tools. To continue, click Next.
  4. On the Select Features page, specify the features to remove from the specified instance of SQL Server.

    Removal rules runs to verify that the operation can complete successfully.

  5. On the Ready to Remove page, review the list of components and features that will be uninstalled. Click Remove to begin uninstalling
  6. Immediately after you uninstall the last SQL Server 2012 instance, the other programs associated with SQL Server 2012 will still be visible in the list of programs in Programs and Features. However, if you close Programs and Features, the next time you open Programs and Features, it will refresh the list of programs, to show only the ones that are actually still installed.



Isolate Service Interruption – Lesson 6.3



Mock Exam Question Samples

E-mail clients are used with Office 365 to access and manage e-mails and calendars. Like other applications, there are instances where issues may arise and these issues need to be identified and resolved. A client program is available that can be used to detect connectivity issues between the email clients and Office 365. E-mail users can use this tool to locate common issues. What tool can be used by the e-mail users to identify these issues? Choose the best option(s) from those listed below.

A: Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer

B: Microsoft Online Services Diagnostics and Logging

C: Microsoft Office 365 admin center

D: Transport Reliability IP Probe

The Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer tool is used to detect connectivity issues between the e-mail clients and Office 365. It can be used by e-mail users to find common issues or by administrators to help resolve issues that could be affecting the Exchange Server deployment. It functions by using a simulated scenario such as client logon. If issues exist, error messages will be displayed that can provide helpful tips to resolve the issues.

Correct Option(s): A: Microsoft Connectivity Analyser  tool


Incorrect Option(s):

  • B: Microsoft Online Services Diagnostics and Logging – The Microsoft Online Services Diagnostics and Logging (MOSDAL) tool can be used to diagnose a network and also gather system and network configurations, and logging information which is used to connect to Office 365. It is not the tool used to identify connectivity issues between the e-mail clients and Office 365.  
  • C: Microsoft Office 365 admin center – The Microsoft Office 365 admin center is used to configure, manage, and monitor Office 365 products. It is not the tool used to identify connectivity issues between the e-mail clients and Office 365.  
  • D: Transport Reliability IP Probe – The Transport Reliability IP Probe (TRIPP) tool is typically used to test the quality of an Internet connection to a Microsoft Online Service such as Lync Online. It is not used to identify connectivity issues between the e-mail clients and Office 365.  

Continue reading Isolate Service Interruption – Lesson 6.3

Monitor Service Health – Lesson 6.2



Mock Exam Sample Questions

With Office 365, an admin center is available that allows administrators to manage and administer Office 365. Navigation sections such as Dashboard, Setup, Users & Groups, Service Settings, Service Health, and Reports are available. If an Office 365 administrator needs to view when planned maintenance is scheduled for some services, which section will include this information? Choose the best option(s) from those listed below.

A: Service Settings

B: Service Health

C: Reports

D: Setup

You access the Service Health area section of the Office 365 admin center to view planned maintenance that is scheduled for services. The Service Health area includes a dashboard view of the services running in Office 365. It enables you to see a historical view of issues that affected the service and also any planned maintenance that is scheduled on services. The Rich Site Summary (RSS) feed feature can also be configured to obtain real-time access on service incidents and maintenance that is planned.

Correct Option(s): B: Service Health  


Incorrect Option(s):

  • A: Service Settings – The Service Settings section allows you to access service settings such as Exchange Online service settings, sites, user software, passwords, and mobile. Service Settings would not include information on planned maintenance that is scheduled on services.  
  • C: Reports – The Reports section allows you to access reports that show how the organization is using Office 365 services. For example you can view mail, protection, rules, and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) reports. The Reports section will not include information on planned maintenance that is scheduled on services.  
  • D: Setup – The Setup section allows you to access and configure the Office 365 setup options, which include basic and custom. The Setup section will not include information on planned maintenance that is scheduled on services.  

Continue reading Monitor Service Health – Lesson 6.2

Analyse Reports – Lesson 6.1



Mock Exam Sample Questions

Organizations that use Office 365 often want to view information that shows how Office 365 is being used. Information such as active and inactive mail boxes, received mail, application sharing and web, and dial-in conferences. Which area of the Office 365 admin center would you access to view information on malware detections in received-mail? Choose the best option(s) from those listed below.

A: The Reports section

B: The Support section

C: The Service Health section

D: The Dashboard section

The Reports section of the Office 365 admin center allows you to view information on malware detections in received-mail. The available reports show how the organization is using the Office 365 services. These reports can be used to locate and resolve issues and filter data. Custom reports can also be created using the Office 365 reporting web services. The available reports are based on the services that your organization is subscribed to. Some of the available reports that you may have access to are malware detections in received email, active and inactive mailboxes, mailbox usage, received and sent email, application sharing and web, and dial-in conferences.

Correct Option(s): A: The Reports section  

Incorrect Option(s):

  • B: The Support section – The Support section of the Office 365 admin center allows you to search for answers, view solutions to issues, and access troubleshooting tools. The Support section is not used to view information on malware detection in received-mail.  
  • C: The Service Health section – The Service Health section in the Office 365 admin center is used to view service interruptions or outages in the service that affects the service and planned maintenance information. The Service Health section is not used to view information on malware detections in received-mail.  
  • D: The Dashboard section – The Dashboard section of the Office 365 admin center is typically what you will see by default when you access the admin center. It displays a quick overview of the service health and usage and allows you to access help resources. The Dashboard section is not used to view information on malware detections in received-mail.  

Continue reading Analyse Reports – Lesson 6.1

Setting up First Domain Controller in Windows 2012


In Windows Server 2012, dcpromo has been deprecated.


Using Server Manager (UI):

In order to make the windows server 2012 domain controller we will install ADDS (Active Directory Domain Services) role from the server manager on Windows Server 2012.

All the Latest security updates must applied before installing the Role.

First we will change the server name let say DC01 and the IP address (try to avoid using default


Installing the AD DS role

“Before You Begin” screen provides you basic information such as configuring strong passwords, IP addresses and Windows updates.


On Installation Type page, select the first option “Role-based or Feature-based Installation“.

Scenario-based Installation option applied only to Remote Desktop services.


On the “Server Selection” Page, select a server from the server pool and click next.


To install AD DS, select Active Directory Domain Services in turn it will pop-up to add other AD DS related tools. Click on Add Features.


After clicking “Add Features” above, you will be able to click “Next >” as shown in the screen below.


On the “Select Features” Page, Group Policy Management feature automatically installed during the promotion. Click next.


On the “Active Directory Domain Services” page, it gives basic information about AD DS. Click Next.


On the “Confirmation” Page, You need to confirm this to continue with this configuration. It will provide you an option to export the configuration settings and also if you want the server to be restarted automatically as required.

After clicking “Install” the selected role binaries will be installed on the server.

After “Active Directory Domain Services” role binaries have been installed and now it is time to promote the server to a Domain Controller.


TechNet Article:


To create a new AD forest called “ArabITPro.local”, select add a new forest.

Type the name ArabITPro.local

Specify the FFL, DFL, whether or not it should be a DNS Server and also the DSRM administrator password. As you can see, it has selected the GC option by default and you cannot deselect it. The reason for this is that is the very first DC of the AD forest and at least one needs to be a GC.

DNS delegation warning.

Checks the NetBIOS name already assigned.

Specify the location of the AD related folders and then click next.

Summary Of All Installation Options/Selections.


Click View script for single command line PowerShell script for dcpromo.


Before the actual install of AD, all prerequisites are checked. If All prerequisite checks are passed successfully then click Install.

When you click Install, DNS and the GPMC are installed automatically.


After the promotion of the server to a DC finished server restart automatically.

Once the server is booted and you logon to it, click on Server Manager | Tools , will notice that following have been installed:

  • Active Directory Administrative Center
  • Active Directory Domains and Trusts
  • Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell
  • Active Directory Sites and Services
  • Active Directory Users and Computers
  • ADSI Edit
  • DNS
  • Group Policy Management



Setting up SharePoint 2013 Dev Box on Hyper-V

SharePoint 2013 service-pack 1 is officially out bringing with it support for Windows Server 2012 R2. This is most excellent news for SPDevs because finally SharePoint can be used on generation-2 virtual machines which for developer boxes is a much needed improvement due to the much improved integration for the standard VM viewer. Think remote-desktop type integration; this has been sorely lacking before R2 as Hyper-V is a server-room technology first & foremost so client-side integration has had to take a back-seat for the beginning of Hyper-V’s lifetime at least. Regardless, we now have it finally but it does involve rebuilding the entire virtual machine from scratch as generation 1 VMs can’t be converted or upgraded.


Setup Steps

This environment will just consist of x2 VMs for now to try and save on memory/hard-disc:

  • Domain controller box
    • DNS services
    • Active Directory services
    • Certificate Authority services if needed later on
  • SharePoint box
    • SharePoint 2013 with all roles
    • SQL Server – core database engine only

SharePoint just isn’t supported on AD servers as domain controllers have no concept of local security groups – something SharePoint uses a lot. Lots of SharePoint does work on AD machines; more than does not in fact but there’s plenty of functionality that just won’t work unless it’s on a standard member-server so that’s what we’re going to do too.

This guide will run through setting up the environment in the following stages:

  • Configure Hyper-V + virtual networks
  • Install Windows
  • Prepare the AD + add SharePoint machine.
  • Install software – SQL + SharePoint.
  • Install developer apps.
  • Update/tweak SharePoint VM ready to start developing.

Pre-requisitie- Create an Active Directory/Domain Controller Server

SharePoint needs an AD to work properly; either use an existing AD box or build a new one by repeating the process for the SharePoint machine but with a starting memory allocation of 2 GB & x2 CPUs when you edit the machine. Read my blog here for more details on how to create an AD Domain Controller server.

Ensure service, admin/setup accounts with necessary machine and Active Directory permissions (an example of my setup below):

1. Download ISOs

You’ll want to download the Windows Server R2 image, from MSDN most likely as this is just for development:


Also if possible, use the SP1 slipstream ISO for SharePoint.


Both RTM + SP1 install methods are documented below.

2. Configure Hyper-V + Virtual Networks

For our setup we’re going to have a private network and a public one. The private network will be so the VMs can communicate directly. Create a private network (not “internal”; we don’t want the VM host on the private VM network).


Connect an external network to one of your physical network adapters so machines can see out to the internet when necessary.

Create new Generation 2 Virtual Machine(s)

Now create a new VM in your local Hyper-V. Hyper-V can be installed on Windows 8.1 or Windows 2012 R2 – for simple development environments you’ll not notice any difference between the two.


Call it whatever you fancy really. Make sure you select “generation 2” – this is the new option that Hyper-V in Windows 8.1/2012 R2 gives us and it provides a much cleaner virtual machine over generation 1.


Give your VM 8GB (Maximum) or 4GB minimum of memory with the option to grow. Once everything’s running it’ll consume up-to 16 GB easily; SharePoint development isn’t for developers on a shoe-string-budget for hardware that’s for sure.


8 GB is a nice starting amount of RAM – with dynamic memory enabled (not supported for SharePoint normally) Hyper-V will shrink the memory allocation if it’s not needed, which until SharePoint is on & configured will very likely happen. Setting it too low will cause of lot of disc thrashing once SharePoint’s installed and configured due to how quickly memory grows on start-up. This would likely cause various timeouts on a cold boot with an initial allocation of 8 GB at least; remember that SQL Server’s on this machine too. Don’t save money on memory for SPDev – that’s something everyone learns quickly if they fall short.

As for networking, select the internal network for now. Later we’ll add an external adapter too.

Next, put a disk somewhere local to the host machine; somewhere that has decent read/write speeds as it’ll be pretty disk intensive (hint: not a USB drive). Also give it up-to 200 GB of space (or more), not the default 127 GB as by the time we’ve installed all the tools & bits it’s going to get quite full. You can expand the disk later if necessary of course, and if you’ve got bags of actual hard-disk space it’s preferable to not use dynamically expanding disks if possible.


Finally, select the ISO to install from – pick your downloaded Windows 2012 R2 ISO as the install source.

3. Edit Virtual Machines to Add More Hardware

The “new VM” wizard for some reason doesn’t ask about CPUs or any other extras for that matter – presumably for simplicity’s sake. SharePoint at least needs at least 4 physical cores so be functional, especially given it’s an “all-roles-in-one” box + developer tools on-top installation so we need to go back and edit each VM to give them more CPU power.


For networking, you might want to also add an external adapter too so the machine can see out to the big-wide-world when needed. When we don’t we can disable the adapter in the VM so as to avoid re-configuring Hyper-V again.

5. Install Windows Server

Next up; a good old clean Windows install. Being generation-2 machines, this won’t take long at all. It’s so fast in fact I’ve seen gen-2 VMs install quicker than some real servers boot up, but I digress – start the ball rolling…


I’m based in Spain so I need a Spanish keyboard layout; get the right layout here so you don’t get keyboard rage later.

Click next; you want a GUI install. Server core is the preferred install generally but SharePoint doesn’t support it, not to mention this is a dev environment so unless you’re a PowerShell master you’ll be wanting a nice & easy GUI to get things done.

Select “advanced” setup so you can partition the virtual disc etc, and start the process. After a couple of reboot you’ll need to set a local administrator password and you’re done!

Enable New Virtual Machine Integration

At some point, you’ll see this window pop-up which you might not’ve seen before:


This is basically the new integration tools kicking in now Windows is fully loaded and the generation-2 interfaces kick-in. Think RDP for Hyper-V – you can connect host discs, copy/paste freely, play sounds, etc. It’s just much friendlier than the traditional integration. Configure this now – I’d highly recommend you connect up local discs (show options; local resources; more)


Make sure you select “drives” to connect your local disks to the VM for file-copying – a very convenient improvement in generation-2. Once you confirm the integration settings, the VM viewer tool will reconnect. To edit these settings again you need to close the viewer, right-click on the VM in Hyper-V manager and click “Connect…” and which point the viewer will re-open and allow you to change the integration configuration.


I have to admit this wasn’t so obvious to me either but there you go.

Configure Local Network & Join to Domain Controller Server

At some point you’re going to have to setup the private network for your SharePoint + AD + any other boxes you want for testing (Office Web Apps server for example). Static IP allocation is the way to go; To get SharePoint dev box server to join to the Domain Controller virtual machine, that was created here, follow this instruction from Microsoft

5. Prepare the SharePoint VM Machine.

Prepare SharePoint VM – Add to Domain

Now all the system prep is done we want to add our new SharePoint machine to our domain. As ever it’s in system-properties:


If your SharePoint VM DNS settings are correct you should see this when you click “OK” and enter a domain admin credentials:


Good times. Reboot to complete the configuration.


6. Install Local SQL Server + SharePoint

SQL Server

After domain-joining the SharePoint VM you should now log in with a domain account; an administrator preferably. Remember the login is “domain\Administrator” not just “Administrator” as there’s a local account with that name too.

Get hold of SQL Server 2012 with SP1 integrated. Install a standalone instance – install the SQL setup files (let the installed find and install the newer setup files)


Anyway, follow the rest of the wizard – install just the database engine & management tools, use the default instance name (MSSQLSERVER) & add your current domain user to the list of DBAs when prompted. We’re going for a skinny SQL install because that’s all SharePoint needs for the most part.


Next step is to install SharePoint bits after running the prep-tool. At the time of writing there’s no slipstreamed SharePoint 2013 + SP1 install yet so we’re going to have to work around the fact the pre-requisites installer just doesn’t work very well on 2012 R2 – just running it will fail.

Install SharePoint 2013 + SP1 Prerequisites

If you have SharePoint 2013 installer with SP1 slipstreamed this is definitely the easiest way because the prerequisite installer actually works.


If however that’s not an option…

Install SharePoint 2013 RTM Prerequisites

What we need to do is manually what the installer would do; download & install the prerequisites. We need to configure the server roles and then install the list of packages that would normally happen automatically.

Install the roles needed with:

Import-Module ServerManagerAdd-WindowsFeature NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45,NET-WCF-TCP-Activation45,NET-WCF-Pipe-Activation45 -Source D:\Sources\sxsAdd-WindowsFeature Net-Framework-Features,Web-Server,Web-WebServer,Web-Common-Http,Web-Static-Content,Web-Default-Doc,Web-Dir-Browsing,Web-Http-Errors,Web-App-Dev,Web-Asp-Net,Web-Net-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Health,Web-Http-Logging,Web-Log-Libraries,Web-Request-Monitor,Web-Http-Tracing,Web-Security,Web-Basic-Auth,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-Filtering,Web-Digest-Auth,Web-Performance,Web-Stat-Compression,Web-Dyn-Compression,Web-Mgmt-Tools,Web-Mgmt-Console,Web-Mgmt-Compat,Web-Metabase,Application-Server,AS-Web-Support,AS-TCP-Port-Sharing,AS-WAS-Support, AS-HTTP-Activation,AS-TCP-Activation,AS-Named-Pipes,AS-Net-Framework,WAS,WAS-Process-Model,WAS-NET-Environment,WAS-Config-APIs,Web-Lgcy-Scripting,Windows-Identity-Foundation,Server-Media-Foundation,Xps-Viewer,Windows-Identity-Foundation -Source D:\Sources\sxs

The software packages to be installed are as follows:

Install SharePoint Server

Now we can install SharePoint 2013 by running “setup.exe” to launch the normal setup program. Select “complete” installation as we already have SQL Server ready (plus management tools).


When this finishes, do not run the wizard if this is RTM! We’ll do that once it’s all patched-up to SP1, which if your install isn’t slip-streamed will need to be done separately.

For more details about installing SharePoint 2013 and SQL Server, read below As-Built documentation

7. Install Development Tools and Office Apps

Next we want to get all our development tools & dependencies installed. First up; Visual Studio. 2013 now comes with the Office tools built-in which is nicer than before as they were separate. Install Visual Studio first.

Then we want to get Office + Visio + Project + SharePoint Designer on at the same time because installing new Office components requires the service-packs & some patches to be reapplied afterwards. Yes, SharePoint Designer is technically a part of Office so if you install SPD after patching Office to SP1 for example you’d have to re-apply SP1 again.


Configure Farm

Obviously we need to create a new farm at some point soon. Some people have all-singing, all-dancing scripts to do it (and even me too) but for developer environments I tend to prefer a more practical approach of just creating stuff as it’s needed. Everything will run under the one service-account which is a local admin (and thus breaking every best-practise in the book) but as we’re in dev-land we don’t care for now. Add your farm account to the local admins group:


Then fire up the wizard and create a new farm.


Make it clear this is a development farm.

I’ll not go into the ins’ & outs of configuring a developer “farm”; needless to say on a dev-box most good practices go out the window anyway. Just make sure your testing/staging/production environments do not in any way mirror the lazy setup that’s fine in development. Seriously don’t; minimum security practices are essential for security but we don’t need it in dev.


8. Updates, Tweaks, and Tools

Once you’ve got everything installed, the system will need patching. Start by installing Office 2013 service-pack 1 – as that covers a multitude of sins.

After that, run Windows Update too to bring everything up-to-date too


You’ll probably have lots to update; leave it updating overnight to reduce patch-stress.

Final Touches – Make Your VM Nice to Develop With

This is going to be a development environment which means maximum convenience 1st; security and correct architecture 2nd. The machine can die and it won’t matter in other words so we’re going to make it all cosy to use, which servers by default aren’t. This next bit is completely subjective – what’s comfortable to me might not be to someone else but I thought I’d jot it down anyway.

Install Useful Tools

I have a standard set of SPTools I like to use on dev machines and even some production machines. These are:

  • My very own ULS Studio for capturing ULS logs in real-time. It’s a work in progress and there are other tools out there but my version isn’t bad either (not that I’m biased at all, honest). There is of course also ULS Viewer too which most people seem to use. For now ;)
  • Fiddler – for HTTP tracing. Very useful.
  • Network Monitor for taking lower-level traces & not just HTTP.
  • SMTP4Dev – SMTP server for testing alerts. It shows just a log of messages received; perfect for development.
  • Telnet Windows component – useful for probing firewalls & raw network responses. Installable via Server Manager (Windows Features).
  • Process monitor – kernel-level troubleshooting for access denied issues.
  • Firefox + Firebug add-on for alternative browser testing. Firebug is a great HTTP debugging tool if you don’t want to use the IE11 tools (which have had a major overhaul since IE10).
  • SharePoint Manager – great for traversing the SharePoint object-model from farm to individual list items.
  • WinRAR – archiving tool.
  • ILSpy – handy for peeking inside any assembly quickly.
  • LINQPad – execute C# directly against SharePoint, PowerShell style.
Disable Overly Protective Security

Start by turning off UAC and the IE lock-down mode. Don’t do either of these in production of course; they’re there for a good reason. In server manager, under “local server” you’ll see a link called “IE Enhanced Security Configuration”. Click it and disable IE ESC for both types of users. To disable UAC, search on the start screen for “UAC” and you’ll see “Change User Account Controls setting” – open and move setting to “Never notify” – a dangerous move normally as UAC is a great help in making sure nothing wants to sneakily change your system configuration (for better or worse) but on this development environment there’ll be nothing of any real value running except our code.

Again, this security is normally pretty useful as humans don’t do such a good job of checking files for threats but I digress…



Building SharePoint 2013 BI Demo Environment (Part 1 to 10). This series consists of the following parts:

Installing SharePoint 2013 Using AutoSPInstaller (4 part series):


The links to these parts will be updated when the series progresses.