SharePoint 2013 – Script to Download Pre-Requisites on Windows 2012

I was researching on where to get the offline install files for pre-requisites for SharePoint 2013 and found this neat powershell script by Muawiyah Shannak:

Script to Download SharePoint 2013 Pre-Requisites for Windows Server 2012


The script works just fine and also works on Windows 7 machines if you have the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) service running.



See you,






SharePoint 2010 Configuration Wizard – Cannot connect to database master at SQL Server at server_name

This happened today and I’d like to share with you guys. The SharePoint 2010 Configuration Wizard sometimes gives you error messages that can mislead you about the root cause of the problem.  Take the following error message as an example:

“Cannot connect to database master at SQL Server at <server_name>. The
database might not exist, or the current user does not have permission
to connect to it.”

I got this error message trying to run the Configuration Wizard on a WFE server in a farm. I’ve seen several blog posts about this error message and the cause can vary a lot. After checking the possible cause I found out that the server name used by this WFE has already been used by an old server that used to be part of the same farm.

In order to solve it, I removed the old server from the farm using Central Administration, cancelled the configuration wizard and reran it. The wizard worked as a charm.

This kind of experience makes me think: is it so much harder to thrown meaningful error message instead of misleading ones?

Am I being excessively demanding?

See you,


SharePoint 2010 Installation – Windows Pre-Requisites and Security Hardening

I was installing SharePoint 2010 on some new Windows 2008 R2 severs to create a new farm and I was having several problems installing the required Windows roles and features.

The error message was the same for several features:

<Feature>: Installation failed Error: Attempt to install <Feature> failed with error code 0x80070643. Fatal error during installation The following features were not installed: <Feature>.

I wasn’t finding an actual reason for this error message. After a while I tried to install one feature or role at a time to make sure I was understanding which features were failing. Checking the SharePoint 2010 pre reqs installer logs I was able to find the commands the installer executes:

“C:\Windows\system32\ServerManagerCmd.exe” -inputpath

I was also able to find the XML file with the roles/features list the installer uses.

Here are files if you want to install the Windows Pre Reqs manually:

XML file with required Windows roles and features

Batch file to install Windows roles and features

After a executing this command a few times I found out lots of features were failing every time I ran it but it didn’t help me.

Then I recalled all servers we have go through a security hardening process before they are available on the network. I went to talk to the security guys and we found out they ran the Security Configuration Wizard (SCW) on the servers and it wasn’t allowing new features or roles to be installed on the servers. After changing the SCW template and applying it I was able to finish installing the pre reqs.

Researching a little bit more about this issue I found out the SharePoint 2010 Administration Toolkit comes with several  SCW templates for Windows 2008 servers.

More details on security hardening for SharePoint 2010 and a visual guide on SCW configuration can be found at

See you around this world,