Install Windows Server 2008 R2 and Sharepoint 2010 on a VM

"Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently, and for the same reason." — Eça de Queirós (Portuguese writer)

For a couple of months now I’ve tried to install Server 2008 R2 (which only comes in the 64-bit flavor) and Sharepoint2010 on a virtual machine so that I could conveniently study SharePoint without all the extra resources hogging my regular development box.

The first thing you learn is that Windows 7 Virtual PC will not handle a 64-bit guest operating system, not even if It’s the x64 version installed on an x64 box. Drats, Microsoft!

Then you learn that VMware is somewhat bloated in that it  installs a lot of extra driver-type baggage, so I gave up on that.  And, I still had issues installing Server 2008 R2 on that. Plus it’s not free, although I do know that they do have a “free” Player version, to their credit.

And then you learn that “supposedly” you can trick Windows 7 x64 into accepting an installation of SharePoint 2010 – but the fixes are so convoluted and error-prone, I gave up on that too.

Finally, I looked at Oracle Virtual Box – which comes in x86 and x64 flavors for a number of different host operating systems. Installation is a breeze. Installation of Server 2008 R2 into the VM was a breeze (you have to use the Windows 7 x64 profile). And installing SharePoint 2010 is a breeze! Virtual Box is free for commercial and personal use; in fact it’s open source and there’s even a developer SDK if you want to create your own product from it. Oh – and in case you missed it – Virtual Box is FREE.

The whole thing works great; it comes out of hibernation fully booted in about 10 seconds. I’m so pleased that I’m currently RAR-ing the whole VM so that I can have a copy on my x64 notebook PC too!

NOTE: If you are having an issue with VirtualBox (or any VM)  booting with an x64 OS, make sure that “Hardware Virtualization Technology” – or whatever your computer manufacturer calls it – is enabled in your BIOS setup, and reboot.



  1. Anonymous5:26 PM

    I'd like to mildly disagree with the comment about VMware. I've been using VMware Workstation 7.1.0 to set up my SharePoint 2007 and now SharePoint 2010 VM's and have zero issues. In fact, VMware Workstation 7.1.0 understands Windows Server 2008 R2 natively and doesn't have to be "tricked" into installing it.

  2. @Anonymous,
    I didn't say that VMware workstation needed to be "tricked". I said that Windows 7 with no VM needed to be tricked. I'm glad you like VMware. Whatever floats your boat!

  3. Peter, thanks for the article. Did you install WPF or Server?

  4. @Kevin,
    I have no idea what you mean. I installed Windows Servern 2008 R2, and then on top of that, installed Sharepoint 2010 server.

  5. My bad Peter, instead of WPF, I meant Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010...the free version of SharePoint Server 2010. Not sure what I was thinking.

  6. Hi Peter, Great suggestion regarding virtual box. I never heard of this product until reading your blog.



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