Fully offline installations for SharePoint 2013 on Server 2012

Feb 19, 2013 at 7:01 PM
Is there a workaround for bypassing the issues with doing a fully offline installation for SharePoint 2013 on Windows Server 2012. For example, can I just manually install .Net 3.5.1 in advance?
Coordinator
Feb 20, 2013 at 3:39 AM
I don't see why not. And .Net 3.5.1 is the most problematic one to install 'offline' in my experience because even if you specify a local \SxS source, it still seems to want to go grab stuff from the Internet. So if you installed it in advance, the rest of the prerequisites should be fine (of course, I'm going to test this myself shortly...)

Brian
Feb 20, 2013 at 11:44 AM
Thanks Brian. I am going to do it later this week or early next week. I will let you know if I run into any hiccups.
Feb 20, 2013 at 4:51 PM
Hi Brian, Doug

I am also looking into this area for a client who does not want the server connected to the Internet.

I am just downloading the full .NET 3.5.1 package which I will then copy onto the server and then install on the server.

Are we saying that once I have installed the full .NET 3.5.1 package then I just need to run the other prerequisites and we are good to go ?

Regards

Nigel
Coordinator
Feb 20, 2013 at 5:30 PM
I didn't know there was a full 3.5.1 package for Server 2012 - I thought it had to be done via the Windows Features tool, then optionally specifying an alternate location to the \SxS files...

Anyhow I can state that, once .Net 3.5.1 in pre-installed on a Windows Server 2012 machine and all the pre-requisites are pre-downloaded (using e.g. AutoSPSourceBuilder), AutoSPInstaller can then proceed to do a fully-offline SP2013 install (confirmed by actually disconnecting the External interface on my VM.)

Brian
Feb 20, 2013 at 6:40 PM
Hi Brian, Doug

I have just tried to install .NET 3.5.1 by downloading the package. It failed to install :-

Windows Server Roles and Features cannot be automatically installed or uninstalled via the Windows Feature Control Panel.


Any Ideas ?

Regards

Nigel
Coordinator
Feb 21, 2013 at 12:33 AM
I'm surprised you found a compatible package for Windows Server 2012 at all... the only thing I've ever found is instructions on how to install it using the Win2012 media. For example, from http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/hardware/hh975396:
Enable Windows .NET Framework 3.5 using PowerShell
_For a Windows Server 2012 core installation that is not connected to the Internet, use PowerShell to add .NET Framework 3.5 and provide access to the \sources\sxs folder on the installation media. The \sources\sxs folder can be copied to network share i.e. \network\share\sxs to make it easily accessible to multiple computers. Also, make sure that target computer account, DOMAIN\SERVERNAME$ has at least read access to the network share._
Requirements
• Windows Server 2012
• Installation media
• Administrator user rights. The current user must be a member of the local Administrators group to add or remove Windows features.
• Target Computers might need network access and rights to use either alternate sources or an Internet connection to use Windows Update
Steps
  1. Start PowerShell in the Administrator Command Prompt by typing
    powershell
  2. To install .NET 3.5 from installation media located on a network share (\network\share\sxs), use the following command
    Install-WindowsFeature Net-Framework-Core -source \network\share\sxs
    For more information on the Install-WindowsFeature cmdlet, see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh918370.aspx
  3. To verify installation, run the following command:
    Get-WindowsFeature
The Install State column should show ‘Installed’ for .NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0) feature._
There's also the DISM method:
Use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) command line tool
For an installation of Windows that is not connected to the Internet, to add .NET Framework 3.5 use the DISM command-line tool, and provide access to the \sources\SxS folder on the installation media.
Requirements
• Windows 8 , Windows Server 2012, or the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) tools
• Installation media
• Administrator user rights. The current user must be a member of the local Administrators group to add or remove Windows features.
Steps
  1. Open a command prompt with administrator user rights (that is, Run as Administrator) in Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012.
  2. To install .NET Framework 3.5 from installation media located on the D:\ drive, use the following command
    DISM /Online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:NetFx3 /All /LimitAccess /Source:d:\sources\sxs
Use /All to enable all parent features of the specified feature
Use /LimitAccess to prevent DISM from contacting Windows Update <--This switch looks interesting, and not offered in the PowerShell version...
Use /Source to specify the location of the files needed to restore the feature.
For more information on DISM arguments see How to Enable or Disable Windows Features._
Feb 21, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Hi Brian, Doug

Using the latest version of AutoInstaller and setting <Install SPVersion="2013"> <OfflineInstall>true</OfflineInstall> in the AutoInstaller Input file. All good.

However, The pre-req installer still kicks in to check App Server. Forcing (I presume) AutoSPInstaller to request a reboot. Which is a bit of a pain.

Regards

Nigel
Feb 21, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Hi Brian Doug

After re-boot went through no problems at all.

PS I used Craig Lussier's script to configure Windows 2012 Roles and features before I ran AutoSPInstaller. It still needs the Windows 2012 Installation Media to be mounted.

Regards

Nigel
Feb 21, 2013 at 12:34 PM
So, I figured out that .Net Version 3.5 is just a feature on Server 2012. At least on the brand new machine (with a clean OS), it was for me. I enable the feature and that seemed to solve the problem. I have yet to run through the full offline installation, but I hope to do that today.
Feb 21, 2013 at 2:28 PM
Hi Doug

I assume you still had the Windows 2012 installation DVD mounted when you enabled .NET 3.5 ?

Regards

Nigel
Coordinator
Feb 21, 2013 at 4:21 PM
You shouldn't necessarily need to mount the Windows 2012 DVD itself; you could point to a network location containing the Sources\SxS folder too.

AutoSPInstaller only prompts a reboot if it detects that one of the prerequisites requested it. But it should then carry on with the install automatically post-reboot.

Brian
Feb 21, 2013 at 4:41 PM
Nigel, I had the installation media on a network drive.

Brian, everything worked beautifully!!!

I ran a full offline installation on a three server farm without issue. Some tidbits about my setup:
  • This is a production farm.
  • I followed all account setup guidelines.
  • SQL is setup to use a different port with an alias
  • I followed all account setup guidelines.
  • I ran the scripts simultaneously on the app and web servers.
  • I followed all account setup guidelines.
  • I installed excel services, search, etc... and everything appears to be working.
Awesome!
Feb 22, 2013 at 6:15 PM
Hi Doug

Did search install correctly and come up OK - you said it appears to be working.

I am getting a few Search errors - Like the Search Application Topology is not showing up on the Search Admin Page and I get this erro in the event log - Content Plugin can not be initialized - list of CSS addresses is not set.

Which set of account setup guidelines did you use ?

Thanks

Nigel
Coordinator
Feb 22, 2013 at 7:23 PM
FYI all... the DISM command line I specified above works for installing .Net 3.5.1 from a specified local source without having to go to the Internet at all (as opposed to the original PowerShell-based approach).

What this means is that for a fully-offline SP2013 install on Win2012, you don't necessarily need to stage your Win2012 servers with .Net Framework in advance - if you don't mind a couple of reboots while AutoSPInstaller is running (which of course it will, after each reboot, automatically pick up where it left off). I will include the change from Install-WindowsFeature to DISM in the next release, as well as guidance within AutoSPInstallerFolderStructure.txt about where to put the \sxs files.

Brian
Coordinator
Mar 7, 2013 at 3:30 AM
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