Roland Oldengarm - Independent IT Contractor

Living in the coolest little capital Wellington, New Zealand!

How to install SharePoint 2016 in 30 minutes

Update 4 May 2016:  SharePoint 2016 is now generally available (GA), below instructions will work perfectly for the GA / RTM version!

SharePoint 2016 Release Candidate has been released at January 20th. It requires you to install Beta 2 and afterwards install the Release Candidate patch. I will show you how to install on a new Azure VM with Windows Server 2012 R2 pre-installed. It took me approx. 1 – 2 hours with a lot of waiting time, so essentially it takes you approx. 30 minutes of your time.

Preparation: Where to host it

As I have an Azure Subscription, and Azure VM’s come with a lot of available images, the choice for Azure was quite easy. I’ve chosen for the image Windows Server 2012 R2.

After creating the VM based on this image and logging in, the first thing to do is to promote it to an Active Directory server. SharePoint 2016 doesn’t allow you to run it on a server that is not part of a domain. Open Server Manager, and click “Add roles and features”. Then, add the role “Active Directory Domain Services”:

When that is completed, in Server Manager in the top bar you will see a notification flag. Click on it, and then “Promote this server to a domain controller”:

I’m not a server expert, neither a network engineer, so don’t blame me if you think I’ve made a mistake when I chose for the following options 🙂

  • Deployment operation: Add a new forest
  • Root domain name: SP2016.local
  • NetBIOS name: SP16

And for the rest all default options. After installation, it will reboot and you can log in with your domain account.

Add service accounts

Now create the required additional service accounts. In my case, not following recommendations, I’ve added sp_farm, sp_sql and sp_services. Check the section Accounts Used at the bottom of this post for more information. Don’t forgot to set “Passwords never expire” and “User cannot change password”, and uncheck “User must change password at next logon”:

Install SQL Server 2014 SP1

If you’re MSDN subscriber, you can download this from MSDN. Alternatively you could create an Azure VM with SQL Server pre-installed. However, in that case your SQL Server won’t run under the SP16\SP_SQL service account, so you’ll need to change that manually.

Run setup.exe and choose for Installation -> New installation:

Select the following features as a minimum:

  • Database engine services
  • Management tools basic and complete

Change the service account for the SQL Agent and SQL Server to sp16\sp_sql. On the next screen don’t forget to add the current user (sp16\sp_install) as the administrator.

Download the SharePoint 2016 binaries

Now, we will need to download the SharePoint binaries:

When this is ready, double click the Beta 2 ISO to mount it. After each reboot you’ll get an error that the prereq. installer cannot find the executable. You’ll need to mount it again manually, and start the installer afterwards.

Errors with the prerequisites installer 

While SharePoint is an amazing product, most people will agree that it’s prone to errors. And when you deal with preview software, that is not going to be better. With the prerequisite installer I encountered the following error on two different machines:

  • Update for Microsoft .NET Framework to disable RC4 in Transport Layer Security (KB2898850): installation error

I’ve fixed this by downloading and installing this update manually. In my case this was the only error I encountered during the entire installation progress, which is quite amazing to be honest.

When all prerequisites have been installed successfully, you should see this screen in the installer:

Install the SharePoint 2016 Beta 2 binaries

The next step is to install the SharePoint binaries via setup.exe. Use this product key: NQGJR-63HC8-XCRQH-MYVCH-3J3QR

This may take a while. Grab a coffee or something stronger.

Run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard

When the binaries installation has completed, the SharePoint Configuration Wizard will start. If everything goes OK, this is the last step. Select the following options:

  • Create a new server farm
  • Database server: localhost
  • Database access account: SP16\sp_farm
  • Server role: Single-Server Farm

See also this summary:

… and when everything goes as smooth as planned, you should see this after a while:

Congratulations! You have installed SP2016 RC1. When clicking Finish, the farm configuration will open.

Click “Start the Wizard” to… start the wizard. Create a new managed account for sp16\sp_services and select only the following applications / features, uncheck the rest:

  • App Management Service
  • Business Data Connectivity Services
  • Managed Metadata Service
  • Search Service Application
  • Secure Store Service
  • State Service
  • Usage and Health data collection
  • User Profile Service application
  • Claims to Windows Token Service
  • Distributed Cache
  • Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Workflow Timer Service

I think these are the minimal services required for most implementations. Feel free to add more of course.

Click Next; I don’t really agree with the message shown..

It took about 15 minutes on my machine. When it’s ready, you should see the Create Site Collection page for the root site collection, as that must exist on any SharePoint farm.

I’ve picked the Publishing -> Product Catalog, and named it Home.

And that’s the last step! You should now see:

Oh no wait! What about the Release Candidate Patch?

Oops, one step left. We need to install the Release Candidate patch, as right now we are on Beta 2. First, unzip both files from the Release Candidate patch. Then:

  1. Run the prerequisiteinstaller.exe: This will install any additional software required for the RC1 patch, e.g. the .NET framework 4.6. This will require a system reboot.
  2. Run the patch (sts.exe): This will install RC1, just click next, next, and finish.

Now we are really done. You can test out all the new features in SharePoint 2016 now!

Service accounts used

I haven’t created a service account for each service, as for a demo / development environment I don’t see the benefit of doing that. But, for a production / UAT environment please do follow the official guidelines.

The password for all accounts are the same, which is obviously neither a recommended option: Welcome01

  • sp16\sp_admin: Admin account
  • sp16\sp_farm: Farm account
  • sp16\sp_sql: SQL  account
  • sp16\sp_services: Services and application pool account


  1. Hello during sql installation when i put sp_sql as user for agent and server i receive this error, using sql server 2014…

    Credentials for the SQL Server Agent service are invalid , same for server

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