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How to Build a SharePoint 2010 Farm on a Single Machine with Local Accounts

Kraft Kennedy

2 min read

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SharePoint 2010 can be easily deployed to a single box with local administrator accounts using the standalone, out-of-the-box install, but this forces you to use SQL Express 2008 (which comes with SharePoint).  What if you want to do a complete farm install on the box, but stick with local accounts?  Then this becomes a lot more tricky.

The complete install, using the configuration dialogs, will not let you enter local accounts, and will force you to use a domain account.  The best practice seems to be to promote the server to a domain controller, and use domain accounts, however this might not be possible or desired if you’re working in a DMZ, or on a development machine.  Also, you might want to do the complete install so that you can leverage the 10 GB data limit and remote BLOB storage in SQL 2008 Express R2, rather than being stuck to the earlier version of SQL Express which comes with SharePoint.   Luckily, there’s some ways to bypass the domain account requirement by using PowerShell scripting to set up the environment.  I found two helpful blog posts below which get you part of the way there, and I’ll help clarify some of the missing pieces.

The first step is to install SharePoint in complete mode, but not to run the products and technology configuration wizard.  You’ll need to set up the configuration database using PowerShell if you want to use local accounts.  Follow this blog post for setting up the configuration database.


You can continue with the configuration wizard after that, and will find that the farm has been configured correctly with the local administrator account.

At this point, everything in central administration should work except for searching.  The search query component will be stuck in “Initializing” state, and will never come online.  If you do any searches on the front-end, you’ll also get a SharePoint error, given the state of the query component.  To fix this, you’ll need to delete the Search Service Application, from the list of service applications, and then create a new one using PowerShell.  Follow this blog post, specifically the “The Search Fix” section, for how to do this in PowerShell.


To clarify the steps for actually running the script, in Step 1 in the article, you actually have to run a command like the following in PowerShell to load the script:

. c:SetupEnterpriseSearch.ps1

Then you have to run the following command to launch the function:


Make sure that you have the correct settings in the XML file ahead of time.  After running this PowerShell script, the search service application should be built and online, and you should be able to build the index and start searching.