Installation guide for System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Beta

After I downloaded the Beta for SCCM 2012, I struggled with a few installation items so I thought I would share my experiences and write a quick Installation Guide. This is not official by any means, but does detail what I did to get SCCM 2012 Beta installed successfully. The details are below. I also created a Word Document that you can download as well. In case you didn't already grab the beta bits, you can get them here.

In order to install SCCM, I did do some pre-work that I will share below.

I setup an Active Directory Domain using Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 as the single DC / GC. I did not do anything out of the norm in setting up this server.

For the server that I will install SCCM 2012 onto, I also used Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. I joined this server to the AD Domain. I also installed the following Windows Roles and Features:

  1. Net Framework
  2. BITs
  3. Remote Differential Copy
  4. Windows Update Services

Since SCCM needs a SQL Instance, I also installed SQL Server 2008 SP1 with Cumulative Update 10 ( It is VERY important that you also install this exact same version of SQL Server and this exact Cumulative Update as the current SCCM 2012 beta does not support SQL Server 2008 SP2 or SQL Server 2008 R2. I also had problems installing SCCM 2012 Beta when using any Cumulative Update other than 10 for SP1.

Prior to installing SCCM 2012 beta, I also performed a Schema Prep using the ExtADSch.exe tool in the \SMSSETUP\BIN\X64 directory. If you plan to run the Schema Prep tool from your 32 bit domain controller, use the ExtADSch.exe tool from the \SMSSETUP\BIN\I386 directory.

I will now walk through the entire installation process screen by screen so that we don’t miss any steps.

I inserted the SCCM 2012 Beta DVD into the drive and accepted the autorun. Following is the startup splash screen. After clicking the Install link, I am presented with the Setup Wizard. The only real option from that screen is to click Next. In my environment, I chose to install SQL Server onto the same server that I will be installing SCCM 2012 onto (due to limited resources). Whether you choose to use the same server or a different server, you do need to have SQL Server installed prior to installing SCCM 2012 beta. If you are using a separate SQL Server, make sure you are able to access it from the network (check firewall settings on the SQL Server machine).

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Getting Started

On the next screen, I get to decide how I’m going to install SCCM onto this server. The key options are to install a Primary Site server or install a Central Administration Site. Depending on your site topology needs, you may install a Central Admin Site first and then install multiple Primary Site Servers. In my lab, I am doing a single site install so I do not have a need for a Central Administration Site. For that reason, I am choosing the first option.


Upon hitting Next, I am presented with the wonderful licensing screen. In the beta, the License Key is prepopulated so we only need to accept the license terms and click Next.


Prerequisite Components

SCCM 2012 beta has to download updates and other components from the Internet to proceed with setup. Without Internet connectivity, you cannot proceed. During the actual installation process, setup also retrieves information from the Internet so you must have Internet connectivity throughout the entire installation process. I point this out because I usually setup isolated lab environments that don’t have Internet connectivity. This caused some delay and frustration on my part when I hit this minor roadblock. Want to save everyone else time and headaches.


The file is downloaded first. Based on what is listed in the manifest, setup will download the remaining prerequisite components.

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Site and Installation Settings

Based on your site topology, you will configure the appropriate three character Site code and Site name. Make sure you set this correctly as you cannot change this information post installation.


Since I am installing a single standalone site, I chose the second option on the following screen. If you have a Central Administration Site, you will specify it here so that you can join your existing hierarchy.


Database Server

Remember, you are not installing SQL Server here. You are only referencing the existing SQL Server that was installed prior. In my case, this happens to be the same server as the one I’m installing SCCM 2012 beta onto. I accepted the default SQL Instance name and SQL replication snapshot folder location. If you have a specific naming convention or folder location, change to meet your needs.


SMS Provider Settings

The SMS Provider is an SCCM component that provides communications between the Management console and the Site database.


Client Computer Communication Settings

This section allows you to configure client communication requirements with the server. The most secure method is HTTPS, but you do need to consider the clients that will be managed by SCCM and whether they support HTTPS communications or not. The second option that I selected is a good compromise. For those clients that can use HTTPS (via PKI certificates), that will be the preferred method while I can still support clients that can only communicate via HTTP for whatever reason.


Site System Roles

Since I did not choose to setup a PKI infrastructure in my lab environment (will do this in a future rev), I opted to use HTTP for communication with the Management Point and Distribution Point.


Customer Experience Improvement Program Configuration

As with most products, we get the option to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program for SCCM 2012. Since this is the beta and we need to collect this information as part of the process, you don’t have the option to not join. J


Setting Summary

Before setup actually starts installing anything, we are presented with the Summary screen to review in case we inadvertently selected a wrong option or we change our mind on a previously selected option. We can go back and make changes to our configuration settings. If all is well, click Next to proceed to prerequisite checks and then installation.


Prerequisite Check

During the prerequisite check, setup is checking for required components like BITs or the correct version of SQL Server 2008. If all is well, you will see the screenshot on the right and be able to click Next to start the actual installation process.

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The installation process will configure all the selected SCCM roles and services as well as SQL instances.

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When setup is complete, you will see the next screenshot. Review the list and ensure all items have a green check mark which indicates it was installed successfully. If you have any red items, you will need to view the log file to see where the error occurred and correct the issue. On my installation, everything completed successfully and I was able to hit Close and the Management Console started.


SCCM Administration Console

I am just showing the console below, but will not be conducting a walk-through of the console in this document.