Installing System Center Configuration Manager 2012

System Center Configuration Manager 2012 is another of the big releases in the System Center suite this year, and promises to deliver a lot of exciting new functionality.

I’m already running SCCM 2007 SP2 R3 in my home lab environment, so I’m keen to find out how SCCM 2012 performs.  Here’s my step-by-step installation experience…with screenshots! Oooo….

UPDATE 08/03/2012 (that’s March 8th for my US readers!) – I’ve recently written about installing SCCM 2012 on Windows 8 Server. The process I used there to install the server prerequisites using PowerShell is a better system than the one I originally described here. So read that first 🙂

Information about SCCM 2012 system prerequisites are still being released, and the in-built prerequisite checker doesn’t ship with the Beta 2 installation media.  However, from what I’ve been able to ascertain, the following is required on the system designed to be the Primary Site server:

  • .NET Framework 3.5 (Feature)
  • .NET Framework 4.0 (Windows Update)
  • WSUS SDK (Role – either the full WSUS installation or just the administration console – you can install this later, it’s not an installation showstopper)
  • Microsoft Remote Differential Compression (Feature)
  • IIS (Role – see below)
  • BITS (Feature)

Important Note #1 – An SCCM 2012 infrastructure has similar PKI certificate requirements for HTTPS communications. Read my blog post here on how to set this up.

Important Note #2 – The site SQL server needs to be running SQL Server 2008 SP1 with CU10 or higher (SQL Server 2008 SP2 and SQL Server 2008 R2 are not supported, bizarrely) and firewall exceptions are needed either for the SQL application or for TCP ports 1433 and 4200.  Additionally, the AD computer account of the site server needs to be added to the local Administrators group on the SQL server.

Important Note #3 – The required IIS Role Services are:

  • Common HTTP Features – Static Content, Default Document, Directory Browsing, HTTP Errors, HTTP Redirection (note, no WebDAV! Woohoo!)
  • Application Development – .NET Extensibility, ISAPI Extensions
  • Health and Diagnostics – HTTP Logging, Logging Tools, Request Monitor, Tracing
  • Security – Windows Authentication, Request Filtering
  • Performance – Static Content Compression
  • Management Tools – IIS Management Console, IIS Management Scripts and Tools
  • IIS 6 Management Compatibility – IIS 6 Metabase Compatibility, IIS 6 WMI Compatibility

Important Note #4 – The Active Directory schema has to be extended as per SCCM 2007 (read this TechNet article on how to do this). If the schema has already been extended, you will just have to give the AD computer account for the primary site server (the SCCM 2012 site server, that is) Full Control rights to the System Management container using ADUC:

SCCM 2012 Beta 2 - Site Server Rights

Now…on with the installation…

I’m going with the default installation options selected. I’m not doing a typical installation because I want to nominate a different SQL server:

SCCM 2012 Beta 2 - Installation Type

Enter the license key (automatically entered, in the case of beta media) and accept the EULA. Then, download the latest product updates for use during installation:

SCCM 2012 Beta 2 - Download Updates

Enter the details for the new Primary Site:

SCCM 2012 Beta 2 - Site Details

I don’t have a central administration site server (no existing SCCM 2012 hierarchy), so this will be installed as a standalone site:

SCCM 2012 Beta 2 - Standalone Site

Enter the SQL server details:

SCCM 2012 Beta 2 - SQL Server

Choose the SMS provider:

SCCM 2012 Beta 2 - SMS Provider

Accept the client/server communications default, which is that all communications have to happen over HTTPS (there’s a PKI in the lab environment, so this is all fine – see the important note above):

SCCM 2012 Beta 2 - Communications

Select the Management Point and Distribution Point:

SCCM 2012 Beta 2 - Site Roles

The next screen (which I unaccountably forgot to capture) summarises what you’ve selected so far, and then you’re prompted to commence installation. At this point it launches the system readiness checker – the same feature which was disabled in the autorun splash screen (go figure).  This is really, REALLY useful for making sure that you’ve got everything installed, although some checks are less than thorough (it didn’t pick up the fact that the SQL server wasn’t listening for incoming connections, for example).

Installation takes a while to complete (around 30 minutes) but you can keep launching the logfile throughout the process to see where it’s up to.

Once done, the Console launches and we are done!

SCCM 2012 Beta 2 - Tada!

That’s it for installation – now there’s lots of work to do with configuring and getting clients chatting, but that’s for another series of posts 🙂


58 comments to Installing System Center Configuration Manager 2012

  • Harvey

    great post. keep ’em coming!

  • Handy write up 🙂

    Just a couple of notes:
    Named Pipes must be enabled on the SQL (error message on screen will indicate incorrect SQL version, so not immediately helpful)
    If SCCM 2012 is running on a DC (not recommended of course) domain admin membership is sufficient if AD extensions are set properly. After installation, this may be adjusted to the SCCM server’s computer account only.
    Have lots of coffee available. SCCM installations seems to be the equivalent of digging trenches in the old days 🙂

    Have fun.

    • James Bannan

      Interesting – I didn’t reply to this originally because my experience had been that Named Pipes wasn’t needed (it wasn’t enabled in my original SCCM 2012 environment, and still isn’t). However, I’ve set up another, completely new SCCM 2012 site and I got the same SQL error during installation. Enabling Named Pipes didn’t resolve this, but then again, I hadn’t done the SQL server certificate 🙂

    • J Warner

      I ran into this also and found that updating to CU14 resolved the issue.


  • scott

    Any thoughts about doing this while not connected to the internet? My lab setup is either internal or external at a time. If I run external (internet) then I get SQL install fail errors due to no auth. If i run internal, then it fails the pre check routine. This is totally stupid BTW as it did a pre check earlier in the sequence. Thoughts?

  • Andy

    I wonder why it doesn’t work with SQL 2008 R2? After having problem with the requirements for SQL 2008 SP1 I cam searching and landed on your blog. I figured “Oh, 2008 R2 is newer, it should include everything 2008 SP1 does!”. 🙁

    • James Bannan

      I agree! I wonder whether it’s something to do with the beta – a hard restriction on the data backend for ease of testing, perhaps?

    • James Bannan

      Actually I’ve found out that this is just a limitation hard-coded into the beta. The RTM version will support SQL Server 2008 R2.

  • Hmm im onto installing SCCM 2012… i wonder if dns and dhcp roles should be enabled on the server? i had som dificulties with 2007 on this point

    • James Bannan

      You can have DNS/DHCP roles on the server if you don’t have any choice – it won’t cause SCCM 2012 to fail – but it’s certainly not recommended. Better to break out those roles onto a seperate server.

  • do you guys know when Release date is for RTM

  • Michael

    Hi James,
    do you know the RC release date?

    • James Bannan

      Hi Michael – unfortunately I don’t. My gut feeling is that RC is “imminent” but that’s not something you can put in the calendar 🙂

  • Shawn

    James, what Windows server version are you using? I’ve tried several times on Windows Server 2008 R2 w/ SQL Server 2008 and I keep getting the unsupported SQL Server error. Indeed, if I install SQL Server 2008, run SP1, and then try to run the CU 10, there’s nothing to update.

    • James Bannan

      Hi Shawn – I’m using Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 SP1 CU15. I have seen the error you’re experiencing in my own lab, and it turned out to be a SQL communication error. Make sure that all SQL services are running properly without error and make sure they’re accessible remotely (ie: your firewall ports are open).

  • Steve Clarke


    2 things – 1 Thanks for the presentations at Tech Ed – muchly appreciated!

    2 – I can’t get this damn thing to install in my lab.
    I’ve downloaded all the individual patches and the manifest,
    SQL 2008 SP1 CU15 on Server 2008 R2 Standard.
    SQL running under local system
    and I consistently get the following errors:


    INFO: Name for SQL Param string value is SQLArg3.
     ERROR: Failed to write string -T8295 to registry on SQL Server [SCCM].
     INFO: Name for SQL Param string value is SQLArg3.
     ERROR: Failed to write string “-T4199” to registry on SQL Server [SCCM].
     Creating SQL Server machine certificate for Server [SCCM]…


     Configuring replication…
     Importing Asset Intelligence data.
     Start of importing data from CSV files
     Successfully created the dir C:Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerAI
     ERROR(-2146893819): Failed to retrieve data.
     ERROR(-2146893819):Failed to retrieve data file
     ERROR(-2146893819): Failed to expand the look up table files to the folder: C:Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerAI.
     Could not import asset intelligence data.

    Any thoughts?


  • Martyn Greville-Giddings

    Hi James

    I’ve just ordered a new server to setup as a lab. Is it OK to create one VM for AD, DNS, DHCP etc and install WDS, SQL 2008 R2 Standard, SCVMM 2012 and SCCM 2012 all on a second server then add the host into SCVMM? Can I just setup a single domain account ‘System Manager’ or will this be against best practice?


    • James Bannan

      Hi Martyn – are you limited to just creating two VMs? If it were me, and especially as we’re dealing with beta software here, I would break the lab up into 4 VMs: VM1 – AD/DNS/DHCP, VM2 – SQL, VM3 – SCCM, VM4 – SCVMM. By doing this, you can isolate the main lab components, which makes troubleshooting much easier. Also, what will the proposed “System Manager” account be used for? I wouldn’t worry too much about best practise in a lab environment – sometimes keeping things simple can be a better idea early on.

  • Martyn Greville-Giddings

    Sorry ignore the SQL 2008 R2 comment (force of habit) I realize I need to use the older 2008 SP1 for now and upgrade later, or more likely create a new VM post RTM

  • Martyn Greville-Giddings

    Hi James

    Thanks for the advice, I should have no problem with 4 VMs while testing as the server has 16Gb of memory to work with along with an i7 CPU and 8 2.5″ drives (2 system RAID 1 and 6 VM RAID 5). The other thing about this server is it’s portable…

    The idea long term will be to use this server for onsite deployment of pretested images as well as being able to run a second internal network for testing and demonstrations. This will quite possibly be 5 VMs on its own so I could be running as many as 9 servers if I stick to 4 for the primary network. Not to mention a couple of Windows 7 client VMs

  • Kay Persaud


    I got snowed in today(New Jersey area) so I decided to test out SCCM 2012 Beta2 (new to SC. I spent all most all day. Seem simple however I could get pass the prerequisite check for (1)Firewall exception for SQL Server (2)Site Server has permission to publish to Active Directory. I did the required steps, add allow ports 1433, 4022 in both SCCM server/SQL 2008 w/sp1 +Cup10(server 2008r2) and Domain C server (sbs 2011), plus extend the Domain C schema.

    Can you get any hints how to continue! Thanks!

  • Nick B

    for some inane reason, you have to place the server system accounts directly in any local admin group and/or the System Management OU – having the server accounts as part of a global security group, then granting that group the appropriate access, doesnt work !!

    • James Bannan

      You should be able to use a Security Group without any drama, but make sure that the security permissions are set to flow down to all child objects – it doesn’t set this by default.

  • Nick B

    in addition to the above posts – Im having a load of failures with installing a CAS and a stand alone Primary…………….

    OS = 2008 R2, remote SQL 2008 SP3 (sp1 with CU10 and above) kept throwing version failures

    CAS fails on ‘cannot run SQL query’

    Primary Site fails on a number of things :-
    “check server service is running” – which of course it is
    “no access to publish to AD! – which of course it has
    “no admin rights to SQL server” – which it has
    “SQL server memory is limited” – cant see this being a show stopper ??
    “Validate FQDN of SQL server” – nslookup proves all is OK
    “SMS site to SQL connection fail” – says SPN failure – but all is OK,

    • James Bannan

      The SQL server SPN needs to be added as the domain account used to start the SQL services, and not against the SQL server computer account (eg: DOMAINSQLServerAgentAccount and not DOMAINSQLServer$). Can you confirm that this is the case?

    • RPC


      I am curious if your problems are already solved? I have exactly the same problems as you have…

      The collation of the Instance is the right one
      The user which I am installing SCCM is a sysadmin in the SQL server

      How did you solved this problems?


  • jknash

    If you’re running the SQL instance under a domain user account, go into ADSI Edit, find the sql service account you used and go into the advanced security page. Add an entry for SELF and give SELF rights to write the serviceprincipalname attribute. You can also register spn’s with setspn, but it is easier to let SQL do it, especially if you’re using dynamic ports.

  • Folks, SC 2012 RC is released and with it the RC2 of SCCM. I have collated all the download paths at one location. You can use it off this link:


  • mickou

    Hi James,

    I have one question about the site in the SCCM configuration.
    in my enterprise we have two sites
    1. is UK 3-4 offices
    2. is Europe 11 offices

    shall I need to create several sites for the SCCM configuration.

    for the lab test configuration you advise us to use 4 VM as
    VM2 – SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard or Enterprise Version
    VM3 – SCCM 2012
    VM4 – SCVMM is this necessary for windows 7 deployment

    Many thanks for your support.

    • James Bannan

      Hi – without knowing many of the details, my guess is that you’d need one CAS and two primary site servers: one for the UK and one for Europe. Then, secondary sites below them. Not necessarily one for each office, as it really depends on the quality of your intra-office WAN links and how many seats you need to support at each site. Check out this page for some sizing guidelines: Supported Configurations for Configuration Manager. Also, SCVMM was just part of my lab environment – OS deployment with SCCM has no direct reliance on SCVMM.

      • mickou

        Thanks for you quick answer i will create my lab this week and let you know.
        for the Wan link in my European site we have a fiber link with 30 MBPS and we all are linked by MPLS fucntionality.
        it should be ok for my test i will use only one site and see how the SCCM work in the first time.
        Many thanks for your support.

  • moberko

    if i have sql server 2012 i cant work on sql server 2008 any more?

  • Hi everyone I’m instaling SCCM2012 RTM with sql 2008 r2 enterprise and give me the Sjef and I Ran the CU14 an nothing; I tried to install with sql 2008 standard with hotfix to and nothing I’m getting crazy can you help me please thank you.

  • Tom

    I just finished installing and the version I installed was released on Apr. 2, 2012 (System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and Endpoint Protection). The SQL requirements now support: //

    1. SQL Server 2008 SP2 with Cumulative Update 9
    2. SQL Server 2008 SP3 with Cumulative Update 4
    3. SQL Server 2008 R2 with SP1 and Cumulative Update 4
    4. SQL Server Express 2008 R2 with SP1 and Cumulative Update 4 (on secondary Site only)

    BTW, thanks for the great notes, even though these were written a year ago, they are still accurate except the SQL requirements.

  • Richard

    Im trying to set up a secondary site installation on sccm 2012 and it keeps failing on the following

    Setup is unable to verify that the server service is started (which it is)

    Its the only failure ive got, also the final message says this

    [Failed]:Unable to complete secondary site server installation – check ConfigMgrSetup.log in the root of the secondary site server system drive

    but i cant find this log anywhere on the root drive

    Can anyone suggest anything to resolve this


    • James Bannan

      The logfile should always be in the root of C: on any CM server – that’s just the way it’s configured to be, regardless of where you try and install it to.

      Re-run the setup, and run the server readiness check (prereq check) – that will also generate the logfile.

  • Richard

    still no look with this, i shall try and figure this out, later.

    Having better look with another secondary site, this one passes all its prereqs but is now failing on this particular error

    Cannot add local user group SMS_SiteSystemToSiteServerConnection_SMSProv_SHB to our ad server. I know i have to add it the System system management container on ad users and pc’s, which option to i choose to add it as, which is the bit im stuck on.

  • Richard

    Managed to find this and where and what to add it as.

  • Mark

    Hi, does anyone know a guide for SQL Server installation for SCCM 2012 RTM? I have downloaded SQL Server 2008 Standard R2 (SW_DVD9_SQL_Svr_Standard_Edtn_2008_R2_English_MLF_X16-29588) and am unsure exactly what the SQL requirements are for SCCM 2012 RTM.

  • BW

    Can anyone tell me all the installation steps of sql server 2008 for the sccm 2012 RC2?

  • Is it possible to stand up a primary site with the SQL DB in another domain? We have a trust setup between the domain, the logged in account and computer account have full rights to the database, the trusts seem to be configured properly but the prereq check log cannot connect to the database, and the actual install where I specify directly the name of the server + instance, it fails. I’ve ran some powershell scripts to make sure the server can actually see the SQL box, and I was able to configure wsus to use this sql instance as its db location. Any ideas?

  • Lucky_Hamu

    I have an urgent query that is this necessary to first install WSUS then update AD schema and after that install SCCM 2010 becus if you install and configure WSUS after updating AD schema it will not work. Kindly help me out to uninstall or remove SCCM components from AD to first install WSUS.


    • James Bannan

      The AD schema and installing WSUS are two seperate things, and are not connected. What you should do is install, but NOT configure, WSUS. SCCM will do the rest when you install and configure a Software Update Point, which talks to the WSUS binaries.

  • Ben

    Great article James. Question: why does the site server have to be in the local admins group on the SQL server? My DBAs are questioning this and aren’t likely to grant me these permissions as this server runs other SQL instances for other applications across my institution. Any insight you have that I can share with them?

  • BW

    Eventually Tom’s 2nd option works.
    2. SQL Server 2008 SP3 with Cumulative Update 4

    with SCCM 2012 RC

  • CDJ

    Great initial blog and good follow up comments – I just “Unboxed” my downloaded all in one 2012 vhd from MS and having trouble with DNS lead me here. Didnt answer my question but will tag this for a full read later.

  • Hey just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let
    you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.

    I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.

  • Raju Kumar

    Dear James,
    i have problem with SCCM 2012 when i am installing it on server 2012 R2 with SQL server 2012 SP1, below error getting.

    ERROR(13): Failed to iterate cab file.~ $$
    ERROR(13): Failed to expand the look up table files to the folder: C:Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerAI.~ $$
    ERROR: Failed to import Asset Intelligence data into the site database.~ $$

  • Rene


    I got the same ERROR (13) Failed to iterate cab file, using SQL2012 SP1 (x64) and SCCM 2012R2
    No success yet, WSUS did install fine on this server and created a database on my SQL server aswell so connection should be good.
    Did uninstall and reinstall issue still here … please help

  • Rene

    Did resolve the issue seems that my ISO was not good, did burn new DVD and now it works…

  • Adolph Labuscagne

    I am installing a secondary site, it is failing on using the option to copy the files from the primary server, when I try using the option to get the source files from a folder on the secondary server I get an the following error:
    [Failed]:The product version in the source folder specified for secondary site installation does not match the version of the primary site
    I have tried different ISO’s and even used the SCCM Setup Downloader but I still get the same issue.
    Can you tell me where to copy the files from on the primary server, or if there is a way that I can update the primary server to the same version as what I am using to install the secondary site or is there a way to just workaround this check.
    Kind regards

  • Peter

    Any chance you can do an update on installing SCCM when WSUS infrastructure is already in situ?

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