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How to create a reusable SharePoint Server 2013 bootable VHD using trial downloads


Few of my friends are from Microsoft backgrounds and they are more interested to learn the SharePoint. They always raise the first question to me on how to setup the SharePoint on their laptop and desktop.

My answer for their question is, buy a Lenovo W530 with 32GB RAM (my laptop configurations :)) and you can find a lot of posts available in the internet for setting the SharePoint through Microsoft Hyper-V. But most of them have a machine with 4 or 8 GB RAM and Windows 7 or Windows 8 as a base OS. Due to this constraints, they never started SharePoint still now. So I plan to build the native bootable VHD for them. It guess that this will solve the RAM issue.

Another side, we need a Software license for Windows Server 2012, SharePoint Server 2013, Visual Studio 2013 and MS Office 2013 for long use. So I plan to build the native VHD using trial downloads and use the sysprep method installation for reusing the trial VHD for multiple times to avoid trial expiration problem.

The main advantage of this approach is that, you don’t need to create the physical hard drive partition for installing Windows Server 2012 and does not affect your base OS and this is just pluggable when we required.

I hope that this post series will be helpful if someone has the same situation.

Note: This intention of this blog post is, how to use the trial downloads for evaluation/learning purpose and not for production use.

For other posts on this series

  1. Overview of the native bootable VHD and list of required software
  2. Create a native bootable virtual hard drive, installing windows server 2012 and configure boot menu
  3. Enabling desktop features in windows server 2012
  4. SQL Server installation using slipstream mode, create the SP1 slipstream into SharePoint 2013 and single shot installation
  5. Create a master native bootable VHD using sysprep method
  6. Configuring Active Directory and Domain Services, SQL Server 2012 and SharePoint 2013

List of Required Software

Use the following link to download the required software’s for creating a VHD and the trial keys are available on each download pages.

  1. Windows Server 2012(180 days’ trial periods) - - download ISO evaluation version
  2. SQL Server 2012 SP1(180 days’ trial periods) -
  3. Cumulative update package 9 for SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 - - This will support a complete BI features through sysprep mode installation. Download and extract the exe from zip file.
  4. SharePoint Server 2013 (180 days’ trial periods) -
  5. SharePoint Server 2013 Service Pack 1
  6. Visual Studio Professional 2013 (90 days’ trial periods)
  7. Microsoft Office Professional 2013 (60 day’s trial periods)
  8. SharePoint Designer 2013 (free) -
  9. Microsoft Visio Professional 2013 (60 day’s trial periods) - (This is required for SharePoint 2013 designer workflow) 15-06-2014-1

Note: All the software are from Microsoft are ISO files. If we want to open this ISO files from Windows 7, we can use the Virtual CloneDrive software.

In the next post, we will see that how to create the bootable VHD using ImageX.

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