Installing Windows SharePoint Services on Windows 7 (or Vista)

This content is 15 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) is not supported on a client operating system, but that’s not to say it shouldn’t run – right? After all, Windows client releases include a web server and can run a database service – that should pretty much cover the basics (back in the days of Windows NT it was generally reckoned that the differences between the Workstation and Server releases were just a few registry entries – but even if that was true then, there are a few more differences today)! In response to this, the guys at Bamboo Nation came up with an installer for SharePoint on Vista and, even though it’s been around for a while (thanks to Garry Martin for alerting me to this), last week I finally got around to trying it out on Windows 7.

It seems to work well but, having never installed SQL Server 2008 Express Edition (WSS needs access to a SQL database) I needed to combine two very good resources (the Jonas Nilsson’s installation guide for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 SP1 on Windows Vista and Symantec’s article on installing and configuring SQL Server 2008 Express) – the result is my installation notes (repeated in full here in case either of those articles ever disappears but for screen shots, refer to the originals – or to Jim Parshall’s video tutorial):

  1. Gather together all the resources that will be required. Assuming that Windows is already running, the remaining components are:
  2. Install and configure SQL Server 2008 Express Edition:
    • SQL Express may be downloaded with or without tools – I went for the “without” option but the tools may be useful for troubleshooting purposes. If you’re installing on an older platform, there are some pre-requisites (.NET Framework 3.5 SP1, Windows Installer 4.5 and Windows PowerShell 1.0) but my Windows 7 client already had these (or later versions).
    • Run the SQL Server Express installer and follow the wizard. It’s fairly straightforward but there are a couple of things to watch out for:
      • For the instance configuration, specify MSSQLSERVER as both the named instance and the instance ID.
      • For the server configuration, use NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM (no password) as the SQL Server database engine account name and set the SQL Server Browser startup type to Automatic.
      • For database engine configuration, either Windows or mixed mode authentication may be used (I stuck with the defaults) but the installer will not continue until users or groups are specified for unrestricted access to the SQL server. SQL DBAs and security guys will probably have lots of best practice advice here for use with production servers but I took the view that it’s probably nothing too much to worry about on a developer workstation and simply gave the necessary rights to the account I was running as.
  3. Install and configure Internet Information Services in Control Panel, Programs and Features by clicking the option to turn Windows features on or off and enabling:
    • Internet Information Services
      • Web Management Services
        • IIS 6 Management Compatibility
          • IIS 6 Management Console
          • IIS 6 Scripting Tools
          • IIS 6 WMI Campatability
          • IIS 6 Metabase and IIS 6 configuration capability
        • IIS Management Console
      • World Wide Web Services
        • Application Development Features
          • .NET Extensibility
          • ASP.NET
          • ISAPI Extensions
          • ISAPI Filters
        • Common HTTP Features
          • Default Document
          • Directory Browsing
          • HTTP Errors
          • HTTP Redirection
          • Static Content
        • Health and Diagnostics
          • HTTP Logging
          • Request Monitor
        • Performance Features
          • HTTP Compression Dynamic
          • Static Content Compression
        • Security
          • Basic Authentication
          • Request Filtering
          • Windows Authentication
  4. Install the WSS on Vista setup helper application by running wssvista.msi.
  5. Install WSS by:
    • Locating the WSS on Vista helper application files in %programfiles%\WSSonVista\Setup and running setuplauncher.exe.
    • Pointing the setuphelper to the WSS installer (sharepoint.exe)
    • Following the WSS installation wizard, selecting an advanced installation for a web front-end server, creating a new server farm, and supplying the details for the local SQL database (including the account details).
  6. At the end of the WSS installation, take a note of the port number used, and then navigate to http://localhost:portnumber/. If all goes well, then you should see the SharePoint Central Administration site in your browser:
    Windows SharePoint Services running on Windows 7

Finally, a couple of additional notes:

  • I ran all of this as a standard user, answering just a few UAC prompts at the appropriate points to elevate my privileges).
  • These instructions will allow access to SharePoint site from the local machine; however it will be necessary to create some firewall exceptions if remote client access is required.

13 thoughts on “Installing Windows SharePoint Services on Windows 7 (or Vista)

  1. thanx for your notes, it helped me to resolve an issue with the ‘initial’ connection to the sql server 2008 express database.

    I installed WSS 3.0 the one with SP2 on Windows 7 RTM and it’s working great.

  2. Hi,
    I have SQL Servre 2008 developer edition configured and running. I followed the steps and installed wss 3.0 sp2 using Advance option. However on Configuration step, I get “Failed to start the database service MSSQ$$Microsoft##SSEE. Repair this service”. Do you have any suggestiong?

    Thanks in advance

  3. Hi,
    I followed all the steps above, the install phase of WSS is achieved. but when i start the sharepoint and get through the first time run wizard i get this error message :
    “failed to start the database service MSSQL$Microsoft##SSEE.
    Repair this product by selecting it from thr Add/Remove Programs menu.”
    can you help me out please?

  4. I am not able to install WSS 3.0 wit SP2 on windows 7 Enterprise Edition 32-bit.
    I have already Turn off Application Compatibility Engine

  5. Hi there:
    I’m on a some kind of situation here because I need to install WSS 2.0 (not WSS 3.0 as everyone else) because our client has that old SS version. Does anyone know if that is possible and how?? considering that I have Windows Vista enterprise (but not server).
    Thanks for any hints, tips or tricks!

  6. I got this to work after struggling a bit. Keep in mind this will only work with SQL Express 2008 and not 2012. Some of the small things are to ensure when you enable the features in IIS you follow the steps as mentioned above. Bamboo will make this work on Windows 7

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