Installing CRM 4.0 on Microsoft SQL Server 2008

For anyone who has tried to install CRM 4.0 on a SQL Server 2008 installation you will probably know there are a few checks in the CRM installer that make this installation quite painful.  It took me a few hours of fiddling and going through the install logs carefully to fix the two issues that occurred.

Setup failed to validate specified Reporting Services Report Server.  Error: The operation you are attempting requires a secure connection (HTTPS)

This error is occuring because SQL Reporting Services on 2008 is expecting an SSL connection.  By editing %ProgramFiles%Microsoft SQL ServerMSRS10.MSCRMRPTReportingServicesReportServerrsreportserver.config and changing this line from <Add Key="SecureConnectionLevel" value="2"/> to <Add Key="SecureConnectionLevel" value="0"/> you will stop this requirement.  I do not know of any adverse effects of doing this, so it should be safe to leave in this state, otherwise you may find issues later on when using Reporting Services within CRM.

Check FullTextRunningValidator : Failure: Service msftesql was not found

This error is occuring because CRM 4.0 thinks it needs the SQL Full Text Search service to be installed at the time of installation, but SQL 2008 does away with this service entirely!  To install we need to trick CRM 4.0 into thinking that the service is available and running, we can do this by just hacking at the registry and renaming another service to be "msftesql".  It really does not matter which service you use for this, as long as it is another service that wont be missed in the mean time, as per a forum post I would recommend using the Filter Daemon Host Launcher (MSSQLFDLauncher).

All of the services can be found at HKLMSystemCurrentControlSetServices, just right click and rename to "msftesql". You may need to reboot before this takes effect and don't forget to start the service! Also remember to rename the service back to its original name after the install is completed, there should be no complications from doing this as long as you install the update rollups.

Both of these issues are also listed on this Microsoft article : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/957053/en-us, however the article is a little less than helpful as its solution is installing the CRM Update Rollups that fix the issues.  This turns into a chicken and egg problem as I cannot see any way to install the hotfixes prior to installing CRM, nor have I found how to slipstream the installs to include the update rollups as yet.

And lastly, do not forget to install CRM Update Rollup 5 which was recently released, this rollup contains all the previous updates which address a few of the issues that can be encountered when running CRM on SQL 2008.  Hopefully this posting will help a few people avoid the couple of hours it took me to work around these issues.

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Slipstreaming your Sharepoint installation, easy!

If you have been regularly installing Sharepoint farms you might notice that in the last 12 months there has been a large amount of time consuming hotfixes to deploy with each server installation of both WSS and MOSS.  With MOSS you've got all the WSS ones as well as the copious amount of MOSS hotfixes.

Here is the current patch path as recommended by the Microsoft Sharepoint Team :

1. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 1
2. The 2007 Microsoft Office Servers Service Pack 1
3. The Windows SharePoint Services Infrastructure Update x86 x64
4. The Microsoft Office Servers Infrastructure Update x86 x64
5. KB 953397: Excel Server Security Update x86 x64
6. KB 955586: Document Lifecycle Workflow Update
7. August Cumulative Update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (Global)
8. August Cumulative Update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (Local)
9. August Cumulative Update for Microsoft Office Servers

Wow thats a few patches needed!  I started to get fairly jack of installing these before I was even installing 3 – 9, so heres a really brief and easy way to slipstream the install.

1. Download all of the above patches
2. Take a copy of the MOSS dvd.  Keep note of the path you copied this to.
3. One by one use the following syntax to pull out all of the information from the hotfixes :

hotfixname.exe /extract:<path to moss folder>x86updates /passive

This will extract all the files in the hotfix to your copy of the MOSS DVD x86update folder. 

Now when you run setup, you wont need to spend half an hour patching afterwards.  For WSS the same principle applies, except use the WSS patches only, and probably start with the WSS 3.0 SP1 installer.