I had the opportunity recently at work to install Windows Server 2008 R2 from scratch and setup several virtual machines in a network configuration, and here’s how I did it.

The physical machine has 16 GB memory, and is a dell desktop machine actually! It has 4 cores, but with hyperthreading it shows 8.


Being a software engineer and all, we don’t often get the chance to set up an environment like this from scratch. This was fun, but I’m not a network engineer.


If you only have one network connection on your physical server, make sure you bridge it with the virtual adapter too. Then set the settings on the bridge and not either adapter.


To open ports on “Windows Advanced Firewall”, open a command window as an administrator. Issuing the following command will open port 80 on your firewall for you.

netsh firewall set portopening TCP 80 "Web"

TFS 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2

Installing both of them on VMs was fairly easy, and fault free, if you follow their install guidelines. Thank goodness too! because TFS 2008 took me 2-3 days… This took less than a half a day.

I have TFS installed and working on two ports, since 8080 is a typical router remote admin port, which is already mapped, and cannot be forwarded outside.

There was a couple gotchas along the way that I needed to refer to blog posts to fix. One is with SharePoint.

You cannot install SharePoint from the Roles. If you do, you still have to download a patch .msi and install that.

Also, to get to create a site in SharePoint (so TFS can use it) you have to run IE as an administrator, and then the “Create a site” link will be visible.

Not to mention the whole “IE Hard Admin” which locks down IE on the server. You have to constantly add the local sites into the trusted sites too.

Exchange 2010

This was a BEAST to install! Really! I ended up installing it twice, both times using only the GUI to install and configure it, with the updates too.

DONT: “Don’t delete your user account from exchange or any other account as it deletes it from the active directory too. I hosed the whole setup that way and had to install all the virtual machines as well as install windows again on the server.

Also, when you install windows, before connecting to a domain, create a user with admin rights, since joining the domain seems to not allow the administrator login to login.”

I installed a SSL certificate for the external access, but internally it still says the cert is invalid, because it’s a local domain, and I now need a ssl cert for the internal one too.

I still haven’t finished the exchange correctly to get it working inside and out. I guess I’ll figure it out later…