System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Beta 2 VHD Now Available

We have posted the ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2 VHD. You can download the files here.

With this release you can also test out the Forefront Endpoint Protection 2012 Beta which integrates with ConfigMgr 2012. Take a look at the link at the bottom of this post for more information on how to get the FEP 2012 beta.

System requirements

Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise

Hyper-V is required to run this virtual machine. In addition to Hyper-V, you will need a 64-bit system with hardware-assisted virtualization enabled, as well as data execution prevention (DEP).

Hyper-V can be run from one of the following environments:
– Windows Server 2008 SP2
– Windows Server 2008 R2
– Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

Prerequisites, installation steps, OS recommendations and known issues of Hyper-V can be found here.


1. Download all parts of the VM archive
2. Run the self-extracting RAR archive.
3. When prompted, accept the EULA. The VM will now be extracted.
4. Import the VM into Hyper-V

By default, this VM comes configured without a virtual NIC assigned. If you do not have a virtual NIC already defined in Hyper-V Manager, you will need to configure one. This is required in order to activate your 180 day trial period. You will have 10 days to activate.

Also, if you want to add more memory beyond the defaulted 4GB, do so before you launch the VM (Note: You can add a virtual NIC while the VM is running, but you cannot alter the memory)

Specific details on how to add this image to the Hyper-V library can be found in the README file included in this VM package.

If you have any questions, please contact

Additional information

Forefront Endpoint Protection 2012 Beta can also be evaluated using this VHD. FEP 2012 Beta software is available for download here. More information on FEP 2012 and its integration with System Center Configuration Manager 2012 is provided on the technet documentation site.

How to Install a System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Primary Site (Beta 2)

System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) 2012 primary site installation isn’t that much different than in ConfigMgr 2007, however there are some differences. The aim for this post is to show you the basics of primary site installation and what to look for post installation.


ConfigMgr 2012 has nearly the same prerequisites as ConfigMgr 2007, with the difference being that in 2012 we no longer require WebDAV to be present for MPs or DPs. This makes the installation on 2008 and 2008 R2 servers much easier.

  • Requires both .net 3.5 and .net 4.0
  • SQL 2008 SP1 with CU 10 or Greater (SQL 2008 R2 is NOT supported in the beta, but will be at release, and likely at RC)
  • WSUS 3.0 SP2
  • Remote Differential Compression
  • BITS Installed/Enabled
  • Computer account of the site server needs to have Full control rights to the System Management container and all child objects in active directory (this is unchanged from previous versions of SMS/SCCM)

Site Installation

Install Screenshots

Assess server readiness does not currently function in beta 2 (at least it didn’t for me).

I chose to download the latest ConfigMgr updates, however during the install it will ask you to download them, or provide a path where the latest updates have been downloaded.

Get the latest Configuration Manager updates downloads the following prerequisites:

  • Microsoft Remote Differential Compression Library (32 and 64 bit versions)
  • Windows Update Agent 3.0 (32 and 64 bit versions)
  • WMI Redistributable Components version 1.0
  • Silverlight Runtime
  • .NET Framework Client Profile 4.0 RTM
  • SQL Server 2008 Express
  • MSXML 6.0 Service Pack 1
  • SQL Server 2008 Native Client
  • SQL Server 2008 System CLR Types
  • SQL Server 2008 Management Objects
  • SQL Server 2008 Replication Management Objects

Click Install after the updates are downloaded.

Click Next

Click Next

Accept and click Next

Either download or specify the location of the updates and click next

Note: In beta 2 there is currently a bug when specifying a folder with spaces to either download, or use a previous location that you may have downloaded the updates to earlier. Make sure to use a folder with no spaces in the path.

Click next

Fill in the items and click next.

Since I don’t have an existing hierarchy, this will be a standalone site for now. Click Next.

By default the SQL server, the database, and the SQL replication snapshot folder will be filled in for you. I choose to have SQL installed on my E:\ drive, and will also have the replication snapshot location there. Click Next.

At this point, if you don’t have SQL 2008 SP1 with CU10 or greater installed, you will get an error. You MUST have SQL 2008 SP1 (no R2).

Click Next unless your provider location is another server

Native mode has changed since SCCM 2007 (it’s not even called Native Mode anymore). We now are allowed to use either HTTP or HTTPs (or a hybrid of both methods). In my test environment, I’ll be using HTTP communication since I do not have PKI certificates.

Click Next

By default a Management Point and Distribution Point can be installed. You also have the ability to select the protocol, either HTTP or HTTPS.

Click Next

Click Next at the Customer Experience Improvement Program

Click Next at the summary screen

I purposely configured my server with the bare minimum configuration to see what prerequisites the prerequisite check would find. These are the four that showed up on my Windows 2008 R2 SP1 server that I only installed .net 3.5, .net 4, SQL 2008 SP1 and SQL 2008 SP1 CU13.

Fix any issues, click run check, and click next

Click Begin

As the progress is being monitored, you can click the view log button to see what the installer is doing. The log is located at C:\ConfigMgrSetup.log

Pro tip: If you go to the directory where you extracted the beta, open the Tools folder, and you will find a new version of trace32.exe. This is actually called System Center Trace now and is a 64 bit version of the application (it should probably be renamed to trace64 or something else).

And if all goes well, you should see the above screen.

Click close and the console should open up.