SharePoint 2013 RTM on Windows Server 2012: Virtual Machine Download

UPDATE: I have created a new VM with SharePoint 2013 SP1 and SQL Server 2014 on Windows Server 2012 R2. This updated VM is available on my blog at: The licenses on VM available through the blog below have expired and I’ll recommend getting the new VM from the above link. Thanks for all your feedback and comments!

Since the time I created this SharePoint 2013 Virtual machine using the preview version on Windows Server ’08 quite a few enthusiasts have asked if I could upload one with SharePoint 2013 RTM and Win Server 2012. So I spent some time these holidays to create and upload one. Here it goes…

  1. The VM was created using the VMWare Player version 6 which can be downloaded as a free download from the VMWare site.
  2. It was created using the 180 day evaluation versions Windows Server 2012, SQL Server 2012 (see below) and the SharePoint 2013. If you’d like to, you can enter your own keys to activate the trial/ evaluation versions.
  3. It consists of 6 hard drives and a VMWare virtual machine configuration (.vmx) file. Both the configuration file and hard drives are part of self-extracting .rar files (with the actual total current size at about 35 GBs) which can be downloaded from the download links below.
  4. It has 8 GBs of RAM allocated to it by default (controlled by the settings in the “.vmx” file or via the virtual machine settings in the VMWare player )
  5. It has the Classic Shell start menu installed from so you can get the old Windows start menu in addition to the new Windows “Start screen”. This also results in Windows booting up to the desktop instead of the new Windows start screen. Although, if you’d like to, you can get to the Start screen by clicking the Shift+Windows button combination. You can also configure Classic Shell so Windows boots up to the start screen instead, if you so desire.
  6. It has the start-up type for a few non-necessary Windows and SQL services changed to “Manual” or “Delayed start” to conserve overall and start-up resources. This includes services for the SQL Server 2012 SSAS, SSIS and SSRS features which I installed just in case anyone needs them.
  7. Has the Apps service configured to use the URL
  8. Once you fire up the Virtual machine, Windows will auto login to the Administrator’s  account. The “sp20130\administrator” account is the account used to install SharePoint and should be used to access central admin.
  9. The virtual machine additionally has the following accounts:
    sp_adminuser: This is a regular user account I created to be added as a site collection admin. This account has site collection admin privileges on the default site collection on the port 80 Web App
    sp_apppool_content: This is the app pool account for web applications
    sp_apppool_service: This could be used as the app pool account for the service apps that you may configure
    sp_cache_supperreader and sp-cache_superuser: The object cache access user accounts
    sp_farm: The farm account that is configured while installing SharePoint
    sp_search: The search service account
    sp_searchcrawl: The search crawl account
    sp_service: This account is used for various service applications
    sqladmin: This is the SQL server service account
  10. All accounts in the VM share the same password which is part of the ReadMe file accompanying the downloads.

Finally, all the files, including the ReadMe.txt are uploaded to the Google Drive folder at the following link:

To download the files, you can go with either of the following options:

  1. Add the folder to your Google Drive and then use the Google Drive Desktop Client to sync the files to your local computer (also recommended) OR
  2. Download the files directly by using the browser “Save target as…” functionality (least recommended)

Instructions for extracting the VM: You will need to download all the .rar and .exe files to your machine and then run the “SP2013.exe” executable to unpack the virtual machine hard drives. After ensuring that you have the latest version of the VMWare Player installed, you can then double-click the “SP2013.vmx” file to run the virtual machine.

Instructions to activate the licenses on the VM with SQL 2012: The evaluation versions of the OS, SharePoint Server and SQL Server 2012 that the earlier virtual machine was running on have expired. Here’s how you can bypass the issue and activate the licenses for those who would still like to use the VM with SQL 2012 (please note that I have also provided above a link for an alternate VM with SQL 2014 that does not need the licenses to be activated yet):

  1. For the OS (Windows Server 2012): You can either:
    1. Rearm the evaluation version by running he following command from the command prompt: slmgr /rearm. This will extend the OS evaluation for another 180 days. Note that you will be able to do 4 more such rearms before having to convert the license to retail
    2. Convert to a retail license: You can view the instructions to do so in the comments below here  and in the corresponding TechNet article here
  2. For SQL Server 2012: Unfortunately there’s no way to rearm a SQL Server Evaluation license. You will have to convert it to a retail license. The way to do that is to:
    1. Run the SQL Server setup
    2. Click on the maintenance tab
    3. Click on “Edition upgrade”
    4. Follow the steps till you reach the product key screen and enter your product key (usually pre-filled if a licensed installation media is used)
    5. You can read a good set of instructions for converting your eval license to a full license here:
  3. For SharePoint Server 2013:
    1. Browse to Central Admin –> Upgrade and Migration –> Convert farm license type
    2. On the Convert License Type page, in the Enter the Product Key box, type the new product key and then click OK.
    3. Verify that the license is upgraded by going back to the page

As mentioned above, I am working on uploading an updated image of the VM and I highly appreciate your patience while I work on it.

Hope you will find the VM useful and will share any feedback that you may have! Happy SharePointing! 🙂

This entry was posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2013 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

295 Responses to SharePoint 2013 RTM on Windows Server 2012: Virtual Machine Download

  1. Fin3 says:

    Hello Gaurav,

    pls, I need some help to let working the search engine on your fantastic sharepoint 2012 machine…I’ve already manually started the search engine, but the search feature on the sharepoint server is still not working…

    Please can u give me some help?

    Thank you anyway for your patience and help!!!



    • Hello Fin3
      Sorry it’s going crazy busy and I could not reply sooner. It’s been a while and i need to check but I am not sure if I actually configured search crawls on the VM configured on this VM. Could you please confirm that search service application is configured to crawl content and that the crawl account has access to it?

      • Fin3 says:

        Dear Gaurav,

        sorry for my noob request, but i’m a noob at all 🙂
        My company accomplished two week ago to let me have a microsoft dev camp on sharepoint, and now, with a major understanding of the crawl techniques, i’ve done all necessary things to let the crawl work, and yes, i’ve finally figure out with the search engine and all work like a charm!

        Thank you anyway for all the thing you do for us!!

        Best regards,


      • Superb! Absolutely no worries! Very glad it finally worked for you. Sorry I could not be of much help.

  2. sekkappan says:

    The VM works great. However, we try to activate SharePoint Server Publishing infrastructure, we get “The trial period for this product expired”. Do you have any ideas?

    • Hello Sekkappan
      Seems that the SharePoint trial has expired. Unfortunately, the only options I see are:
      1. You will need to enter the license key
      2. I am creating another updated VM and will upload it in a few weeks. You may have to download that VM

  3. sekkappan says:

    The error happens only when we activate this feature. We are able to use everything but this feature.

  4. Hello,
    Nice work 🙂 ..; but i wonder if you have updated the VM to get fresh licence ? or should i still wait to download it?

  5. John says:


    I am unfortunally getting the following error×168
    In the screenshot i changed the configuration filename from *.nvram to *.vmx.
    Am I missing something? Because i am new to the usage of VirtualDisks, but also unable to setup Sharepoint myself.


    • Hi John
      Thanks for downloading the VM. Are you saying you renamed the .nvram file to .vmx? If that’s the case, the error you are receiving is correct. There should already be a .vmx file part of download that you can use to fire up the VM with VMWare Player or VMWare Workstation. You will want to rename the .vmx file you’ve mentioned above to.nvram
      Please let me know if I correctly understood your question or if I can be of further help to you.

      • John says:

        Hi Gurav,

        you correctly understood my question. I did not have any *.vmx file after download. That’s why i tried to rename the file. Is there a chance you would upload the *.vmx file seperately so i do not have to get all parts once again?


      • Hello John
        Sorry for the late response. I can upload the missing file but my fear is that the missing VMX file would indicate that not all files got downloaded correctly, since the file is part of the downloadable files. I will request you to review the blog and confirm that all the files got correctly downloaded.
        Thank you

  6. iwan says:

    Hi there,

    i downloaded your solution and i got the *.vmx file. But the Sharepoint Server trial expired. I also do not have a Key to unlock the Sharepoint Server. Do you know when you will update the Google Drive State, fixing the issue, if ever?

    Regards, iwan

  7. Ramya says:

    Hi Gaurav,
    Great work, it helps all of us a lot. Can you please let us know if VM with SP2013 SP1 is ready and uploaded.

  8. Pingback: SharePoint Server 2013 SP1 Virtual Machine Download | Gaurav Mahajan

  9. Anonymous says:

    Please Advice me I can not runn iis … whenever I am trying to run the http://sp2013 it shows me error page and says to enable custom error

  10. tijani says:

    Gaurav Mahajan we can find a new VM very urgency
    thank you very much

  11. 247projects says:

    I am getting an error when i try to use:
    Checksum error in SP2013\SP2013-C.vmdk
    Can anybody advise?
    Thank you

  12. sasanka jonna says:

    Hey Gaurav

    Is it still good to go? Can I download and use this?

  13. Pingback: SharePoint Server 2016 Virtual Machine Download | Gaurav Mahajan

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hi Gaurav,
    Thank you very much for the image. Unfortunately I am not able to get SP 2013 VM. I have downloaded files three times and every time, when I try to extract, I am getting the checksum error. Can you please re-upload the files again please?


    • Hi Anil
      Sorry you are facing issues. Unfortunately it takes me a lot of time to upload these files. Also, I tested the download to be working fine and no one else has complained. So I will request you to investigate it further. Did you delete the previous files before retrying?

  15. Yahya Ehtisham says:

    Hi Gaurav, thanks for the vm however I have downloaded it and successfully extracted the .vmx file. Once I open it in Vmware player , it sarts booting after that it gets stuck in the windows logo loading page. Do you know why this is happening. I tried VMware Player version 6.0.3 as well as VMware Workstation Player 14.

    • Hi Yahya
      What host OS do you have and how much RAM, disk space & CPU do you have on your host computer?

      • Yahya Ehtisham says:

        I have the Asus Rog Strix GL703VD 17.3” Gaming Laptop, GTX 1050 4GB, Intel Core i7 2.8 GHz, 16GB DDR4, 1TB FireCuda SSHD, RGB Keyboard – GL703VD-WB71

      • That should work well. The only other thing is to see if you have sufficient disk space. Also maybe try safe mode. The final option will be to delete everything and try downloading the VM again. I will do that at my end as well to make sure the file upload is not corrupted but doubt that since others have been successfully downloading it. Other than that I am at loss here unfortunately. Do let me know how it goes though.

  16. Yahya Ehtisham says:

    Hi, I can’t find my comment anymore. I am still facing the issue. I need SharePoint 2013 so I can practice on it to be able to work on it at Work. Thanks.

    • Sorry, I seemed to have accidentally deleted your comment (and my reply along with it). This is what I had replied:
      That should work well. The only other thing is to see if you have sufficient disk space. Also maybe try safe mode. The final option will be to delete everything and try downloading the VM again. I will do that at my end as well to make sure the file upload is not corrupted but doubt that since others have been successfully downloading it. Other than that I am at loss here unfortunately. Do let me know how it goes though.

      • I just downloaded whole VM and started it up. It worked fine. So unfortunately, the only thing I can recommend is to carry out the troubleshooting tasks I mentioned above.

  17. Yahya Ehtisham says:

    I will try it tonight again, as soon as I finish working. I honestly don’t think the files are corrupted, I was able to run the .vmx file and it gets added in the VMware player. It just get stuck in the Microsoft loading logo and doesn’t proceed from there. Once you test it, please send me current link to download it from. Thanks again! Great work.

    • It’s the same link. I did download it again and tested. To be sure, you are downloading from the link in this blog:

      • Yahya Ehtisham says:

        Yes this is the link, ok so I am giving it another try. I have used the Google Backup and Sync client this time. I got the files on my computer. I have extracted them. I ran the .vmx file. It says:
        This virtual machine might have been moved or copied.

        In order to configure certain management and networking features, VMware Player needs to know if this virtual machine was moved or copied.

        If you don’t know, answer “I Copied It”.

        I selected “I Copied it”.

        Then it says:
        Cannot connect file “D:\SPSat\1.Downloads\0.
        WinServer2012R2DataCenterEval.ISO” as a CD-ROM image: Could not find the file Virtual device ‘sata0:1’ will start disconnected.

        After this a Windows logo continuously views loading.

      • The “cannot connect file” should not be a big deal. It’s basically saying the dvd attached to the van earlier was not found. I did realize one other thing though. Since your host has 16gb RAM, you may want to reduce the RAM allocation to the VM. It currently has 16GB ram assigned to it. I would reduce it to 12 or maybe even 10 GB. You can do that through the VM settings. Also, I haven’t tested this VM with The newer versions of VMWare workstation. So I would stick to VMWare player 3 to open the VM. Also, did you try safe mode? Sorry you are facing these issues but there seems to be something unique in your environment that’s causing this. You may also want to try this on another computer if you have access to one.

  18. Yahya Ehtisham says:

    That’s correct I used both ways to download the files, #1 using the Google Backup and Sync client and #2 by manually downloading it from the browser.

  19. Yahya Ehtisham says:

    I decreased the RAM size, it’s still the same. I guess it’s bad luck. I got another vm from a different website but its built using Windows 2008 RTM. It’s very slow too.

    • Sorry to hear that. I am assuming you have sufficient disk space to accommodate the VM files especially when the VM is running – that adds a couple of GBs to the disk space. Also, you may want to add process and file exceptions if you an antivirus running on your laptop. I also typically use SSDs for my VM files and that helps with the speed too

  20. John says:

    Do you have a single file download available, I seem to be having issues with the multiple downloads.

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