Installing SharePoint Foundation 2010 Stand-alone

SharePoint Foundation 2010 is an incredible product.  Not only does it provide robust collaboration capabilities, web site management tools, security management tools, and data integration tools, but SharePoint Foundation 2010 is free.  Foundation 2010 is available to download from Microsoft today and can be used for any type of site, internal or external.  I’ll be covering quite a bit about SharePoint Foundation 2010, so it makes sense to start with some simple install notes and screens that will guide absolutely anyone through a basic install.

When you first launch the SharePoint Foundation 2010 installer, you are presented with a dialog to help you with a little guidance and links to the install guide, upgrade guide, and the hardware and software requirements.  Assuming that everything is ready to go, you can install the software prerequisites.



Once the prerequisites are installed, then you can click Install SharePoint Foundation.


It is important to note the type of installation that you are performing.

Stand-alone will install all components on this single computer.  Stand-alone will also automatically install and configure an instance of SQL Server Express 2008.  This is a very simple installation process, but has some limitations.

A Stand-alone installation configures a single computer with all the necessary files and settings to create a fully functioning SharePoint implementation, including Web server, application server, and database.   SQL Server Express 2008 is installed and configured to provide data storage capability.   SQL Server Express is based on the Microsoft SQL Server architecture, but it has the following limitations:

  • Lack of enterprise features support.
  • Limited to one CPU.
  • One gigabyte (GB) memory limit for the buffer pool.
  • Databases have a 4 GB maximum size.
  • SQL Server Express will not support a server farm configuration or a multi-processor computer.

In addition to the SQL Server Express limitations, the inherit SharePoint Foundation Stand-alone configuration limitation is that you cannot add servers to create a SharePoint farm.  If you need to add another WFE later – you won’t be able to.  If you anticipate the need to scale up to a larger or more robust installation, choose the Complete option.


You can perform a stand-alone installation either by selecting Stand-alone on this screen or by clicking Standalone on the previous screen. The difference is that by clicking Stand-alone on this screen, you can choose the installation path. After this screen, both options follow the same steps and result in the same outcome.


If you choose the Complete install, SharePoint Foundation 2010 will install all components. You can add additional servers to form a SharePoint farm, including load balanced WFE servers.  The Complete option installs a Web server and configures the computer to provide application server functionality.   The SharePoint Foundation 2010 Complete install option does not provide database functionality.   You must provide connectivity and credentials settings to connect to an existing SQL Server instance.   It is important to note that you can download and use SQL Server Express 2008 for free.  You can even install it on the same computer.  Although SQL Server can be installed on this same computer, it is recommended that you install SQL Server on a separate computer.

There are other install options.  You can also install SharePoint Foundation 2010 for a front-end Web server rather than Complete, but you must use the command line to do so.

If you receive an error message or encounter a problem, visit The Microsoft Office 2010 Setup Resource Center for troubleshooting information and how to contact Microsoft Product Support.


If you do not change the default installation directory, the default installation directory is located at:  C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\Data

I typically recommend leaving the installation directory in the default location.  While some IT shops have standard operating procedures that all installations must be on non-OS drives (D Drive), I’ve found it easier to troubleshoot new environments if I don’t have to hunt around for files.  The next SharePoint consultant that you bring in will immediately first look in the Hive (typically the default install directory) for SharePoint related info.

After you select the path, the installation wizard will begin a progress bar as it installs the environment.


After the successful installation, you will be prompted to run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard.  Typically, you can leave the check box selected and immediately run the configuration wizard.  There are instances where you may want to delay running the configuration wizard.  If you are planning to run the Office Web Apps (which will run on SharePoint Foundation 2010), it is easier to install the necessary files at this point (after SharePoint install but prior to running the configuration wizard).  If you first run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard, then you will be configuration the Office Web Applications via PowerShell scripts.




If you opted for a SharePoint Foundation 2010 Stand-alone Server install, then the SharePoint 2010 Products Configuration Wizard will immediately begin the ten step configuration process.


If you opted for an option other than a stand-alone server install, then you will be prompted to either Connect to an existing Server Farm or Create a new Server Farm.  You will then be prompted to supply database connection credentials with appropriate permissions on the SQL instance that you will be using.



That’s it!  After you’ve let the wizard run through, you should automatically be directed to a default SharePoint Foundation 2010 site that looks a lot like the screen below.


By John Stover

John Stover Bio.


  1. Thank you very much for the article. Busy installing it now for a client. I think Sharepoint in general is a super product.

  2. When you already have a Sharepoint 2010 up and running as standalone, is it possible to connect it to a server farm that exists?

  3. Are you looking to ‘merge’ the two farms and keep sites and content that are on both? You can move the content databases from the standalone to the existing farm, attach to the content databases in the existing farm, and then re-purpose the standalone machine to be part of the existing farm. There is no way I have heard of to add the standalone to an existing farm and keep the content…

  4. i have setup a sharepoint 2010 enterprise with standalone mode. When I go to different computer and hit the sharepoint site, it prompt me to login, then after entering my username and passsword for 3 times, it goes to a blank page. my question: is that weird or just limitation of standalone mode? would have worked if it was in farm mode? Thanks

  5. John, i have setup enterprise – standalone mode on my windows 7. Now from my different computer, can’t hit it. It prompts me to login (3 times) then blank page. Is that a limitation for standalone mode vs. farm mode?

  6. Hello John,

    I have one query regarding setup of sharepoint foundation.i am having 4 different domains having different AD for them. Now if am going to create a new domain for sharepoint will the users in other domain can access the SP foundation site..Please share the way in which we can achieve this.

  7. Hi John,

    Thanks for the super tutorial. I’m very new to the SharePoint world. I’m currently installing SharePoint foundation in Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard. Whilst running the setup file after accepting the license agreement, i do not get the option of selecting standalone or server farm. The installation jumps straight into the page to select the installation location. I realized it goes on to do a a server farm installation hence requiring a database server, database name, database username and database password – all which i do not know how to setup. Please could you know why the standalone option doesn’t exist/is skipped by the installer. I have already re-downloaded the .exe file severally to no success. I’d really appreciate any help as i have been stuck on this for 2 weeks.

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