I have just set up a VM for Windows Server 2008 R2 and want to install Microsoft CRM 2011 to play around with it. CRM 2011 seems to require Active Directory to be configured and running on the server.

I've never gotten involved with Active Directory and I know that I need to install it and get it going for the CRM 2011 to continue. Does anyone have any quick pointers and/or resources for someone with no Active Directory experience, so that I can get CRM 2011 installed?

UPDATE 03/22/11: Thank you for the answers and suggestions. After weeks of trying to get Windows 2008 Server R2 installed, and Active Directory installed WITHOUT a myriad of warnings and errors in the event log, which have lead me on nothing but chasing down error after error with the install, I have given up. Its quite sad that one can not install a fresh OS from DVD media downloaded from MSDN without tons of errors and warnings and then to introduce Active Directory which adds even more errors and warnings. Very sad that Microsoft releases these products knowing full well that they do not integrate well. I am not a network guy or an "OS guy" but I have been developing software for decades and to not be able to install an OS so that I can begin development is just boggling my mind. Things have become way too complicated for our own good.

  • Be aware to install and configure the AD service BEFORE CRM2011, otherwise you won't be able to access from network.
    – Ice
    Mar 6, 2011 at 15:01
  • CRM 2011 would not allow me to continue without the existence of AD being in place, so that wasnt an issue. It literally told me to stop and install AD.
    – Taptronic
    Mar 6, 2011 at 17:12
  • I'm sorry that this didn't work out for you, but this isn't rocket surgery. I can guarantee that installing AD on Windows is as easy as @ajdecon outlined for you. Why don't you post some new questions with the problems that you ran into? I can also guarantee that Windows Server and AD are quite well-integrated.
    – mfinni
    Mar 23, 2011 at 13:21
  • @mfinni: Thanks for the reply. I dont think its too difficult either. I understand the terminology even though AD is new to me. I've been around pre Windows and so I came up through the development ranks with all of the older versions but at some point in the past decade I veered away from the OS side of things and concentrated on development only. The "server" was always set up and running. Maybe I will formulate a new question on SF and see if I can get some assistance. I would really like to get this up and running so I can test out some stuff. Thanks again!!
    – Taptronic
    Mar 23, 2011 at 15:17
  • 1
    Good luck man, enjoy the learning. Being a good programmer has no overlap with being a good sysadmin. Although it does mean that, usually, a good programmer can become a good sysadmin because a lot of the mental skills and traits are the same, but it's a whole body of knowledge that you don't have. Don't assume that, because you're a good mechanic, you're automatically a good racecar driver.
    – mfinni
    Mar 23, 2011 at 15:45

2 Answers 2


I don't have any experience with CRM 2011, but if all you need is an Active Directory domain controller up and running in your VM, the short answer is: add the "Active Directory Domain Services" role to your server, then run dcpromo from the command line and follow the wizard to create a new domain. For creating a new domain with no migration or legacy structure, this is pretty painless.

A couple of useful reference links:


It's listed in the CRM 2011 Installing Guide (I'm copying it from there for you convenience) Source:http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=200050

Configure Active Directory by creating an account to run the CRMAppPool service and use a Service Principal Name (SPN). This is required when you run IIS 7.0 in a clustered or a network load-balanced environment. The SPN uniquely identifies an instance of a running service. Active Directory uses the SPN for mutual authentication of a service instance, which enables the service instance to correctly authenticate when a user attempts to access resources that are located on other domain-member computers. For more information, see the MSDN article Service Principal Names (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=120954). To create SPNs, you use ADSI Edit that is included with Windows Server. You can use this Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in tool to enter SPN values for a specific computer or user account. Important If IIS is configured to use kernel mode authentication, you must configure IIS to use the Web application pool’s identity for internal virtual directories used by Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You can do so by modifying the windowsAuthentication element for the default Web site on the Web site where Microsoft Dynamics CRM is installed. For details about the windowsAuthentication element, see the IIS 7.0: windowsAuthentication Element (IIS Settings Schema) (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=202880) MSDN article. To configure useAppPoolCredentials using the ApplicationHost.config file open the ApplicationHost.config file in a text editor. By default, this file is located at %windir%\system32\inetsrv\config. For all folders under the Default Web Site location path, set the value of the WindowsAuthentication element and the useAppPoolCredentials attribute to true. For example: To configure the SPN, follow these steps:

  1. Open Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. Create a user account to run the CRMAppPool application pool in IIS. To do this, we recommend that you use a name that describes what the account will be used for, such as CRMService. Important This user account must be member of the Domain Users group.
  3. Close Active Directory Users and Computers
  4. Click start, type adsi edit, and then press ENTER
  5. Expand the domain, expand the node that begins with DC=, and then expand CN=Users.
  6. Right-click the user account that you created in the previous step, such as CRMService, and then click Properties.
  7. In the Attribute list, scroll down, select servicePrincipalName, and then click Edit.
  8. In the Value to add box, type HTTP/CRMNLBName.FQDN and then click Add. Where, CRMNLBName, is the NLB cluster name and FQDN is the fully qualified domain name. For example, the CRMNLBName.FQDN name might be CRMNLBCluster.contoso.com. Important Note this NLB cluster name. You must use this name in the following step when you create the NLB cluster and when you update the configuration database. Tip Use the setspn command line tool to determine if the SPN is already in use.
  9. In the Value to add box, type HTTP/CRMNLBName and then click Add
  10. Click OK two times
  11. Close ADSI Edit.

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