I have read some of the similar questions but I haven't found a solution which meets my requirements. I don't want to use the SharePoint 2010 Easy Setup Script. It downloads trial version of software. Still.. I tried it and it didn't find the Win7_Ultimate_x64.vhd file and the script didn't show where it downloads it and I stopped pursuing this route.

I want to develop against Sharepoint 2010 but I only have a single standalone Windows 7 64 bit machine with 16G ram. Installed on the machine are Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, SQL Server 2008 (and SQL Server 2011 Dinali CTP) & Office 2010. I have ISO's for Windows 2008 R2 and Sharepoint 2010 Server. I would like to install Windows 2008, SQL Server 2008 & Office 2010 and all the requisites inside a VM on the Win7 box. It seems I can use either VMWare or VirtualBox.

Question: Can I use VS2010 on the Win7 box to talk & connect to Sharepoint 2010 in the VM, in effect simulating a two machine scenario?

Or if I install a dual OS setup with Windows 2008 Server, are there instructions for a standalone machine setup?

3 Answers 3


Developing for SharePoint for SharePoint with VS2010 requires running it on a machine with SharePoint installed locally. I would not recommend doing the Windows 7 install of SharePoint as you do not get full functionality of the Server edition with a Windows 7 install.

Sounds like you have the RAM to run a virtual machine. I would recommend doing a Windows 2008 Server install on VirtualBox or VMWare - both can work fine, and then setup SQL, SharePoint, Office and VS2010 on the virtual machine. This also gives you the benefit of being able to take snapshots.

  • I think I will install Windows 2008 on the same in a separate partition. Do you know of instructions to install everything on the same machine? Commented Jul 31, 2011 at 16:23
  • There are a lot of blog posts and videos on installing SharePoiint development environments. Here is a simple post on installing a stand-alone with local accounts. sharepoint.microsoft.com/blogs/fromthefield/Lists/Posts/… Commented Jul 31, 2011 at 16:36
  • Even when doing a stand-alone install, you have a few choices you still have to make: a) are you going to run a Domain Controller or use local windows accounts, b) are you going to do a stand-alone install, or do a full-install, c) do you want SQL Express or a full edition of SQL Server. Commented Jul 31, 2011 at 16:37

There are several options for setting SharePoint development machine.

A. If you have enough RAM (and you have it) you can run it on virtual machine (VMWare is best option) with Windows Server 2008, VS 2010 and SharePoint installed on it.

Pros: You can easily move your virtual machine because virtual machine is not hardware based in this scenario

Cons: You loose some RAM (1-2GB) and some processor power (<20%) because main OS needs it to run

B. You can setup dual boot (Win7 as primary, Win Server as secondary) or even multi boot machine by using Boot Form VHD feature of Win 7. This is my favorite option. Here is link on TechNet to get you started: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/edge/ff944958

Pros: You are using full power of your hardware (well 98% of it)

Cons: VHD installation is hardware specific so you cannot move your virtual machine to different hardware. Also you will more likely have trouble finding some drivers for your hardware to run (eg. I cannot find bluetooth drivers for my VHD machine)

C. Installing SharePoint on Win 7 is also an option. Not recommend one but colleague of mine insisted on it and his machine (after few issues) is now running smoothly: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee554869.aspx

Pros: No additional OS installations, can be solution if you are also working on non SharePoint development

Cons: Not easy to setup (lost of different 'small' problems) and generally you are developing on different OS so you cannot always be 100% sure if your solution will work on some 'real' SharePoint server

  • Ehm... I am not repeating what others already said, I am just a very slow writer... Commented Jul 31, 2011 at 12:19

I have used SharePoint installed directly on a 64-bit Windows 7 laptop for development without problems. Admittedly it is not the easiest thing to set up, but once it's done it seems to be a perfectly satisfactory solution. Having said that, it is preferable to install on Windows Server, all other things being equal.

In your case you have lots of RAM so I would say the VM with Windows Server 2008 and SP2010 is the best option. You will need to install VS2010 in the VM and do your development "inside" the VM.

I wouldn't bother with the dual-boot solution.

  • Why not a dual boot? I will have total separation. The Sharepoint install may pollute, ruin, cause problems to my existing VS install. Commented Jul 31, 2011 at 16:25
  • Why bother? You have enough RAM to have a good amount of memory for your VM and plenty left for the host OS. Do you really want to keep shutting down your Server OS every time you need to use Windows 7? SharePoint will be in your VM which you will be able to roll back. And I don't see why SharePoint would ruin your VS install - more likely the other way round :-)
    – SPDoctor
    Commented Jul 31, 2011 at 19:46
  • Because Windows 7 & the VM take resources. Sharepoint will run faster even it gets all the hardware resources. I can take images of the partition so I can rollback. It could ruin VS because it will add stuff to it. Don't understand your last statement. Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 4:36

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