SharePoint 2007 allowed for a complete farm installation of SharePoint without the need of a domain.  It would have been nice to carry this on with SharePoint 2010, but unfortunately Microsoft decided this wasn’t important and instead provided a method to perform a “stand-alone” install.  The stand-alone install is great for business users and demonstrators who are trying to show off products to prospective clients as a fairly high-end laptop is all you need (thus you don’t really want a domain as it will be used in a mobile setting).  This solution does not work well for developers and\or other users that would like to use a full SQL 2008 install instead of SQL Express that is used in a stand-alone install.

Enter PowerShell.  With PowerShell you can configure SharePoint to install a full version, connect to a full version of SQL 2008 and create content DBs all without the use of domain accounts.  This is extremely useful for developers who travel with laptops and don’t want to have to worry about domains.  Be warned though, some products like PowerPivot do require domain accounts (no workaround that I am aware of) and if needed pretty much make what I am about to show you pretty useless.

There are some preparation steps you need to do first (you don’t have to do this, but I found it saved some headaches later).

  1. On your PC\Laptop\VM create an account that you wish to use to connect to the SQL DB.  Basically make this your farm account.
  2. Make this account an administrator on the server you are installing SQL and SP on.

Setup instructions:

  1. Create a SharePoint Farm account (ex. SP_Farm).  This account does not require administration rights to the system.
  2. Logged on with an administrator account, install SharePoint Server.
  3. When prompted for type of installation, select Server Farmimage
  4. When the installation is complete remove the check mark for: Run the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard now.
  5. Next log out of the system.  And login with the administrator password you created in the preparation steps.
  6. Click on Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products.  Right click on SharePoint 2010 Management Shell and select Run as administrator.
  7. This is where PowerShell allows you to setup SharePoint without a domain account.  Type in the following command within the PowerShell command window you opened up:

[code language=”powershell”]<br /><br />New-SPConfigurationDatabase -DatabaseServer "ComputerName" -DatabaseName "instance\DBname" -FarmCredentials "computername\farm account" -Passphrase "passphrase used to connect SP servers to the farm"<br /><br />[/code]

Once that command is complete you can now complete the SharePoint 2010 Products Configuration Wizard.