Fun with Installing a Dual Server Team Foundation Server

I am convinced that the TFS install has an hidden registry entry that counts the number of time you try to install it, only allowing success after some random number has been reached. The number of blog post you see around the ‘ I tried and tried and on my X attempt it work”.

The problem  is you seem to have to have all your ‘ ducks in a row’ else there is no hope of success. This seems a common pattern on many current Microsoft installation process, they are large and monolithic with little progress information and if you go get a failure you really need to dig into long log files and then flatten the boxes before trying again.

The key points I have learnt over the past two days:

  • Follow the walkthrough documents on the product DVD religiously
  • Make sure there are no domain/group policies you have forgotten on default user accounts
  • If the reporting service configuration stage fails make sure you drop the DB files and that the underlying DB and log files are deleted (the error message you get of the files are present is less than helpful being about incorrect passwords)
  • I suggest building on a VPC so it is easy to roll back each stage of you have a problem then move the image via SYSPREP to real hardware

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