SharePoint 2010 Installation Error – The specified user is a local account. Local accounts should only be used in stand alone mode.

So, you’re installing the beta (thanks for redefining that one Google…) and you’re trying to do a complete installation on a single server using a non-domain account. (As most have done because we’re using VirtualBox local VMs which are not connected to any domain…) All of a sudden, something most of us can do in our sleep with 2007 now suddenly gets complicated as it requires the use of domain accounts instead of local machine accounts.

Specifically you get something like this: SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard version 14.0.4514.1009. Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 2010. All rights reserved.
The specified user NNNNN is a local account.
Local accounts should only be used in stand alone mode.

Well don’t fret as Windows PowerShell is your savior here, as New-SPConfigurationDatabase allows you to specify non domain credentials for the farm.
To execute this command launch the SharePoint 2010 management shell (in the same location as the central admin link), type the New-SPConfigurationDatabase and press enter. It will ask you for stuff such as the database name e.g. “SharePoint2010_Config”, user, password etc. but overall is easy and interactive.

After it has completed you will find your brand new configuration database sitting next to an admin content database. (The fact that the GUID is existent almost feels like punishment.)

Just make sure you have SQL 2008 updated to at least CU2…

Note that often no matter how many CUs you apply to the RTM, if 2010 says it needs SP1, then it will continue to fail. You simply have to install up to SP1 (10.00.2531) and then install the SP1 CUs to roll forward the version to 10.00.2714. So you’re really going to be looking to run SQLServer2008-KB975977-x64.exe

Build numbers are structured like:

  • 1xxx is RTM
  • 2xxx is SP1
  • 3xxx will be SP2

and so on.

Useful reading: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee554869%28office.14%29.aspx