For several reasons I have recently been playing around with installing PowerPivot for SharePoint on various configurations. See an earlier post about taking PowerPivot off the network – learned that one the hard way when I took my laptop to the SharePoint Conference this month. Well, I ran into another one – installing PowerPivot on a domain controller. This one I don’t have 100% figured out, but I have a good workaround – and several people have been reporting this problem, so I decided to write up the solution/workaround in a posting.
How to detect that this problem is occurring for you: Setup fails on a domain controller and when you look at the GEMINIBI instance, you will see that it is stopped and the service account is set to LOCAL SERVICE.
Here is what will happen if you install PowerPivot (NEW FARM, for me) on a domain controller. In general the installation goes a well all of the way until the end when it will fail with a timeout. The install timed out because one of the steps in the farm configuration sequence changed the service account for the SSAS instance from the farm admin specified during the installation to LOCAL SERVICE. SSAS cannot run with those credentials and it goes into a stopped state and cannot restart. This causes a timeout during the installation.
The workaround (and as you will see in a minute, this is a pure hack) is to:
- Start your installation and monitor the state of the SSAS GEMINI BI instance as it is installed on your system using the Services Manager.
- Every couple of seconds look at its state. All of the way at the end of the installation, you will see the service account gets changed to LOCAL SERVICE and the service goes into a stopped state.
- Quick like a bunny (I cannot believe that I am actually typing that phrase in a technical blog), jump in and change the service account back to the one you specified during installation and manually re-start the service. I think you have a several minutes to do this, but I checked every 5-7 seconds and got to it early so I don’t know what the longer time out is. After you restart the service, setup will finish OK.
As I said, this is pure workaround / hack — but it works for me.