Tim Elhajj

Off the Microsoft stack!


TF18017 or TF250044: having problems with the TFS project creation wizard?

Have you ever had this happen to you? You installed TFS with SharePoint for a colleague. You make sure TFS is running, make sure SharePoint is up. You add your colleague to the local administrators group. You add her to the TFS admin tool. You write her an email telling her where to find her fresh installation of TFS and you’re just about to pat yourself on the back, when you get a message from her saying she can’t run PCW. She’s getting an error message that looks like this one:

If you’re anything like me, you sigh mightily.

Why can’t she (user2) run PCW? What is this about!? I already added her to the Farm Admin group (see below), but that didn’t help with this error.

It’s a permission issue, but it’s not Farm Admin permissions that’s needed. The solution is to add the user in question to the SharePoint site at the collection level. So, for example, navigate here on the SharePoint site (not the SharePoint administration site, but the site where the portal for the team project is created):


Here is what I did:

1) Someone who already has permissions has to go to /sites/defaultcollection/default.aspx and share the site with the new user.

2) Once you add the user, go to site permissions (click the wheel) and then give the user “full control.”

If you click the name, it lights up Edit User Permissions and you can click Full control on the next screen.

And Walla!

Redmond\user2 can now run PCW with success!


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How to restart Win8 from a remote session

This used to be so easy.

Two options I know of for restarting the server (Win8 or WS2012) in a remote session.

1) Get to the desktop and then use Alt + F4 to get this:

Make sure you minimize anything else running on the desktop, or you’ll have to shut down each app individually, possibly muttering like a grizzled old man trying not to step on any of his cats on the way to the bathroom.

2) The other thing you can do is a the “shutdown /i” command from an admin CMD prompt.


Install Team Foundation Server 2012: the ebook version

Following up on the success of the upgrade ebook, I published a guide for installation of TFS 2012 on Smashwords.

Install Team Foundation Server 2012: the ultimate installation guide covers the procedures for installing TFS 2012 with all the latest Microsoft products, including SharePoint Server 2013 on Windows Server 2012. This is useful because Microsoft released new versions of all its flagship server products shortly after TFS 2012 came out. As is often the case, there were compatibility issues. The version of SharePoint that came with TFS 2012 wouldn’t install on the new version of Windows Server. This book walks you through all those manual steps.

Get it now, free from Smashwords.

It comes in a variety of formats, including all the latest e-book formats (mobi, epub), as well as PDF and even RTF. There is also an HTML viewer at Smashwords, if you just want to check it out. As with the upgrade ebook, Smashwords will distribute this to all its affiliate vendor sites, including B&N’s nook store, Apples iTunes book store, Kobo, Diesel and the affiliated libraries. Soon I’ll publish it at the Amazon Kindle store for a nominal fee and immediately request a price match of free (Amazon won’t let me set it to free manually). If you want a bargain, you should wait for the price match to purchase from Amazon.

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Add an account to the list of service accounts when adding an application tier to a TFS deployment


You’re adding an application tier to your TFS deployment and when you get to step 5, the step for selecting the TFS service account, you don’t see the account you want to use listed. What do you do?

I saw this question come up in the customer feedback recently and wanted to take a stab at answering it here. While it’s not clear to me where this list of accounts comes from, I know how to add an account to it.

Try this:

Use the TFSconfig command to add a user from either the existing AT or the soon to be configured AT and you will be able to use that account for configuring the new AT. If you run TFSconfig from the AT that is not yet configured, you will need to supply the /sqlinstance and /databasename parameters.

tfsconfig accounts /add /AccountType:ApplicationTier
 /Account:DOMAIN\uetfsrpt /password:*******

Once you run the command, it will look like this:


If you still have the Application Tier Only wizard running, cancel out and restart it. When you get to the Application Tier Settings page, the account you added with TFSconfig will be listed.


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Install TFS 2012 using a command line tool


Would you like to install TFS 2012 without using the wizards for initial configuration? Here is a white paper that describes how to accomplish this very task.

From the abstract of Unattended Installation of TFS 2012:

This paper provides information about command-line, or unattended, installation for Team Foundation Server 2012. It guides TFS administrators through the process of pre-setting and deploying a configuration of TFS. The paper assumes that the reader is familiar with the basics of the TFS configuration process.

Good luck!