Hang whilst configuring farm in SharePoint 2013

I’ve recently been getting a new production SharePoint 2013 farm set up at work. The following cost me a couple of hours so I thought I’d share in case it saves anyone else some time.


  • Provisioning a new Central Admin Site either via Powershell or the SharePoint Configuration Wizard seems to hang. The SharePoint Configuration Wizard will tend to hang at Step 3
  • There are no obvious error messages but nothing seems to be happening – low CPU/Mem/Disk usage on all servers
  • You may find the following placed in the SharePoint logs over and over again:
    • “Not running in high contrast, so we will paint the background with our trademarked image”

This was actually being caused by the Behavior Monitoring feature in our Sophos Antivirus. We had followed the MS guidance on excluding various directories from the virus scans and thought we had it covered. Not so – Sophos was silently crippling performance through its behavior analysis module.

I’m not certain but there was some anecdotal evidence from watching some SQL Server activity that Sophos was limiting the nuymber of simultaneous connections the SharePoint config wizard was being allowed to open at one time.

With Sophos on, only 2 -3 queries would complete per second on the SQL Server. With Sophos uninstalled performance jumped to 10s/100s queries per second. If you are finding similar behaviour where query throughput during large portions of the install is in the toilet, have a look into any antivirus or threat prevention tools you might be running

We havent yet experimented with just disabling the behaviour analysis feature rather than fully uninstalling Sophos so far


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