Topology Builder MMC Crash

With my most recent Lync project I found Topology Builder crashing when I went to try and publish a brand new topology. I started with the basics and verified I had all the correct group membership for my account and that the SQL server was accessible. The server I was publishing from was 2008 R2 SP1 with all the latest patches, but even after a reboot I would get the following MMC crash as soon as I clicked on publish:

Description:
Stopped working

Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
Application Name: mmc.exe
Application Version: 6.1.7600.16385
Application Timestamp: 4a5bc808
Fault Module Name: KERNELBASE.dll
Fault Module Version: 6.1.7601.17651
Fault Module Timestamp: 4e21213c
Exception Code: e053534f
Exception Offset: 000000000000cacd
OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.272.7
Locale ID: 1033

In order to troubleshoot errors like this further you can dig in to the log files Topology Builder generates which can be found in the %APPDATA%\Local\Temp folder. I found the real issue by sorting the files in this folder by last modified date which pointed to the Create-CentralMgmtStore log file. Opening this up I noticed the following section:

Installed SQL Server 2005 Backward Compatibility version is 8.05.2312
Connecting to SQL Server on <SQL Server FQDN>
SqlMajorVersion : 10
SqlMinorVersion : 0
SqlBuildNo : 4000
SQL version is acceptable: 10.0.4000.0
Default database data file path is M:
Default database log file path is L:
Error: dbpath must be a fully qualified drive and path, ie c:\sql\db

Notice the final line which points out the database path requires a drive and path. I had been selecting the option to use the SQL database default paths for the CMS and FE pool databases, but these DB paths were simply a drive letter. Since this is considered invalid for Lync I modified the SQL instance default paths to include a folder after the drive letter.

After this change the topology published just fine.