I recently heard from a customer who ran into a series of issues while attempting to deploy the .NET Framework 3.0 to the computers in their network. This customer was able to resolve each of the issues, but their experience revealed several inaccuracies in the .NET Framework 3.0 deployment documentation that make the deployment process more time consuming and difficult than it should be. I have reported these issues to the team that maintains this documentation, and they will hopefully update this documentation soon. In the meantime, I wanted to post more details about the documentation issues in case they are helpful to anyone who is attempting to deploy the .NET Framework 3.0.
Issue 1: Pre-release deployment documentation still available with outdated information
There are two different sets of instructions available on MSDN for deploying the .NET Framework 3.0. The most up-to-date instructions are located at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa964979.aspx and are titled Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Administrator Deployment Guide.
The other instructions are located at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa480217.aspx and are titled Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Deployment Readme. These instructions include download links for pre-release versions of the .NET Framework 3.0 and instructions that are only valid for pre-release versions of the .NET Framework 3.0. You should not use these instructions for .NET Framework 3.0 deployment scenarios now that the final version of the .NET Framework 3.0 has shipped.
Make sure that you only use the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Administrator Deployment Guide located at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa964979.aspx when preparing to deploy the .NET Framework 3.0.
Issue 2: Incorrect download links for the .NET Framework 3.0
The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Administrator Deployment Guide located at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa964979.aspx includes dead and incorrect links for downloading the .NET Framework 3.0 setup packages.
The correct links to use to download the full packages for the .NET Framework 3.0 are the following:
- .NET Framework 3.0 x86 - http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=70848
- .NET Framework 3.0 x64 - http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=70849
Issue 3: Incorrect information about OS platforms that require MSXML 6.0
The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Administrator Deployment Guide located at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa964979.aspx states that the Microsoft Core XML Services (MSXML) 6.0 package is a prerequisite on the Windows Server 2003 OS, but not on Windows XP. However, MSXML 6.0 is required on Windows XP and needs to be deployed as a prerequisite prior to deploying the .NET Framework 3.0 package. Make sure that you include MSXML 6.0 in the prerequisite installation steps on any Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 systems that you are planning to deploy the .NET Framework 3.0 to.
Issue 4: Incorrect command line to extract WCF package
The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Administrator Deployment Guide located at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa964979.aspx includes an incorrect command line to create an administrator install point for the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) component.
It incorrectly states to use the following command line:
wcf.exe /q /c:"msiexec /qb /a wcf.msi REBOOT=ReallySuppress TARGETDIR=c:\wcf"
However, wcf.exe does not support the /c command line switch. Instead you should use the following command line to create an administrator install point:
The /a switch will display a UI screen that allows you to select the location to use to create the administrator install point. The path that you specify will be used as the TARGETDIR value when setup creates the administrator install point for you.
If you need an automated way of creating the administrator install point for the WCF package, you can use a two step process where you extract the contents of the package, then run the command line to create the administrator install point. For example:
- wcf.exe /q /x:c:\wcftemp
- msiexec /a c:\wcftemp\wcf.msi REBOOT=ReallySuppress TARGETDIR=c:\wcf
Issue 5: RGBRAST component cannot be deployed correctly using Group Policy
The MSI for the Software rasterizer for the Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Software Development Kit (SDK) package cannot be installed using Group Policy. The errors in this scenario have been documented in this MSDN forum post and in one of my previous blog posts.
This package is only required on Windows XP, and it installs one file to %windir%\system32 that does not get uninstalled. As a result, you can workaround this problem by manually deploying the file included in this MSI (named rgb9rast_2.dll) to %windir%\system32 on any Windows XP systems that you plan to deploy the .NET Framework 3.0 to.