VS bootstrapper packages for .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 available for download

Visual Studio 2008 SP1 shipped with a bootstrapper package for the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.  This bootstrapper package can be used with ClickOnce and setup/deployment projects to install the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 as a prerequisite before installing your application.

This past week, new VS 2008 bootstrapper packages were released for the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and the .NET Framework 3.0 SP2.  The 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 versions of the .NET Framework are installed as prerequisites during .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 setup, but they were not previously available as standalone bootstrapper packages.

Here are some links for the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 bootstrapper packages for VS 2008:

There are a few caveats to keep in mind when using the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 bootstrapper packages:

  • They only support installing on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.  You cannot use them on Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008.  If you need to install the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 or 3.0 SP2 on Vista or Windows Server 2008 as a part of your application installer, you should use the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 bootstrapper package that is included with Visual Studio 2008 SP1 instead.
  • They do not support the "Download components from the component vendor's web site." option.  This means when you build your installer and include one of these bootstrapper packages, you will see build warnings about the HomeSite attribute, and the full contents of the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and/or 3.0 SP2 installers will be included next to setup.exe in your build output.  If you would prefer to have download-on-demand functionality for the .NET Framework in your setup, then you should use the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 bootstrapper package instead.
Comments (11)
  1. 真见 says:


  2. This week, new Visual Studio 2008 bootstrapper packages were released for the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2

  3. Hifni says:

    Will this work in VS2005?

  4. Hi Hifni – The bootstrapper packages available via the links in this blog post work with VS 2008, not VS 2005.  You could probably download and extract the packages, make changes necessary to the data files and copy them to the VS 2005 bootstrapper folder to make them work with VS 2005 if you needed to, but this is not officially supported.

  5. Umesh says:

    I am having trouble setting up bootstrapper for 3.5SP1.

    I went through all the instructions shipped with Visual Studio 2008 SP1. I modified the product.xml downloaded the required redistributable and extracted the required subdirectories to create the package. There may be a problem with the setup.bin as there is always a build error stating the package could not be found. However the Package 3.1 WIndows Installer which is a prerequisite is always found.

    I would like to ship Dot Net 3.5 SP1 as downloadable along with our product. Could you provide a correct link for bootstrapping this. My installer is written in WIX and uses Visual Studio 2010 on a Windows 7, x64 machine. I want to support multiple languages (At least, English and Spanish to start with but to include German, French and Italian also). Thanks.

    If 3.5 SP1 cannot be bootstrapped I need to at least support Dotnet 2.0 SP2. Microosft's redistributable for DotNetSp2 is however only used on XP and 2003. Do I then need an additional program that will prevent the setup running on Vista and Windows 7. Or does the bootstrapper have an option to run only on XP and 2003 Server?

  6. Hi Umesh – The only bootstrapper package that I know of for the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 is the one that comes with VS 2008 SP1, and it requires that you use the "download from web site" option when you build your setup.exe.  If you want to ship the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 with your application installer, you'll need to create your own .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 bootstrapper package using the dotnetfx35.exe full install package available for download at download.microsoft.com/…/dotnetfx35.exe.

    If you're having trouble getting the syntax right for your bootstrapper package, I'd suggeest doing one of the following:

    1.  Try the Bootstrapper Manifest Generator tool from code.msdn.microsoft.com/bmg

    2.  Post a question on the ClickOnce and Setup/Deployment Project forum at social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/threads

    Hopefully this helps!

  7. Umesh says:

    "The only bootstrapper package that I know of for the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 is the one that comes with VS 2008 SP1, and it requires that you use the "download from web site" option when you build your setup.exe."

    I want to install dotnet by downloading from the net. I DO NOT want to ship it with our product.

    What should be the necessary attributes and what URLs need to be used  for that in the GenerateBootstrapper task?

    Is the Components URL correct over here? My product is meant for XP , Vista and Windows 7 can I assume that Windows Installer 3.1 will be already present? If I need to Bootstrap that then how do I give different download URL for it? Generate Boostrapper does not seem to have a way of distinguishing downloading different components from different sites. Should there be multiple GenerateBootstrapper elements?

    Here is the relevant extract from Wixproject.

    <GenerateBootstrapper ApplicationFile="$(TargetFileName)"

         ApplicationName="FooBar Application"      BootstrapperItems="@(BootstrapperFile)"





         Path="C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SDKsWindowsv6.0ABootstrapper"/>

  8. Hi Umesh – VS 2008 SP1 ships with a VS Bootstrapper package that allows you to include the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 as a prerequisite.  You should be able to just use that as long as you're OK with having it download the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 from the internet.  If you have VS 2008 SP1 installed, you can right-click on your application in the VS solution explorer, choose Properties, then the Publish tab, then click the Prerequisites button and choose the item named .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 to include this package as a prerequisite for your application installer.  VS 2010 also ships with a VS Bootstrapper package for the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 if you are using VS 2010 to build your application + installer.

  9. Umesh says:

    It is a WIX setup project. It consists of several apps and merge modules. Some of these are built in Visual Studio 2005. Others in Visual Studio 2010. The final Installer is built in a Visual Studio 2010 solution which has several projects. Installer is just one of the projects which depends upon all others.

    Perhaps I am missing something.

    Where should I be right clicking to create a bootstrapper?


  10. Hi Umesh – I thought you were working with a VS 2010 application project (such as a C# windows forms application) and trying to add a VS Bootstrapper package to it.  If you're working with a WiX project, you'll need to use steps like the ones at blogs.msdn.com/…/9132456.aspx to create a VS Bootstrapper package that can be used to install prerequisites and then run the MSI that you build with WiX.

  11. mdb-blog says:

    Here is an example for Bootstrapper Package – Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable

    under Visual Studio 2010


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