Mailbag: Should I re-install the versions of the .NET Framework in a specific order?


Question:

I used the instructions and the cleanup tool in this blog post to remove all versions of the .NET Framework from my computer, and now I want to re-install them.  Do I need to re-install them in any specific order?

Answer:

In general, the versions of the .NET Framework allow you to install in any order you choose.  However, I recommend installing in reverse order from newest to oldest, like this:

  1. .NET Framework 4
  2. .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (this will install the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 behind the scenes so you do not have to install them separately)
  3. .NET Framework 1.1 (if you have any programs installed that need it, this blog post can help you decide whether or not you need it)

Most programs do not specifically require the .NET Framework 1.0 so I didn’t list it above.  If you do need the .NET Framework 1.0, you will have to install it before installing the .NET Framework 4 because .NET Framework 4 setup blocks future installation attempts for the .NET Framework 1.0.  If you need the .NET Framework 1.0, I recommend installing in this order:

  1. .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (this will install the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 behind the scenes so you do not have to install them separately)
  2. .NET Framework 1.1 (if you have any programs installed that need it, this blog post can help you decide whether or not you need it)
  3. .NET Framework 1.0 (if you have any programs installed that need it, this blog post can help you decide whether or not you need it)
  4. .NET Framework 4

Even though it is a little counter-intuitive, there are a couple of reasons that I recommend installing in reverse order:

  • To help avoid some possible setup bugs in older versions of the .NET Framework – there are a couple of setup bugs (like this and this) in older versions of the .NET Framework that are fixed in service packs and later versions.  Installing a later version of the .NET Framework first will update some files that are shared by all versions of the .NET Framework, and that will allow you to avoid these bugs when installing older versions of the .NET Framework.
  • To minimize the number of separate downloads and installs – if you install the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 first, it will automatically install the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 for you, so you don’t need to install them separately.  Also, if you install older versions of the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 before installing the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, the 3.5 SP1 installer will automatically uninstall them as a part of its install process.  That means you will just end up wasting time if you install the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 before installing the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.

<update date=”1/31/2011″> Added a separate set of installation instructions for cases where the .NET Framework 1.0 is required because .NET Framework 4 setup prevents the .NET Framework 1.0 from being installed after it. </update>

 

Comments (21)

  1. kinokijuf says:

    .NET 1.0 doesnt intall if you have 4.0 installed. You must first install 1.0 then 4.0

  2. astebner says:

    Hi Kinokijuf – I'm sorry about that.  I originally thought that this order of install was blocked during the .NET Framework 4 beta but would be unblocked in the final release of the .NET Framework 4, but it looks like that isn't the case.  I'll update this blog post with this information.

  3. mazal says:

    mistake code  643 .cannot solve it.

  4. astebner says:

    Hi Mazal – Error code 643 is a generic error that means that setup failed, but it doesn't give any useful ideas about the cuase of the error.  Usually, I have to look at verbose setup log files to figure out the root cause for this type of error.  What exact product are you trying to install when you see this error?

  5. Lucy Prentice says:

    I've tryd this and many other things to get .NET framework 4 to work but it dont i want to play the sims medieval but it wont untill i install this help!!!!!!!!!!1

  6. astebner says:

    Hi Lucy Prentice – Are you seeing errors when trying to install the .NET Framework 4, or when trying to use a program that requires it?  If it is an install problem, can you please use the tool described at blogs.msdn.com/…/6458047.aspx to collect all of your .NET Framework setup log files, upload the file named %temp%vslogs.cab to a file server (such as http://skydrive.live.com) and then reply back here and post a link that I can use to download your log files and take a closer look?

  7. candee says:

    I keep receiving "required system software not installed.  Microsoft.NET framework version 2.0 is required to continue" help!

  8. astebner says:

    Hi Candee – What version of Windows do you have on your computer, and what program are you trying to run when you see this error message?

    If you see this error message when you boot your computer, then the information in the blog post at blogs.msdn.com/…/10288684.aspx might help you resolve it.

  9. Derek Smith says:

    Hi Aaron, can I just say a huge thank you for your blog. I have been trying to install Visual Studio .NET 2002 with SP1 (to support a very old application) without success, and received very little help from the installation log files as to what the problem was.  Following your blog notes, I temporarily removed .NET 4, which then allowed me to install the above product which requires .NET Framework 1.0.

  10. Shoryuken says:

    When I run dotnetfx35setup (online .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 setup) I get setup menu and it gives me "Setup error" during installation.

    When I run dotnetfx35 (offline.NET Framework 3.5 SP1 setup) it extracts files somewhere and then nothing happens.

  11. astebner says:

    Hi Shoryuken – Can you please use the tool described at blogs.msdn.com/…/6458047.aspx to collect all of your setup log files, upload the file named %temp%vslogs.cab that this tool will create to a file server (such as http://skydrive.live.com), and then reply back here and provide a link that I can use to download your log files and take a closer look?

  12. astebner says:

    Hi Shoryuken – I don't see any errors in your .NET Framework log files.  I don't recognize the Windows version number listed in your log files though, so that might have something to do with this issue.  What exact version of Windows do you have on your computer?

    It might help to try to use the tools and steps listed at blogs.msdn.com/…/8108332.aspx to fully remove all versions of the .NET Framework, then try again to install the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.

  13. Shoryuken says:

    Nah, I tried everything. Nothing works. I guess I'll just have to re-install windows which was last resort for me.

  14. Tudor says:

    I installed 4.0 and it worked but when i tryed to install .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 it says that i dont have NF 3.1 installed…. What should i do???

  15. Tudor says:

    *windows installer 3.1 not NF 3.1 sorry

  16. astebner says:

    Hi Tudor – I'd suggest trying to repair/re-install Windows Installer 4.5 to see if that resolves this issue.  You can find it at http://www.microsoft.com/…/details.aspx.

  17. Tudor says:

    Thanks it worked! Ur the best!

  18. Joseph says:

    (come from Part One)

    Finally, I got the big, logic and terrify decision: Uninstall them completely all the Framework packages installed on my desktop, and a fresh new reinstall. Prior, I did that with your Clean-UP tool, removing later by myself all their traces left out in the registry, root directory, system 32 folder, Installer folder, etc… Then, I downloaded carefully all the required .NET Frameworks packs and their KB updates for my XP sp3 X86 from Microsoft´s Download site… But now, the problem is the .NET installation itself… Well, maybe I had an out to date MSI Installer v3.01. I decided to upgrade it to the most recent available -for XP sp3 X86- MSI Installer v4.5 (with his corresponding registering via  msiexec /regserver), but with no results too.

    My plan was installing all the packages starting from .NET 1.0; .NET 1.0 sp3, .NET 1.1; .NET 1.1 sp1, .NET 3.5 and  finally .NET 4.0.

    But this time I had no luck too.  The .NET 1.0 installer seems to start fine, showing his UI and progress bar, but with apparent no reason, suddenly it stops his operation at the second installation steep, and maaaaany minutes later, finally the installation hangs…

    Repeating the procedure, and failing once…

    Because nowadays the .NET 1.0 is not really useful, i decided discard it, and start from scratch now installing only the .NET 3.5 first, and .NET 4.0 later… Well, definitely it seems the Frameworks refuses to install. Now, is the .NET 3.5 the stubborn one. Double click on the installer, and nothing happens, but unlike the former .NET 1.0 installation issue, this time any interface is showed, as a silent set-up procedure…

    Believe me Aaron; I´m tired… Have you an idea for this?

    Thanks in advance.

    PS: No virus, rootkits or malware allowed in my system. I did several scaners with several antivirus, i.e; Avast, Malwarebytes, Norman, Kaspersky, and SpyBoot S&D. Also, I ran CCleaner several times for delete any hide uninstalling traces and left-overs.    

  19. Joseph says:

    Hi Aaron.

    First of all, I apologize for my poor English.

    Some time ago, I became experiencing some suspicious random hangs and an abnormal behavior with some applications installed in my aged desktop (HP Pavilion, XP sp3, pentium 4 1.7 Ghz, 1.5 RAM, with .NET´s  v1.0, v1.1, v2.0 sp2 v3.0 sp2, v3.5 and v4.0 Client and Full)

    When I decided to investigate the reason for that issues with these programs (coded to run under framework 2) , the first of all was uninstall it, clean manually the registry find their hives and deleting all traces of them around, clean up all and defragmenting to re-install one at once with fresh new re-downloaded ones.

    Unfortunately, all these work and time was wasted because the problem still present. The applications continue hunging at any time, specialy when I clicked over whatever App´s GUI button for to save work, select tools, find files, etc. although in some rare cases, I can end my tasks. Also, due to the possibility that the mouse (a Logitech wireless) was the culprit for this scenario, I did a mouse driver update with no results.

    Later, after many hours of "googling" I found your blog, (and other interesting and helpful sites) I became to think in the Framework itself as the true reason for that annoying behavior, focusing all my suspects specially in the infamous mscoree.dll and her sisters…

    Was for that I decided do a try with your scan and repair .NET tools dowloading and run them, with no luck too.

    (End of Part One)

  20. astebner says:

    Hi Joseph – I'm sorry for the hassles that this issue is causing for you.  Can you please use the tool described at blogs.msdn.com/…/6458047.aspx to collect all of your .NET Framework setup log files, upload the file named %temp%vslogs.cab that this tool will create to a file server (such as http://skydrive.live.com), and then reply back here and provide a link that I can use to download your log files and take a closer look?