Installing (and uninstalling) .NET Framework 2.0 SP1

An interesting point about the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 is that it is both a service pack AND a full install.

By that I mean if you already have .NET 2.0 installed then it gets updated. If you haven't, it doesn't matter, it gets installed anyway.

The "service pack" download (NetFx20SP1_x86.exe) is only a couple of Mb bigger than the original 2.0 package.


Before you install .NET 2.0 SP1 your add/remove programs (ARM) probably looks something like mine:

20 MS07-040

(you only see the updates if you have "show updates" checked:

show-updates )


The EULA dialog confirms (helpfully) that you are indeed installing SP1:



After you've installed .NET 2.0 SP1, ARM looks somewhat different:



All these separate "updates" that are listed are part and parcel of the .NET Framework and cannot actually be removed. Some of them have rather mysterious names but they are just the usual framework carved up into different chunks.


Now, here's the interesting bit:

If you uninstall .NET 2.0 SP1 (even if you had .NET 2.0 installed before hand) the whole .NET Framework is removed.

It does NOT revert you back to .NET 2.0 RTM. If you want that, you will need to re-install the RTM version after uninstalling 2.0 SP1.

So in that sense it is really more a replacement for the .NET Framework 2.0 rather than an uninstallable service pack.



Comments (8)
  1. Yonatan Leonov says:

    I have download the RTM versio for x86, but failed to install it on my Vista Ultimate machine.

    it says "This product is not supported on Vista"

    pretty starnge…

    see my blog to see screenshots of the failure

    I then installed .Net 3.5 which finished successfully.

    Any Idea?

  2. Hello Yonatan

    Because .NET 2.0 is a built in component of the operating system in Windows Vista rather than something you install separately, any updates use a completely different installer mechanism.

    See for more details.

    Such updates come as MSU files.

    At this time we have not released a 2.0 SP1 MSU.

    The .NET 3.5 install does, however, include the update to raise 2.0 on Vista to the SP1 level so that 3.5 can install and function correctly.



  3. Yonatan Leonov says:

    yes, that helps.

    Thanks for clearing this point.

    Now I just which the download page quotes you…

  4. laurentp says:


    I am searching for release notes of this service pack, but couldn’t find anything.

    The best i could find is :

    Do you think you could help with details?


  5. We have now published the official fix list KB article:

    Hope that helps!


  6. Voici un article sur une question intéressante que l’on m’a posée récemment. La réponse est fortement

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