Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio
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with no warranties, and confer no rights. Additionally, views expressed
herein are my own and not those of my employer, Microsoft.
I got a question from a customer this week who could not get an ASP.NET hotfix installed by launching it from Windows Update (due to an error like some folks have seen with other .NET Framework service packs that I described here). As a result, he was trying to download the package directly, extract it and install manually, but he was having trouble trying to locate the underlying package and download it. So I decided to try to do this myself to see how the process really works for an IT admin in the field, and I'm surprised by how complicated this process is. Here are the specific steps I had to follow to locate and download this ASP.NET hotfix:
It really seems like there should be an easier way to locate, download and extract a hotfix package from Microsoft. If there is a simpler way that I have missed, please post a comment and let me know.
As a side note, this and any other .NET Framework or ASP.NET hotfixes are packaged using the same self-extracting wrapper as the .NET Framework 1.0 SP3 and 1.1 SP1, and therefore are all susceptible to the same set of issues as those service packs. There is one big issue (that I consider to be a flaw) in the design for the packaging of the .NET Framework service packs and hotfixes. The self-extracting wrapper EXE is written in managed code, so that means that if the .NET Framework is broken in any way and needs to be repaired, then the patch package will not even extract and launch correctly, and it cannot even give a useful error message.