Aaron Stebner's WebLog

Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio

Removal tool to fix .NET Framework install failures

Removal tool to fix .NET Framework install failures

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I wrote an application late last year that is designed to clean up computers that have problems getting the .NET Framework 1.0 or 1.1 to install correctly.  I have been working on refining the tool for the past couple of months, working out some bugs, adding additional cleanup features, etc.  The .NET Framework setup Product Support team has been using this cleanup tool for the past few months to help resolve many cases, and the internal Microsoft helpdesk has also started using it to solve internal cases where employees cannot get .NET Framework service packs or hotfixes to install correctly.  I have also been sending this tool out to individuals who email me via my blog and ask for help resolving setup problems - most commonly this is because of issues installing .NET Framework service packs or hotfixes such as MS05-004.

Since I have been seeing really good success rates for using this cleanup tool and it has proven to speed up the process of resolving issues so customers can get the .NET Framework installed correctly and start using managed code on their computers, I decided to try to get a KB article written up with a copy of the tool that customers could download on their own without needing to contact me directly or call our PSS team.  The KB publishing process can sometimes take a while with technical reviews and things like that, so in the meantime I am going to post a link to the tool here on my blog.

You can download the tool by visiting the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool User's Guide and using one of the download links listed there.

There are a couple of very important caveats that you should read before using this tool to cleanup .NET Framework bits on your machine:

  1. You should try to perform a standard uninstall first.  This tool is not designed as a replacement for uninstall, but rather as a last resort for cases where uninstall or repair did not succeed for unusual reasons.
  2. This cleanup tool will delete shared files and registry keys used by other versions of the .NET Framework.  So if you use it, be prepared to repair or reinstall any other versions of the .NET Framework that are on your computer to get them to work correctly afterwards

The tool itself has been fairly well tested, but I'm sure it is still not perfect.  I'm still in the process of fixing bugs as I find them and adding features to make it more effective at cleaning up known issues and to make it more intelligent about identifying root causes so we can fix the underlying bugs in .NET Framework setup for future releases.  As I update it, I will post updates to my blogs and update the copy of the tool located at the link above.

I hope this tool will be helpful in resolving problems installing the .NET Framework.  Please let me know if you run into any issues while using the cleanup tool or if you are still unable to install the .NET Framework (or any service packs or hotfixes) after running it.

<update date="3/3/2009"> Added a link to the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool User's Guide, which contains the most up-to-date download location for this tool. <update>

 

  • Hi Chrissy - 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?

  • After running the cleanup tool several versions of .net framework are still shown in the programs list.  When I go to uninstall I get a message saying that this can't be done because the programs are not installed.  Upon attempting a reinstall the installation fails.  The versions are 3.5 and 1.1 sp1.  Has anyone reported this?

  • Hi Turner - 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?

  • do i need to uninstall all the old versions of .net framework because i have 5 different net framework files= 2.0 service pack 2,    3.0 service pack 2,      3.5 sp1,      4 client profile          and 4 extended

  • never mind i found the info already thanks tho

  • Hi Mike Lowe - I'm glad you found the information you needed.  For others reading this blog post in the future, you can find more information about Mike's scenario at blogs.msdn.com/.../10219046.aspx.

  • Thank you very much for sharing this tool, I just used last night on windows 2003 server with .net 1.0, 2.0 and 2.0 SP1, none was able to uninstall and/or install. After running the tool I was able to install .net 3.5 SP1.

  • Hi Aaron,

          After running your removal tool, I was able to install a functioning version of Net Framework.

    Thanks,

    .... john

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