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>


  • I'm trying to install .Net Framework 2.0 beta 2 onto xp pro sp2 using the redist dotnetfx.exe, version 2.0.50215.45. I get the error message "Error 25015.Failed to install assembly
    'C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50215\System.EnterpriseServices.dll' because of system error: parameters incorrect". Can you help?
  • Hi Andy - I've been asking around and nobody here has seen the error you're running into, so I think we may need to use a variation of the debugging steps I just posted at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/06/17/430320.aspx to gather more information about your machine. Here are the exact steps that you can use to get crash info:

    1. Download and install the .NET Framework 2.0 redist and SDK on a separate machine. You can download them from http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/downloads/netframework/default.aspx
    2. Copy the file gacutil.exe from the folder c:\Program Files\Microsoft .NET\SDK\v2.0\bin to the machine where setup fails
    3. Download and install the Debugging Tools for Windows. You can download this from http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/installx86.mspx
    4. Rerun .NET Framework 2.0 setup on the machine that you see this failure
    5. During installation, leave the error message up on the screen
    6. While the error message is still on the screen, open WinDBG
    7. From the File menu, choose Open Executable...
    8. In the File name text box, enter the following information: c:\gacutil.exe (or wherever you copied gacutil.exe to in step 2 above)
    9. In the Arguments text box, enter the following information: /i c:\windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50215\System.EnterpriseServices.dll
    10. After entering the above information, choose Yes to save base workspace information
    11. Press g in the Windbg window to resume execution until the process crashes, then save the crash log to a file

    If you can send me the crash file I will try to take a look and see if I can figure out how to fix this.
  • Hi,

    I'm also having the same error which Dmitri has while installing .net framework 2 beta 2 :

    Error 25015.Failed to install assembly
    'C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50215\Microsoft.VisualBasic.Vsa.dll' because of system error: Access is denied.

    I've already tried both things that astebner suggested to do, but still doesn't work. In File Monitor, I didn't find any "ACCESS DENIED" result. I found only "PATH NOT FOUND" results as an error message, it's said that some dll not found in C:\I386.

    Any idea?

  • Hi Fei,

    First of all, I would suggest making sure that you have disabled any antivirus or anti-spyware applications (temporarily of course) during the course of setup. Sometimes those can interfere with installation and cause access denied errors. However, I would definitely expect to see a message in FileMon for any access denied error, so that is odd.

    Do you see a pop-up dialog for this 25015 error? If so, can you try to use the tool gacutil.exe and manually install the assembly to the GAC while that error is on-screen and see if it gives any additional error information. You will need to do the following to try this:

    1. Install the .NET Framework 2.0 beta 2 and .NET Framework 2.0 SDK beta 2 on a separate machine (you can get them at http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/downloads/netframework/default.aspx)

    2. Copy gacutil.exe from %programfiles%\Microsoft.NET\SDK\v2.0\bin to the other machine where this failure is happening

    3. At the point of failure, run gacutil /i C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50215\Microsoft.VisualBasic.Vsa.dll and let me know what the output is

    Hopefully this helps...

  • Many thanks for your detailed reply to my original post of June 17. However, I'm pleased to report that after running assorted clean-up & registry repair utilities, .NET Framework 2.0 re-installed without problem, swiftly followed by VS2005 Team beta 2.
  • Thank you for your work in creating this clean up utility.
    After an OS repair from the restore cd I could not reinstall Net Framework.
    With the help of your utility, installation went smoothly.
  • Aaron:

    I was just cleaning up my \\desktop and noticed your removal utility lingering thereupon. (I had put it to use on April 30 ... exactly 3 months ago ... so it appears.)

    Alas, I owe you very special thanks for finally rectifying a maddening .net botched install ... one which caused me continuous grief at the hands of my antivirus software -- which persistently admonished me for an out-of-date windowsupdate status. (Windowsupdate was unable to apply .net patches ... because of the botched install.)

    In any case, I don't know who you are ... but you have my vote for software philanthropist of the year. May good things come to you in abundance.

    Thank you,

  • I am seeing the following problem when trying to install on Windows 2000 Service Pack 4. This machine has never had .net framework of any kind on it before. Not sure if there is something else out of whack here ... This is from the fail log

    8/14/05 14:15:01 DDSet_Entry: RunProcess started
    08/14/05 14:15:01 DDSet_Status: CustomActionData: "C:\WINNT\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50215\regtlibv12.exe" "C:\WINNT\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50215\mscoree.tlb";11
    08/14/05 14:15:01 DDSet_Status: Process returned 5
    08/14/05 14:15:01 DDSet_Error: The Commandline '"C:\WINNT\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50215\regtlibv12.exe" "C:\WINNT\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50215\mscoree.tlb"' returned non-zero value: 5.
    08/14/05 14:15:01 DDSet_CARetVal: 5
    08/14/05 14:15:01 DDSet_Exit: RunProcess ended

  • Hi George - this sounds like the error described at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/08/09/449720.aspx. Can you try the workaround listed there and see if that will resolve this problem on your computer?

  • I need to reinstall Team System Server but a message says 'setup has detected existing Team Foundation databases on this machine and this operation cannot be continued. Please refer to the accompanying documentation on how to reuse this machine.'

    I can't find the afore mentioned documentation on the TS Server Beta 2 guide...

  • Aaron, Just wanted to let you know I tried the workaround you recommended based on my prior post. This work around solved the problem and I was able to successfully install the 2.0 .NET framework. Sorry I was not more diligent about looking at the other content in your blog.
  • George - I'm glad that the workaround was successful. It is hard to find all of the random comments I've posted, so there's no need to say sorry. I'm going to try to pull some stuff together into a parent post that serves as kind of a troubleshooting guide with a bunch of sub-links to my other posts, but I just need to find time to get it all typed up :-)

    Tpham - I received your email and sent you the following set of steps, which you indicated resolved your issue (I'm posting them here for any others who happen to read my blog):

    1. Uninstall the Data Tier
    2. Launch SQL Management Studio
    3. Delete all of the following databases if they exist:
    4. Re-run Data Tier setup

    If you are performing a single server setup, you will need to do all of the above plus the following additional step:

    5. Uninstall ADAM (this can be done before or after uninstalling the Data Tier)

  • I had VS Beta 2 installed successfully and wanted to cleanup my machine. I went thru all the steps to uninstall. When I tried to re-install, it fails on the .net Framework. I tried using your tool and it fails with the message, "Error creating process \\cleaup.exe reason c:\winxp\advpack.dll. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am dead in the water until I can re-install.
  • &amp;nbsp;
    Deciphering specific HRESULT values

    HRESULT 0x80070002 and 0x80070003
    HRESULT 0x80070005...
  • Hi tpham
    Regarding the Team System Server installation , you should just go to the SQL server and delete all the databases that you dont know , make sure to leave the Report & ReportServer databases , otherwise you need to reinstall the SQL 2005 report service

    Cheers and good luck ,
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