Aaron Stebner's WebLog

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

Automated cleanup tool to remove the .NET Framework 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5

Automated cleanup tool to remove the .NET Framework 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5

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I have posted an updated version of the .NET Framework cleanup tool that now contains support for automatically cleaning up the .NET Framework 1.0, the .NET Framework 1.1, the .NET Framework 2.0, the .NET Framework 3.0 and the .NET Framework 3.5.

This tool automates the manual cleanup steps for the .NET Framework 2.0 that I posted a while ago.  These steps have helped solve most of the known .NET Framework 2.0 beta uninstall issues that I know of.  In addition, the tool can be useful to return your system to a known (relatively clean) state in case you run into any .NET Framework 2.0 installation failures so that you can try to install again.

The updated version of the cleanup tool contains options to clean up the .NET Framework 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 separately and all versions simultaneously in a single step.  The cleanup tool contains logic so that if it is run on an OS version that includes the .NET Framework as an OS component, it will not offer the option to clean it up.  This means that running the cleanup tool on Windows XP Media Center Edition or Tablet PC Edition will not offer the option to clean up the .NET Framework 1.0, running it on Windows Server 2003 will not offer the option to clean up the .NET Framework 1.1 and running it on Windows Vista will not offer the option to clean up the .NET Framework 2.0 or the .NET Framework 3.0.

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. This tool is designed as a last resort for cases where install, uninstall or repair did not succeed for unusual reasons.  It is not intended as a substitute for the standard uninstall procedure.  You should try to perform an uninstall from Add/Remove Programs before using this cleanup tool.
  2. This cleanup tool will delete shared files and registry keys used by other versions of the .NET Framework.  If you run the cleanup tool, you will need to perform a repair or reinstall for all other versions of the .NET Framework that are on your computer to get them to work correctly afterwards.

I have been using this tool for a while, and it has proven reliable, but there may still be bugs in it in certain scenarios.  Please contact me 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.

The tool has a command line switch that allows it to be run in silent mode if needed.  There is more information about how to run it in silent mode in the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool User's Guide.

<update date="8/22/2007"> Added information about removing the .NET Framework 3.0 because the tool now supports this version of the .NET Framework in addition to 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0. </update>

<update date="9/13/2007"> Added information about removing the .NET Framework 3.5 because the tool now supports this version of the .NET Framework in addition to 1.0, 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0. </update>

<update date="12/3/2007"> Added a link to the silent install instructions for the cleanup tool </update>

<update date="2/28/2009"> Added links to the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool User's Guide, which contains download locations and detailed information about how to use the cleanup tool. </update>


  • Can you add support for .net framework language pack removal?

  • Hi Helg - So far, I haven't added support for the language packs because I haven't run into any scenarios where the language packs got into a state where they required manual removal.  Are you seeing problems where the normal uninstall of the language packs does not work on your system?  If so, can you please provide more details about what kind of error(s) you are seeing?

  • Hi astebner

    i've just spend 45 minutes writing about my problem and forgot to post before i switched site :(

    ok i will try to explain my problem

    It all started with i had a counter-strike moviemaking tool called HLAE (Half Life Advanced Effects) and one day it just wouldn't launch and couldnt really figure out why.

    I explained my problem too the developer and he said it was probably virus or my .NET Framework was broken. I searched my computer with 6 different scanners and only found some tracing cookies etc., after deleting theese problems my HLAE was reacting the same way as before (program dont show up in windows but still it was using 50% of my cpu) so he linked me too your tool. I downloaded it, ran it, restartet my pc, downloaded Net Framework 3.5 and started too install it all seemed fine but when it reached the end nothing happend like "next" or anything i waited 45 minutes and still nothing i tried to close it but again nothing happens i had too open jobmanager and close it from there with all the message like "this program doesn't respond" i ran your tool again and tried to install the .NET Framework 3.5 again and it did exactly the same. I tried to download 3.0, 2.0, and 1.0 and it reacts how i described everytime. Now i can't run any of my programs.

    I would really like to fix this problem but can't figure out what the problem is.

    I use Windows XP Pro SP3.

    sinces i have ran your tool several times i will just upload the log, maybe u spot a problem. sorry if theres alot of text :(

    *couldn't upload to http://skydrive.live.com/

    so http://www.filefront.com/15069991/cleanup_main.txt

    Thanks in advance.


  • Hi Lupus - I'm sorry for the hassles that this issue is causing for you.  I'm not sure why the .NET Framework 3.5 would hang during installation like you describe.  I'd suggest trying to install the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 if you haven't yet - you can download it from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=AB99342F-5D1A-413D-8319-81DA479AB0D7.  If it also hangs, can you please leave it running and use the tool described at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2007/11/21/6458047.aspx to gather your setup log files, upload them to a file server, and post a link to the logs here so I can see what exact step in setup is running at the time that it hangs?

  • Thank you very mutch for looking into my problem, yes the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 did also freeze so i collected the logs:


    Thanks again.


  • Hi Lupus - Here is the command that is running at the time that you see setup hanging on your system:

    12/06/09 16:38:57 DDSet_Status: CustomActionData: "c:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\RegSvcs.exe" /bootstrapi;13

    This type of hang can be caused by several different things.  Here are links to a couple of workarounds that have typically been most helpful for folks who have seen that behavior in the past:



    Hopefully this helps for you as well.

  • your clean-up tool worked like a charm and i thank you very much for that

  • Hello astebner - a thank you for the tool and Blog advise. .net can be a real pain to repair, you're blog is helping tremendously.


  • Hey, is this a joke?

    I went to the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool User's Guide site and clicked on the .zip link to download the tool, and all the browser does is sit there forever slowly moving the progress bar forward.  Does the tool really exist?

  • What happened to the cleanup tool.  When I go to the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool User's Guide site and click on the .zip link, nothing happens; except the browser progress bar keeps slowly advancing.  Did the tool get removed?

  • Hello:

    I am a novice at this, but can't seem to get the 2 Updates below installed (always get fail).  Customer Support had me run the cleanup tool twice, but nothing.

    Two questions:

    1. How should I proceed from here, with my limited computer knowledge?

    2. Are these updates even critical for the security of my PC?


    I run XP Home Edition 2002 SP3

    Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 Security Update for Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP x86 (KB979909)

    Windows XP Update to .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 for the .NET Framework Assistant 1.0 x86 (KB963707)

  • Hi Bothered - I'm not sure why you're having trouble downloading the cleanup tool.  I tried both links in the user's guide at blogs.msdn.com/.../8904493.aspx and they appear to be working fine for me.  If you are still having problems downloading the cleanup tool, please contact me using the link at blogs.msdn.com/.../contact.aspx and I can email you a copy instead.

  • Hi Peter - Can you please use the tool described at blogs.msdn.com/.../6458047.aspx to gather your .NET Framework setup log files, upload the file %temp%\vslogs.cab that this tool produces to a file server (such as http://skydrive.live.com) and then reply back here with a link I can use to download the log files and take a further look?

    In general, security updates should be considered critical - they represent potential vulnerabilities to malware/viruses.

  • Hello, I follow the steps

    1. Download Cleanup

    2. Download NET 1.1, 1.1 SP y 3.5

    Run the cleanup and fine, then install the 3.5, 1.1 and 1.1 SP (this secuence because a microsoft support page says it). But the Windows Update offer again the updates for 1.1 SP and 3.5.

    Try installing 1.1 SP alone and fails, code 643.

    Try installing 3.5 alone and success for this, but, windows update offers me the 1.1 SP, then I try to install it and code 643.

    What I need to do, ignore it (because the 3.5 installed fine, or try to fix it to avoid windows update continues offering me that?

  • Hi Juse - In most cases, installing the .NET Framework 3.5 first will solve this type of error installing the .NET Framework 1.1 SP1.  However, there are still some cases where the 1.1 SP1 install can still fail.

    There are some cases I've seen where the self-extracting package for 1.1 SP1 fails.  In order to see if that is the case on your computer, can you please try to install 1.1 SP1 from the file at cid-27e6a35d1a492af7.office.live.com/.../netfx11sp1.msp instead of by using Windows Update and see if that helps?

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