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>


  • Hi Lou - What is the exact error message that you saw that referred to 3.5?  If you are trying to install the .NET Framework 4, it should not have any dependency on 3.5.  I'm also not sure what you mean about downloads being on the admin side - can you please clarify what you mean by that?

  • the computer has 2 sides now, on the owner side i can see all the notespads and such that i have saved with info, i can go to the download area and see everything i have downloaded, documents, programs, etc. it is the side i have used since we got the computer, but i cannot do any of the administrator issues on that side. to do the admin i have to log off as owner and then log in as the admin, the admin side is lean, there are only shortcuts on that side, i see none of the notepads that i have saved and when i go to downloads there is nothing in the folder, same with documents, pictures, etc. and when i go to the computer to find files and folders, it is not the same info as the owners side.

    it is not an error message, it is a warning sign that says microsoft.net framework 3.5 is required to run catalyst control center.  please download and install the software from microsoft's website.

  • Hi Lou - It sounds like you have 2 user accounts and you're switching back and forth between which account you log in with.  Is that accurate?  If so, a lot of the settings like desktop shortcuts, etc are specific to each user.  What I'd suggest doing is copying your downloaded files to a folder that is shared by all users - for example, you could make a folder named c:\downloads or something like that.  That way you'd be able to access it with both accounts.

    Regardless of that issue, it still sounds like you're having the same .NET Framework 4 install problem as you had before.  It is possible that there is an older version of that service stuck installed on your computer that is blocking you from installing the .NET Framework 4.  Can you try to run regedit.exe and see if you have any registry keys at the following location:


    Also, there are a couple of forum posts with similar errors that I found in a web search, so it might help to try the suggestions listed in them too:




  • yes 2 user accounts, could figure out how to say, learning as i go.  discovered this morning that updater had downloaded 3.5 net so i went to admin and finished install from there. it said it was successful, after that i went to install full 4. net which i had place a copy of in the c drive. it said it installed successfully, i did not see any of the roll back issue that i noted before. went to owner side and looked for the vslogs.cab and there is not one. curious though, media center still not working, ccc did not load, media player does not work, and windows explorer does a 2 second flash crash when i try to open a picture. i went to system tools and looked at error reports and there are plenty. noticed that the time on them is incorrect although the date is correct.  will check out links to see what i can find and continue muddling through this over the next few days. fortunately still have about 45 days left on warranty, worst comes to worst.  also meant to say hp already replaced video/graphic cards once before.

    also noticed that internet explorer would not work on the admin side fortunately firefox did.

    will check back later today and continue my efforts.

    again thanks and enjoy your holiday

  • Hi Lou - What kind of errors are you seeing from Media Center, CCC, and Media Player?

    You have to go back and re-run the log collection tool to make it create a new vslogs.cab in your %temp% directory.

    Can you please try to run the .NET Framework setup verification tool and put a copy of the log file that it creates on your SkyDrive site too?  You can find links to use to download the verification tool at blogs.msdn.com/.../8999004.aspx.

  • skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx

    i hope i got his right again. will leave a comment later as on the way out

  • what i have learned is that a dual core processor is equivalent to working on 2 separate computers.  acting as

    administrator on the admin side does not appear to carry an act to the owner side and vice versa.  the computer may

    share the processor during the use of a program(s). i did notice web root scaned both sides simultaneously.

    the logs

    i sent are from the admin side. i don't know if the owner side would reflect the same info.

    a few months ago i started getting a balloon that says that ccc has stopped working: host application has failed to

    load, i would get 2 in a row, it would say that it was checking for a solution. everything seemed to work ok so i

    did not worry about it, waiting for a solution. but the past few days, not every time, it has given me an

    opportunity to view a log.  i captured the logs and realized that the ccc "stop work" never had a repeating cause

    for failure. i think that unusual. then about 2 weeks ago i started window media player and it said that it had

    stopped working and was checking for a solution.  then a balloon came up and said that the media center had stopped

    working, and looking for a solution. so i tried to open a picture and got a balloon that said windows explorer has

    stopped working and then got a flash crash about 2 seconds long and then it was back up, no loss of anything i was

    doing. but i watch youtube, no problem. not sure what else to look for that may not work. did notice that some

    pictures from news sites do not show and that pics in email do not always show(but if i forward them thay may show

    in the new email.)

    when i signed in on the admin side i tried all the afore mentioned items and had the same problem plus i tried

    internet explorer and it sent a balloon that it had stopped working however it works fine on the owner side.

    i can

    use fire fox

    on admin side

    also tried to play a wav file, media player opened but did not play and there was no message.

    also i have web root

    program and did not disable it, is it possible that it intefered with .net install.

    noticed too that the log says make sure you have full admin privileges. i signed in with the command prompt and it

    said it was successful so i am not sure what more i need to do there.

    here are some of the issues from the ccc log

    Files that help describe the problem:



    Files that help describe the problem:




    Files that help describe the problem:



    Files that help describe the problem:



    Files that help describe the problem:




    Files that help describe the problem:



    Files that help describe the problem:








    ran reimage and below is result


    amd turion xd dual core mobile rm-72 authenticamd

    2100mhz  l2cache 1024kb 64 bit

    in socket m1/s1g1


    30fc by compal

    s/n cnd9072h4z

    hpqoem 1 bios released 8/17/09

    s/n cnd9072h4z

    memory modules

    bank 0: 2048mb sodimm by hynix

    bank 0: 2048mb sodimm by hynix

    total usable memory 3827 mb

    scsi port 2 master hdd 298gb hitachi hts5432

    c: boot 285 gb (194gb free)

    d: recovery 13gb (2gb free)

    video card

    ati radeon hd3200 graphics

    chipset: ati radeon hd3200 graphics


    cpu has 2 cores

    desktp window manager

    windows host process rundll32

    windows explorer

    microsoft internet explorer

    crashed frequently

    windows media player

    microsoft sync center

    crashed occasionally

    3rd party


    catalyst control center: host app








    microsoft window messenger


    crashed occasionally

    stability issues at 45 per cent

    windows damage severity= low

  • Hi Lou - I looked at your most recent vslogs.cab, and they show successful installations of the .NET Framework.  Because of that, I'm not sure that the issues you are seeing with CCC, Media Player, Media Center, etc are related to the .NET Framework.  Since you are still having issues with so many different programs, it might be best to try to pursue a warranty repair/replacement with your computer manufacturer at this point.  I'm very sorry that I haven't been able to be more helpful in this scenario.

  • well thanks for the insight and overview

  • Aaron,

    I followed a Windows forum to this blog. I had no .NET Framework program in my programs list from the get-go, but I ran the clean up kit all the same. I tried to install .NET Framework from different sources, but I keep getting an error that  the file is corrupt? Have I completely screwed up?

    Thank you for the help.

  • Hi Molly - Are you getting the file corruption error during installation of the .NET Framework?  If so, I'd suggest trying to re-download the .NET Framework installer, save it to your desktop, and re-run it from there to see if that helps solve this error.

  • I have a windows 2003 terminal server that I want to install a program on that our developers wrote that requires .net frame work 3.5.  I would not install so I tried your tool.  It got rid of all versions of framework as you said it would but now when i start the 3.5 setup it simply gets partially through and says it is reverting back.  It never actually installs.  I am able to install 2.0 and 4.0 and other version but not 3.5 that I need.

  • Hi Mike Jones - Can you please use the tool described at blogs.msdn.com/.../6458047.aspx to collect all of your setup log files, post 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?

  • blocage pas de lecteur CD et dvd

  • Hi Nicolas - Are you getting this error when you try to install the .NET Framework or when you try to use the cleanup tool?  If it is when you try to install the .NET Framework, 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?

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