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Issue installing the .NET Framework 3.5 or 3.5 SP1 on checked or pre-release builds of Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008

Issue installing the .NET Framework 3.5 or 3.5 SP1 on checked or pre-release builds of Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008

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I have heard from a couple of customers who ran into issues installing the .NET Framework 3.5 and/or the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 on one of the following OS types:

  • Checked (also known as debug) builds of Windows Vista and/or Windows Server 2008
  • Pre-release builds of Windows Vista and/or Windows Server 2008

One of these customer reports can be found in this forum post.  I wanted to describe this scenario in more detail in case anyone else runs into a similar issue in the future.

Description of the issue

The .NET Framework 3.5 and 3.5 SP1 install service packs for the .NET Framework 2.0 and the .NET Framework 3.0 behind the scenes.  On Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 service packs are installed as OS updates.  These OS updates are marked to only install on the final release versions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.  That means that they will not allow you to install them on checked builds of these OS's, and they will also not allow you to install them on pre-release versions of these OS's.

Here is the exact list of .NET Framework 3.5 installation scenarios that will fail on checked builds of the OS or pre-release builds of the OS:

  • Installing the .NET Framework 3.5 on the original release of Windows Vista (but not Windows Vista SP1 or later)
  • Installing the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 on the original release of Windows Vista or Windows Vista SP1
  • Installing the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 on Windows Server 2008

However, installing the original release of the .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows Vista SP1 or Windows Server 2008 will not fail due to this issue.  This is because Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 already include the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 and 3.0 SP1 as OS components, so .NET Framework 3.5 setup does not need to install any OS updates on those systems.

How to work around the issue

Unfortunately, there is not a workaround that will allow you to install on a checked build or a pre-release build of Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008.  Instead, you will need to install a final release build of Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008, then re-run .NET Framework 3.5 or 3.5 SP1 setup.

How to diagnose the issue

If you try to install in one of the above configurations, you will see the following error in the .NET Framework 3.5 or 3.5 SP1 log file named %temp%\dd_dotnetfx35install.txt:

[08/08/08,11:11:11] Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0SP1 (CBS): ***ERRORLOG EVENT*** : Error: Installation failed for component Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0SP1 (CBS). MSI returned error code 1.

Error code 1 for Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 OS update packages means that the package is not applicable on the current OS.

Important note about error code 1 during .NET Framework 3.5 or 3.5 SP1 setup

Please note that this blog post only describes one possible cause of error code 1 during .NET Framework 3.5 or 3.5 SP1 installation.  If you are not running a checked build of Windows or a pre-release version of Windows, then the issue described here is not the cause of the installation failure on your system.

If you are running into error code 1 but are not running a checked or pre-release build of Windows, then it typically helps to review the .NET Framework 3.5 log files to try to learn more about the root cause of the issue.  You can find more information about what log files are produced by .NET Framework 3.5 setup in this blog post, and there is information in this blog post that describes options for reporting installation failures back to Microsoft for additional investigation.

The logs that are typically the most useful in diagnosing error code 1 are the following:

  • %temp%\dd_dotnetfx35install.txt
  • %windir%\logs\cbs\cbs.log
  • %windir%\WindowsUpdate.log
  • I cant do that ....  "access denied"

  • Hi Matt - I'm not sure how to reset permissions if you're getting access denied using those steps.  The tool described at blogs.msdn.com/.../solving-setup-errors-by-using-the-subinacl-tool-to-repair-file-and-registry-permissions.aspx might help.  If that tool doesn't help either, you might need to repair/re-install Windows to resolve this issue.

  • Hi

    I reset permissions and allowed full control for both accounts but framework 3.5 still can not install. It returns the same error.

  • Hi Matt - I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what else to suggest other than to repair/re-install Windows at this point.  Before doing that, you might want to try to contact Microsoft technical support to see if they can provide some more in-depth troubleshooting steps for you to try.  You can find their contact information at http://support.microsoft.com.

  • Error Code 1063 when installing .net 3.5. i have ran the .net clean up tool, allowed access to the web_mediumtrust.config file. and im sill gettign teh same error

  • Hi Phill - 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?

  • I have .net 4.5 installed on my windows 2008 server r2. but, the server manager still shows that i have .net 3.5.1 however, the control panel doesn't have it listed, it has only .net 4.5

    How do I get rid of 3.5.1 and be able to configure features in server manager for .net 4.5?

  • Hi Deepthi - The .NET Framework 3.5.1 comes installed as a part of the OS on Windows Server 2008 R2, and it does not appear in the Installed Programs control panel list because of that.  You need to use the Features control panel in Server Manager to enable/disable the .NET Framework 3.5.1 on Windows Server 2008 R2.

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