Aaron Stebner's WebLog

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

Visual Studio and .NET Framework

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Link to MSDN article with information about which .NET Framework versions are in which versions of Windows and Visual Studio

    • 2 Comments

    I have been maintaining a blog post for a while that lists which version(s) of the .NET Framework are included with each version of Windows.  Recently, I found an MSDN article titled .NET Framework Versions and Dependencies that includes this information in addition to some other useful .NET Framework versioning information.  This article includes details about the following topics:

    • Operating system support - what versions of the .NET Framework are included with each version of Windows
    • Features and IDE - what version of the .NET Framework shipped with each version of Visual Studio and some key features included in each version
    • Targeting and running .NET Framework 4, 4.5, and 4.5.1 apps
    • Targeting and running apps for older versions of the .NET Framework

    In addition, the article includes links to several other useful articles related to .NET Framework versioning, including the following:

    If you have questions about .NET Framework versioning, compatibility, and/or OS integration, I encourage you to check out the information in this set of MSDN articles.

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Links to deployment guides for all versions of the .NET Framework

    • 2 Comments

    Recently, I was looking for links to some of the deployment guides for previous versions of the .NET Framework. After digging through search engine results and my blog archives to find them, I decided it would be easier to create one blog post with links to the deployment guides for all versions of the .NET Framework.  Here they are:

    For reference, the deployment guides for developers are targeted at developers creating applications that depend on the .NET Framework and that want to incorporate the .NET Framework into their installation process, and the deployment guides for administrators are targeted at system administrators that manage software installation on corporate networks and who want to plan a deployment of the .NET Framework to networks that they manage.

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Link to information about .NET Framework 2.0 installation error caused by Visual C++ runtime files

    • 0 Comments

    Recently, I was trying to help someone investigate a .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 installation issue.  Behind the scenes, the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 was failing to install, and I found the following information in the setup log file:

    01/01/14 11:22:33 DDSet_Status: Executing Command to stop ngen service: c:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\ngen.exe queue scmstop
    01/01/14 11:22:33 DDSet_Status: LANGID: 1033
    01/01/14 11:22:33 DDSet_Warning: CreateProcess failed

    The typical steps that I recommend in this type of scenario did not end up helping and after trying a few other things, I was stumped.  Fortunately, the customer who encountered this issue found the solution in the blog post at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/smondal/archive/2010/07/12/quot-25007-error-occurred-while-initializing-fusion-setup-could-not-load-fusion-with-loadlibraryshim-error-the-handle-is-invalid-quot.aspx.

    The diagnostic step that I missed when I was originally investigating this issue was to look in the System event log.  In this scenario, several error messages from the SideBySide event source showed that there was a problem with some of the Visual C++ runtime files on this computer.  The blog post that the customer found contains a set of commands that you can copy and paste into a script and run to remove Visual C++ runtime files used by .NET Framework 2.0 setup.  Re-running .NET Framework 2.0 setup will then re-install the Visual C++ runtime files that it needs, which will hopefully resolve this type of setup failure.

    Note – the issue described here and in the linked blog post does not apply to versions of Windows that include the .NET Framework 2.0 as a part of the operating system.  As of the time that I’m writing this blog post, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 all include the .NET Framework 2.0 as a part of the OS.

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    .NET Framework setup verification tool and cleanup tool now support .NET Framework 4.5.1

    • 1 Comments

    I have posted updated versions of the .NET Framework setup verification tool and the .NET Framework cleanup tool that support verifying and cleaning up the .NET Framework 4.5.1. You can find more information about how to download and use these tools at the following locations:

    As always, if you run into any issues or have any feedback about the .NET Framework setup verification tool or the .NET Framework cleanup tool, please let me know by posting a comment on one of my blog posts or using my blog contact form.

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Updated sample .NET Framework detection code that works with the .NET Framework 4.5 and 4.5.1

    • 0 Comments

    Someone recently asked me about the availability of an updated version of my sample .NET Framework detection code that supports the .NET Framework 4.5.  I could’ve sworn I had already updated that sample code to detect the .NET Framework 4.5, but when I looked back in my archive, it turns out I only updated the version of the detection code that gets built into the .NET Framework setup verification tool and the .NET Framework cleanup tool.

    Since today is the official public release date for Windows 8.1, and Windows 8.1 includes the .NET Framework 4.5.1 as a part of the OS, I thought it would be a good day to post updated versions of my sample .NET Framework detection code with support for detecting the .NET Framework 4.5 and the .NET Framework 4.5.1.

    You can find information about the sample .NET Framework detection code and download links in the article at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2009/06/16/9763379.aspx.

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Mailbag: Does my application need to install the .NET Framework 4 on Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012?

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    Question:

    I have an application that requires the .NET Framework 4. The application supports running on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, which both include the .NET Framework 4.5 as a part of the operating system. Does my application installer still need to install the .NET Framework 4 on these operating systems even though the .NET Framework 4.5 is already installed?

    Answer:

    No. The .NET Framework 4.5 is a full in-place update for the .NET Framework 4. Applications that require the .NET Framework 4 will run correctly if the .NET Framework 4.5 is installed on the computer. In addition, the installer for the .NET Framework 4 will prevent you from attempting to downgrade a computer that already has the .NET Framework 4.5 back to the .NET Framework 4.

    For more detailed information about .NET Framework 4.5 installation scenarios like this, please refer to this MSDN topic.

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Cannot install .NET Framework 1.0 service packs if .NET Framework 4 or 4.5 is installed

    • 8 Comments

    There are some known compatibility issues between .NET Framework 4 and 4.5 setup and .NET Framework 1.0 setup.  As a result, installing the .NET Framework 4 or 4.5 will set a registry key that prevents .NET Framework 1.0 setup from running afterwards.  That means that if you need to install both the .NET Framework 1.0 and 4 or 4.5 on the same computer, you need to install the .NET Framework 1.0 first, then install the .NET Framework 4 or 4.5.

    I ran into a similar issue recently that I want to highlight as well because I didn’t find any official documentation about this behavior.  The registry key set by .NET Framework 4 and 4.5 setup will also prevent .NET Framework 1.0 service packs from running afterwards, even if you already have the .NET Framework 1.0 installed.  That means that if you need to install any .NET Framework 1.0 service packs and you have the .NET Framework 4 or 4.5 installed, you will need to do the following:

    1. Uninstall the .NET Framework 4 or 4.5
    2. Install the .NET Framework 1.0 service pack
    3. Re-install the .NET Framework 4 or 4.5

    Behind the scenes, .NET Framework 1.0 setup includes a block that is implemented as a Type 19 custom action.  This custom action is sequenced so that it runs during initial install and repair.  Installing a service pack does the equivalent of a repair, which is why the block is triggered during service pack installation too.

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    More information about the versions of the .NET Framework that ship with Windows 8

    • 17 Comments

    Since the release of Windows 8 last fall, I’ve gotten a few questions about what versions of the .NET Framework ship with Windows 8 and how to install, uninstall and repair them.  Most of this information is documented in other places, but I wanted to put together a brief summary and post some links to hopefully make this information easier to find.

    Windows 8 and the .NET Framework 4.5

    Windows 8 includes the .NET Framework 4.5 as a part of the OS.  It is installed by default and it is not possible to remove it.

    The .NET Framework 4.5 is an in-place upgrade for the .NET Framework 4, and applications built for the .NET Framework 4 will run if the .NET Framework 4.5 is present.  As a result, there is no need to install the .NET Framework 4 or 4.5 redistributable packages on Windows 8.  If you attempt to run the .NET Framework 4 or 4.5 redistributable installers on Windows 8, they will prevent you from installing the redistributable versions.  See this knowledge base article for more information about this scenario.

    Windows 8 and the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5

    Windows 8 includes the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 as a part of the OS.  They are not installed by default, and it is possible to add or remove it by using the Windows Features control panel.  There is also an install-on-demand feature in Windows 8 that will prompt you to install the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 if you run an application that requires it.

    If you attempt to run the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 or 3.5 redistributable installers on Windows 8, they will prevent you from installing the redistributable versions.

    Here are links with more information about how to install the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 on Windows 8:

    If you have an application that depends on the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 or 3.5, here are links with more information about options for automating the installation on Windows 8:

    <update date="2/8/2013"> Added a link to a knowledge base article with more information about scenarios where installing the .NET Framework 4 or 4.5 redistributable package is blocked by Windows 8. </update>

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Links to .NET Framework 4.5 deployment guides

    • 0 Comments

    The official .NET Framework 4.5 deployment guides for developers and administrators are available on MSDN, and I wanted to provide links here to help raise visibility for them. Here they are along with some additional information about what is contained in each of them:

    Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 deployment guide for developers

    You can find the deployment guide for application developers at the following location:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee942965(v=vs.110).aspx

    The deployment guide for application developers is targeted at developers creating applications that depend on the .NET Framework 4.5 and that will need to incorporate the .NET Framework 4.5 into their installation process. It contains the following information:

    • Deployment options
    • Redistributable packages
    • Deployment methods
    • Setting a dependency on the .NET Framework
    • Installing the .NET Framework manually
    • Chaining the .NET Framework using the default .NET Framework setup UI
    • Chaining using custom UI
    • Detecting the .NET Framework
    • Detecting .NET Framework language packs
    • Chaining language packs to your application setup
    • Troubleshooting – download and installation error codes
    • Uninstalling the .NET Framework
    • Command-line options for .NET Framework setup
    • Supported languages

    Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 deployment guide for administrators

    You can find the administrator deployment guide at the following location:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee390831(v=vs.110).aspx

    The administrator deployment guide is targeted at system administrators who want to deploy the .NET Framework 4.5 across a network by using System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). It contains the following information:

    • Prerequisites
    • Command-line options
    • The deployment process
    • Deploying the .NET Framework in a test environment
    • Creating a collection
    • Preparing the package source directory
    • Creating a package for the .NET Framework redistributable package
    • Creating a program with setup parameters
    • Selecting a distribution point
    • Creating an advertisement
    • Troubleshooting – log files and error codes
  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    .NET Framework Repair Tool now supports diagnosing and repairing .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 setup issues

    • 18 Comments

    A little while ago, I posted an introduction to a new .NET Framework Repair Tool that can be used to diagnose and repair .NET Framework 4 setup issues.  An updated version of the repair tool has been released today to add support for diagnosing and repairing issues with .NET Framework 2.0 SP2, 3.0 SP2 and 3.5 SP1 setup.  The repair tool can identify and fix issues with the installation of MSI-based versions of the .NET Framework, but it cannot fix issues related to versions of the .NET Framework that are installed as a part of Windows.

    If you run into installation issues with the MSI-based versions of the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2, 3.0 SP2, 3.5 SP1 or 4, I strongly encourage you to download the .NET Framework Repair Tool and run it to see if it resolves your issue before resorting to trying the .NET Framework cleanup tool. Here are links that you can use to find additional information about the .NET Framework Repair Tool:

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Updated .NET Framework setup verification tool that addresses application compatibility issues

    • 5 Comments

    A little while ago, I posted an updated version of the .NET Framework setup verification tool that enabled support for the .NET Framework 4.5 and Windows 8.  I used the Windows 8 Release Preview to test that version of the tool, and an application compatibility shim was added to the final version of Windows 8 that causes the .NET Framework setup verification tool to silently exit and return success.  This was done to address application compatibility issues such as this.

    This week, I’ve posted an updated version of the .NET Framework setup verification tool that has a couple of key changes to react to the application compatibility issues that led to this shim being added to Windows 8.  Here is a brief summary of the changes:

    Updated pass/fail logic

    The logic for determining success and failure for .NET Framework setup verification has been updated.  Previously, the tool would report errors if any file that was supposed to be installed by a given version of the .NET Framework was not found on the computer.  Now, missing files are logged as warnings instead of errors because many of the files installed by the .NET Framework are not critical to the functionality of the .NET Framework.  The only things that will cause the verification tool to report an error are the following:

    • Missing registry keys that are used by applications to detect whether or not the .NET Framework is installed (as documented in the deployment guide for each version of the .NET Framework).
    • Failure to run a sample application that verifies that the .NET Framework runtime can be started correctly.

    Silent mode has been removed

    The .NET Framework setup verification tool no longer supports running in silent mode.  While it was never officially supported to do so, some applications have redistributed older versions of the .NET Framework setup verification tool in their installers.  They would run the verification tool in silent mode, and in some cases they would prevent the user from installing their application if the verification tool reported any failures.  This has caused application compatibility issues (such as this) as new versions of Windows and the .NET Framework have been released.

    You can download the latest version of the .NET Framework setup verification tool by using the links in the User’s Guide.  As always, if you run into any issues or have any feedback about the .NET Framework setup verification tool, please let me know by posting a comment on one of my blog posts or by using the contact form.

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Link to new .NET Framework Repair Tool that can diagnose and repair .NET Framework 4 setup issues

    • 8 Comments

    There was a .NET Framework Repair Tool posted on the Microsoft Download Center earlier this summer, and I wanted to post a link here to hopefully make it easier for people to find. 

    I have seen this new tool successfully identify and fix .NET Framework 4 installation issues that have previously required using more invasive means to solve.  Unlike the .NET Framework cleanup tool available via my blog, this new tool performs targeted diagnostics and makes fixes for specific setup issues instead of resorting to forcibly removing the .NET Framework and requiring the user to re-install it.

    If you run into a .NET Framework 4 installation issue, I strongly encourage you to download the .NET Framework Repair Tool and run it to see if it resolves your issue before resorting to trying the .NET Framework cleanup tool.  Here are links that you can use to find additional information about the .NET Framework Repair Tool:

    <update date="9/8/2012"> Added a link to the knowledge base article for the .NET Framework Repair Tool. </update>

     

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Final versions of Windows 8, .NET Framework 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012 now available for download

    • 13 Comments

    As announced on the Windows 8 app developer blog, Somasegar’s blog and Jason Zander’s blog, the final versions of Windows 8, the .NET Framework 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012 are now available for developers to download. Here is some information to help you get started installing and using these releases.

    Download links

    Here are links to help you get started downloading Windows 8:

    Here are links to help you get started downloading the .NET Framework 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012:

    Documentation links

    Here are links to help you get started using Windows 8:

    Here are links to help you get started using the .NET Framework 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012:

    Important note about installing Visual Studio 2012 on Windows 8

    The .NET Framework 4.5 is included as a part of Windows 8, and Visual Studio 2012 requires the .NET Framework 4.5 as a prerequisite.  You can only install the final version of Visual Studio 2012 on the final version of Windows 8 because the final version of Windows 8 is the only one that includes the final version of the .NET Framework 4.5.  This means you cannot install pre-release versions of Visual Studio 2012 on the final version of Windows 8, and you also cannot install the final version of Visual Studio 2012 on pre-release versions of Windows 8.

    Notes about XNA Game Studio and Windows Phone development

    If you plan to develop games and applications using XNA Game Studio and/or the Windows Phone SDK, there are a couple of important notes to keep in mind:

    1. XNA Game Studio and the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 both work with Visual Studio 2010, not Visual Studio 2012. You will not see any XNA Game Studio or Windows Phone project templates or other functionality for these products in Visual Studio 2012 if you install both products on the same computer. You can safely install Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2012 side-by-side on the same computer though.
    2. If you try to install XNA Game Studio or the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 on Windows 8, setup may fail. If it does, you can use the workaround at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2012/02/29/10274694.aspx to solve the setup failure.
  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    .NET Framework cleanup tool now supports .NET Framework 4.5 and Windows 8

    • 42 Comments

    I have posted an updated version of the .NET Framework cleanup tool that supports cleaning up the .NET Framework 4.5. It has also been updated to correctly recognize when it is running on Windows 8. There is more information about how to download and use the .NET Framework cleanup tool in the user’s guide at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2008/08/28/8904493.aspx.

    As always, if you run into any issues or have any feedback about the .NET Framework cleanup tool, please let me know by posting a comment on one of my blog posts or using the contact form.

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    .NET Framework setup verification tool now supports .NET Framework 4.5 and Windows 8

    • 24 Comments

    I have posted an updated version of the .NET Framework setup verification tool that supports verifying the install state of the .NET Framework 4.5.  It has also been updated to correctly recognize when it is running on Windows 8.  This support is preliminary because the final versions of the .NET Framework 4.5 and Windows 8 have not yet shipped, and I’ll post an updated version in the future when the .NET Framework 4.5 and Windows 8 ship if any changes are made between now and then that cause the tool to report incorrect results.

    There is more information about how to download and use the .NET Framework setup verification tool in the user’s guide at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2008/10/13/8999004.aspx.

    I have not yet posted updated versions of the .NET Framework cleanup tool or the sample .NET Framework detection code, but they are in progress and I’ll upload then and post an update on my blog when they are ready.

    As always, if you run into any issues or have any feedback about the .NET Framework setup verification tool, please let me know by posting a comment on one of my blog posts or using the contact form.

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Windows 8 Release Preview, .NET Framework 4.5 RC and Visual Studio 2012 RC now available for download

    • 2 Comments

    As announced on the Building Windows 8 blog, Somasegar’s blog and Jason Zander’s blog, the Windows 8 Release Preview and an RC version of the .NET Framework 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012 are now available for download.  Here is some information to help you get started installing and using these preview releases.

    Download links

    Here are links to help you get started downloading these preview releases:

    Documentation links

    Here are links to help you get started using the Windows 8 Release Preview:

    Here are links to help you get started using the .NET Framework 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012 RC:

    Notes about XNA Game Studio and Windows Phone development

    If you plan to develop games and applications using XNA Game Studio and/or the Windows Phone SDK, there are a couple of important notes to keep in mind:

    1. XNA Game Studio and the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 both work with Visual Studio 2010, not Visual Studio 2012.  You will not see any XNA Game Studio or Windows Phone project templates or other functionality for these products in the Visual Studio 2012 RC if you install both products on the same computer.  You can safely install Visual Studio 2012 and the Visual Studio 2012 RC side-by-side on the same computer though.
    2. If you try to install XNA Game Studio or the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 on Windows 8, setup may fail.  If it does, you can use the workaround at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2012/02/29/10274694.aspx to solve the setup failure.
  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Mailbag: How to fix an error message that tells me to install the .NET Framework 2.0 when I restart my computer?

    • 0 Comments

    Question:

    I am running Windows 7, and every time I restart the computer, an error message appears that tells me that I need to install the .NET Framework 2.0.  When I try to download and install the .NET Framework 2.0 redistributable, setup fails and tells me that the .NET Framework 2.0 is already a part of my OS.  How can I make this error message stop appearing every time I restart my computer?

    Answer:

    Windows 7 comes with the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2, the .NET Framework 3.0 SP2, and the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 installed as a part of the OS, and there is not a way to remove the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 from Windows 7.  That is why running the .NET Framework 2.0 redistributable fails on Windows 7.

    In the past, when I’ve seen this type of error message appear on Windows 7, it has been caused by one of the following:

    A missing .NET Framework 2.0 registry key

    There is a way to repair the files that are a part of Windows by using SFC.exe, but that does not repair registry keys, so it won’t help in this case.   In order to determine if any critical .NET Framework registry keys are missing from your computer, you can run the .NET Framework verification tool, choose to verify the .NET Framework 2.0, and see if it reports any errors during verification.  If it reports any errors, you can open the log file for the verification tool and search for the string ***error*** to find more details about what is missing.  If any registry keys are missing, you can manually add them using regedit.exe, or you can repair Windows to restore them.

    An application that is using incorrect logic to detect whether or not the .NET Framework is installed.

    In some cases, an application was created before Windows 7 shipped, and it contains incorrect logic for detecting the .NET Framework 2.0 if the .NET Framework 2.0 is installed as a part of the OS.  If this is the case, I recommend checking for an updated version of the software on the manufacturer’s web site or looking for an FAQ on their web site to see if this is a known issue.

    If you are not sure which application is causing this error message to appear, you can use the following steps to figure it out:

    1. Run msconfig.exe.
    2. Click on the Startup tab.
    3. Look at the list and uncheck items one-by-one and reboot until you narrow down which one is causing that error.
    4. Once you narrow it down, look on the web site for the manufacturer of the application to see if they have any known Windows 7 compatibility problems and if so, see if they have an updated version that you can install.

    Note - the most common cause of this issue that I've run into so far is Lexmark printer software.  If you don't find any applications by using the steps listed above, I suggest looking for any Lexmark software installed on your computer and see if uninstalling it helps eliminate this error message when you restart your computer.

    <update date="3/29/2012"> Added a note about Lexmark printer software, which seems to be a common cause of this type of error based on my past experience. </update>

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Visual Studio 11 beta and .NET Framework 4.5 beta are now available for download

    • 3 Comments

    As announced on the Building Windows 8 blog and on Jason Zander’s blog among other places, a consumer preview of Windows 8 and beta versions of Visual Studio 11, the .NET Framework 4.5 and Team Foundation Server 11 are available for download.

    Here are some links to help you get started downloading and using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview:

    Here are some links to help you get started downloading and using the Visual Studio 11 beta and the .NET Framework 4.5 beta:

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Command line switches for .NET Framework 4 setup that you might not have known about

    • 8 Comments

    Because of some of the posts I’ve written in the past, I often get asked about how to install various products in silent or unattended mode.  In some cases, I am familiar with the product and know how to answer the question.  However, in a lot of cases, I don’t, and in those cases, I try running the installer with the /? command line switch to see if it will display a usage dialog to describe the available options.  This technique doesn’t always help because some installers do not list any command line switches or they only list a selected subset of their supported switches.  However, it has provided some very useful information in the past, and it is worth trying if you are having trouble finding documentation for setup command line switches.

    For example, if you download the installer for the .NET Framework 4 and run it with the /? switch, you will see a lot of information about available command line switches.  There are several standard options that are pretty well documented (silent/unattended install and uninstall), and there are several other useful options that you may not have been aware of:

    • /CEIPconsent – allows you to opt into sending customer experience feedback about .NET Framework 4 setup back to Microsoft.
    • /lcid – force setup UI to appear in a specific language instead of the user’s Windows UI language.
    • /log – sets the name and location to use for setup log files.
    • /msioptions – sets parameters (such as MSI properties) that are passed through to each of the .msi files installed as a part of the .NET Framework 4 setup.
    • /pipe – connect a communication channel to allow an installer that chains the .NET Framework to receive installation progress messages.  There is an MSDN article that explains this option in more detail and provides code samples as well.
  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Mailbag: Do I need still need older versions of the .NET Framework on my system after installing the .NET Framework 4?

    • 14 Comments

    Note: This is an updated version of a previous mailbag entry that I posted before the .NET Framework 4 shipped.

    Question:

    I recently installed the .NET Framework 4 on my system. Afterwards, I looked in Add/Remove Programs, and it shows that I have all of the following versions of the .NET Framework installed on my system:

    • Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1
    • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 SP2
    • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 SP2
    • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
    • Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile
    • Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Extended

    Do I need any of these older versions of the .NET Framework now that I’ve installed the .NET Framework 4, or can I safely uninstall them?

    Answer:

    In general, my recommendation is to leave the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2, 3.0 SP2, 3.5 SP1 and 4 installed on your computer.

    Unlike previous versions of the .NET Framework, the .NET Framework 4 does not allow an application that was built with previous versions of the .NET Framework to migrate forward and run on it if the previous version is not installed. If you are using any applications that were built with any version of the .NET Framework before version 4, then I recommend leaving both the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and the .NET Framework 4 installed.

    You cannot use the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 unless you also have the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 installed. Therefore, you will not be allowed to uninstall the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 or 3.0 SP2 if you have the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 installed. If you try to uninstall the .NET Framework 2.0 or 3.0 when the .NET Framework 3.5 is installed, their uninstall processes will block and tell you that they are needed by another application on your system.

    The .NET Framework 1.0 and .NET Framework 1.1 can be installed side-by-side with the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0, 3.5 and 4. Most applications that were created for the .NET Framework 1.0 or 1.1 will automatically use the .NET Framework 2.0 instead if it is installed on the system. In most cases, that means you do not need to keep the .NET Framework 1.0 or 1.1 installed on your system if you already have the .NET Framework 2.0 installed.

    However, there are some applications that are configured to require a specific version of the .NET Framework, even if later versions of the .NET Framework are installed. If you have any applications like that on your system and try to run them without installing the .NET Framework 1.0 or 1.1, you will get an error message that looks like the following:

    ---------------------------
    MyApplication.exe - .NET Framework Initialization Error
    ---------------------------
    To run this application, you first must install one of the following versions of the .NET Framework:
    v1.1.4322
    Contact your application publisher for instructions about obtaining the appropriate version of the .NET Framework.
    ---------------------------
    OK
    ---------------------------

    In the above error message, the version number will be v1.0.3705 if you need to install the .NET Framework 1.0, and it will be v1.1.4322 if you need to install the .NET Framework 1.1.

    If you end up seeing any error messages like this, you can re-install the .NET Framework 1.0 or 1.1 in order to resolve the errors. If you don't end up seeing any error messages like this, then you don't need to worry about re-installing the .NET Framework 1.0 or 1.1.

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11 developer preview available for download

    • 0 Comments

    As announced on the Building Windows 8 blog and on Jason Zander’s blog among other places, a developer preview of Windows 8 is available for download.  One of the download options for the Windows 8 Developer Preview includes a pre-installed version of the developer tools, including Visual Studio 11 and .NET Framework 4.5 developer preview.

    Here are some links to help you get started downloading and using the Windows 8 Developer Preview and the associated developer tools:

    Rob Mensching posted some additional information on his blog about setup features in Visual Studio 11.  There are a couple of key points that he mentioned in his post that I want to highlight here as well:

    • Visual Studio 11 setup is being built with the WiX 3.6 toolset and the Burn chainer.  This point is a little bittersweet for me personally.  One one hand, I have been really happy to see the Burn chainer technology grow into something that can support the relatively complex chaining scenarios needed by Visual Studio setup.  On the other hand, the previous Visual Studio setup chainer is one of the first things I worked on when I started at Microsoft back in 1999, and it was used to install all versions of Visual Studio from 2002 to 2010 as well as the .NET Framework 3.0 and 3.5.  It feels a little bit like the end of an era for me to finally see that chainer get retired.

    • Setup is integrated more tightly and earlier on in the developer work flow for Metro-style applications for Windows 8 than it has been in previous Windows development paradigms.  I feel pretty strongly that product development as a whole is most effective when setup is integrated into the product development lifecycle instead of being an afterthought.  Rob previously referred to this concept as setup-driven development, and I’m happy to see it become a more established practice in Windows 8.
  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Mailbag: Should I re-install the versions of the .NET Framework in a specific order?

    • 21 Comments

    Question:

    I used the instructions and the cleanup tool in this blog post to remove all versions of the .NET Framework from my computer, and now I want to re-install them.  Do I need to re-install them in any specific order?

    Answer:

    In general, the versions of the .NET Framework allow you to install in any order you choose.  However, I recommend installing in reverse order from newest to oldest, like this:

    1. .NET Framework 4
    2. .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (this will install the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 behind the scenes so you do not have to install them separately)
    3. .NET Framework 1.1 (if you have any programs installed that need it, this blog post can help you decide whether or not you need it)

    Most programs do not specifically require the .NET Framework 1.0 so I didn't list it above.  If you do need the .NET Framework 1.0, you will have to install it before installing the .NET Framework 4 because .NET Framework 4 setup blocks future installation attempts for the .NET Framework 1.0.  If you need the .NET Framework 1.0, I recommend installing in this order:

    1. .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (this will install the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 behind the scenes so you do not have to install them separately)
    2. .NET Framework 1.1 (if you have any programs installed that need it, this blog post can help you decide whether or not you need it)
    3. .NET Framework 1.0 (if you have any programs installed that need it, this blog post can help you decide whether or not you need it)
    4. .NET Framework 4

    Even though it is a little counter-intuitive, there are a couple of reasons that I recommend installing in reverse order:

    • To help avoid some possible setup bugs in older versions of the .NET Framework – there are a couple of setup bugs (like this and this) in older versions of the .NET Framework that are fixed in service packs and later versions.  Installing a later version of the .NET Framework first will update some files that are shared by all versions of the .NET Framework, and that will allow you to avoid these bugs when installing older versions of the .NET Framework.
    • To minimize the number of separate downloads and installs – if you install the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 first, it will automatically install the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 for you, so you don’t need to install them separately.  Also, if you install older versions of the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 before installing the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, the 3.5 SP1 installer will automatically uninstall them as a part of its install process.  That means you will just end up wasting time if you install the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 before installing the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.

    <update date="1/31/2011"> Added a separate set of installation instructions for cases where the .NET Framework 1.0 is required because .NET Framework 4 setup prevents the .NET Framework 1.0 from being installed after it. </update>

     

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Mailbag: How to perform a silent install of the Visual C++ 2010 redistributable packages

    • 45 Comments

    Question:

    You previously posted lists of command line switches to perform silent and unattended installations of the Visual C++ 2005 redistributable and the Visual C++ 2008 redistributable.  How can I perform silent and unattended installations of the Visual C++ 2010 redistributable?

    Answer:

    The Visual C++ 2010 redistributable packages (vcredist_x86.exe, vcredist_x64.exe and vcredist_ia64.exe) support the following command line installation options.

    The examples below use the file named vcredist_x86.exe, but you can substitute the x64 or ia64 versions of the EXEs with equivalent command lines to achieve the same behavior for them as well.

    Silent install

    This option will suppress all UI and perform an install.

    <full path>\vcredist_x86.exe /q /norestart

    For example, if you download vcredist_x86.exe to a folder named c:\vc2010redist, then the command line would look like this:

    c:\vc2010redist\vcredist_x86.exe /q /norestart

    Unattended install

    This option will display a progress dialog (but requires no user interaction) and perform an install.

    <full path>\vcredist_x86.exe /passive /norestart

    For example, if you download vcredist_x86.exe to a folder named c:\vc2010redist, then the command line would look like this:

    c:\vc2010redist\vcredist_x86.exe /passive /norestart

    Silent repair

    This option will suppress all UI and perform a repair.

    <full path>\vcredist_x86.exe /q /repair /norestart

    For example, if you download vcredist_x86.exe to a folder named c:\vc2010redist, then the command line would look like this:

    c:\vc2010redist\vcredist_x86.exe /q /repair /norestart

    Silent uninstall

    This option will suppress all UI and perform an uninstall.

    <full path>\vcredist_x86.exe /q /uninstall /norestart

    For example, if you download vcredist_x86.exe to a folder named c:\vc2010redist, then the command line would look like this:

    c:\vc2010redist\vcredist_x86.exe /q /uninstall /norestart

    A note about reboots

    All of the examples above use the /norestart switch to suppress reboots after the setup process completes.  The /norestart switch does not eliminate the need to reboot entirely – it just gives the calling process control over when to schedule the reboot if one is needed due to files being in use during setup.  If you run the Visual C++ 2010 redistributable setup and use the /norestart switch, you must check the exit code returned by the setup process and handle it accordingly in the calling process.  Here are the possible exit codes:

    • Exit code 0 means that setup succeeded and no reboot is needed.
    • Exit code 3010 means that setup succeeded and a reboot is needed to complete installation.
    • Any other exit code means that setup failed.

    Related link

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    How to fix compatibility mode error that can appear when installing Windows Phone Developer Tools or Visual Studio 2010

    • 44 Comments

    I have heard from a few people who tried to install the final release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools but get an installation error like the following:

    Visual Studio setup cannot run in compatibility mode.
    For more information see the 'Installing' section in the Visual Studio readme at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=143397.

    The link in the error message points to the Visual Studio 2010 readme because this issue can affect all editions of Visual Studio 2010, including WPDT.  Item 2.1.10 in that readme provides a workaround for this issue.  In my past experience, that workaround has proven to be incomplete though, so here are some updated steps that usually help solve this type of error:

    1. Click on the start menu, choose Run, type regedit and click OK.
    2. Browse to each of the following keys and delete any value that refers to the WPDT setup program (named vm_web.exe):

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Compatibility Assistant\Persisted
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Compatibility Assistant\Persisted
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers

    If the above doesn’t help, then you can also try to save vm_web.exe to your computer and run it from there.  When compatibility mode is triggered by Windows, it is based on a full path to the setup executable, so if you save it to a different location than you previously tried to run it from and then run it again, that can help avoid triggering compatibility mode.

  • Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    New knowledge base article with detection information for all versions of the .NET Framework

    • 5 Comments

    Microsoft has posted an updated knowledge base article today with a unified list of install state and service pack level detection information for each of the currently released versions of the .NET Framework (1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.5 and 4).  You can find the knowledge base article at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318785 and I encourage you to take a look if you have any scenarios where you need to detect .NET Framework install state information.

    Also, as a reminder, I have posted some sample code that demonstrates how to implement .NET Framework detection logic, and this type of example might be useful if you need to be able to detect the .NET Framework install state in your installer or your application code.

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