SHORT VERSION You're running Windows 8, and for some reason or another need to install the .NET Framework 3.5. Open up the Windows Features dialog, and its totally blank, without any add/remove options. What the heck?
FIX Each of these command can take upwards of an hour to run. BE PATIENT, some of the dialogs sit there a while and seem to be stuck, but they're not. Open an elevated command prompt and run the two following commands
dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
LONG VERSION Although it didn't match my situation directly, I binged around and found this post ( http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/732ad60c-ecc6-4801-ac16-da474dace19f/problem-with-windows-features-on-or-off ) which offered some potential solutions to fix Windows Features issues. I ran the commands as listed in the FIX section above. . After the command ran and I rebooted the machine, I could use Windows Features to install the .NET Framework 3.5 on my Windows 8 box. I didn't think the command would take over an hour to run, and well, might have killed them once or twice when I thought they were stuck, so watch out.
Posted here for the SEO gods in the hope it doesn't cost someone else the 4 hours of research and fix that it took to resolve the issue.
Thank you for the heads up on this. I was stumped!
haven't finished the process, but I'm hoping this is the fix!
I had the same problem too, but in my case the problem was that the "Trusted Installer" service was not started. After restarting of Windows the "Trusted Installer" service was running again and the "Windows Features" dialog wasn't empty any more.
Good tip Matthias. Thanks.
If this works, I'll cook you dinner.