Install .NET on a new XP install?

Posted on 2011-10-06
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
We setup multiple XP computers a week and had a question.  Several optional updates are for the .NET framework.  If we don't have a need for .NET or don't think we do, should we just leave it off the system?  If you install it, there are more updates to update .NET and just makes the process of setting up a new PC even longer.  Thoughts.
Question by:gta2011
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    You can leave it off the system - its not mandatory is my understanding

    If you need it later for a particular piece of software, you can download it via windows update

    Author Comment

    If you do install it, do you have to install all versions 1-4?
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    No, you do not need to install all versions.

    .NET 1.0 is mainly needed only for older, legacy applications. .NET 1.1 is a slightly updated version which should run anything designed for 1.0, but you could install 1.0 separately if needed. You do not need to install either of these to run later versions of .NET though.

    .NET 2.0 through 3.5 are cumulative releases, meaning each version is built on the previous, and requires the previous version installed. So .NET 3.5 requires .NET 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0, and will install them if any are not already there. If you install just .NET 2.0, Windows Update will recommend upgrading to 3.5 SP1 as a critical update. Probably most current .NET apps use one of these versions of .NET

    .NET 4 is the newest version, and is not dependent on any previous versions of .NET. Only really recent, or recently updated, apps may need this version.

    For me, one of the optional programs at our work uses .NET 2.0, so I install .NET 3.5 SP1 and related updates. I do not bother with .NET 1.0, 1.1, or 4.0.

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