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Unable to install .net framework

I am a little confused.  A program requires .net framework 2.0, but it appears not to be installed on the computer that I am using.  The OS is Windows XP SP3.

.net 1.1, 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0 were listed in Add/Remove Programs.   I uninstalled .net 4.0 and attempted to uninstall .net 3.5 and 3.0 to roll back the installations to a point where everything would reinstall correcly.  .net 4.0 uninstalled, but the 3.5 uninstallation returned an error that 3.5 was not installed.  I then uninstalled 3.5 with the Installer Cleanup Utility.  I was unable to uninstall 3.0.  The error was that it is required forsome installed programs.

Now I cannot install any version of .net Framework ar any updates to .net Framework.

My understanding is that .net Framework versions are not necessarily backward compatible and that all versions must be there.  Is this true?

What do I have to do to get everything installed correctly?
Microsoft Legacy OSWindows OSWindows XP

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Robert St. Germain

8/22/2022 - Mon
Robert St. Germain

"The .NET Framework 3.5 is an add-on that requires the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 and the .NET Framework 3.0 SP1 to be present as prerequisites.  If you have the .NET Framework 3.5 installed, you will not be allowed to uninstall the .NET Framework 3.0 SP1 or 2.0 SP1 until you first uninstall the .NET Framework 3.5.  You will also not be allowed to uninstall the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 until you first uninstall the .NET Framework 3.5 and the .NET Framework 3.0 SP1.

In addition, the .NET Framework versions 1.1, and 2.0 are completely separate from each other, and one version can be present on a computer regardless of whether the other versions are present. When versions 1.1 and 2.0 are on the same computer, each version has its own common language runtime, class libraries, compiler, and so forth. As a result you could here uninstall 1.1."

Credit goes to Edwer Fang for this. I took this from the msdn site dedicated to .net issues.



Thank you for clarifying that.

It sounds like I was on the right track, Uninstalling everything tallow me to reinstall everything.  But, I can't get .Net Framework 3.5 to uninstall, and 2.0 is nowhere to be found.  It appears that the uninstaller utility only dug me in deeper.
Robert St. Germain

This page most likely will help you with your uninstall problem:


Here is a link on how to install .net 2.0: (just skip the uninstall part)


Sorry I missed the part that you were stuck in the first question.  Let me know how it works out for ya!

This is the best money I have ever spent. I cannot not tell you how many times these folks have saved my bacon. I learn so much from the contributors.
Sam Simon Nasser


Thank you both.

The cleanup tool move me down the road.  Now, .Net Framework 3.0 will not install.  The error log says that Installation failed for Component Windows Communication Foundation.  MSI returned Error 1603.  I tried giving System Full control over everything.  That did not help.
Robert St. Germain

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I had already done that procedure, but I ran through it again after rerunning the Cleanup Tool.

The result was the same - Error 1603.

I did not understand the first method in the article - to install to an unincrypted folder.  Nor, did I see any oportunity to redirect the installation into a folder of my choice.
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The final answer was tp accept the Update to .NET Froamework 3.5, which apparently rolls up updates from 2.0 to 3.5.

Everything is working.
Robert St. Germain

Thanks for the points!  Nice to hear you are back up and running.