.NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package (x86) Can't be found!

Posted on 2012-12-31
Last Modified: 2013-01-07
I was told to install .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package (x86) in order to get another program to work.
However, I can't find it on the MS web site.  And I will not visit superduperdownloads to get it.

Question:.  Can I use a more recent version? Or do I need to stick to this version.

Bigger question: What is this file for?  What does it do?  Why is it needed for another program to run?
Question by:brothertruffle880
LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Tapan Pattanaik
ID: 38733174
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by:Tapan Pattanaik
ID: 38733181
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by:Tapan Pattanaik
ID: 38733186
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Author Comment

ID: 38733279
I need the NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package (x86) from Microsoft's web site.  Not a third-party site.

Question:.  Can I use a more recent version? Or do I need to use 2.0.
Bigger question: What is this file for?  What does it do?  Why is it needed for another program to run?
LVL 40
ID: 38733704
The framework is needed for any application programmed under the Microsoft .NET system. These programs need to call functions that are part of the framework in order to work. Requiring that a specific version of the framework be installed is the same as requiring that a specific version Windows is available.

Microsoft did a clean up recently. When you install Framework 4.0, it installs needed components for all the previous versions of the framework, and set the system so that old applications go though the proper route to find what they need. That is why Framework 2.0 is no longer available on their site. You will find 4.0 at

I have heard that some applications do not follow the standard procedures however and can still bomb if you did not install the exact version of the framework, but most applications that to the way things should be done and are OK.
LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 38734143
Actually 3.5 is the rollup for .net 2.0, 4.0 is a rewrite and it is not compatible with .net 2.0 calls.

When you install .NET 3.5 on your system, while the .NET CLR is the same and runs the same, there's some additional Properties and Methods that were added to the Base Class Libraries in order to make some 3.5 features like LINQ work as well as fix a few customer issues. (via wikipedia)
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Accepted Solution

Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger) earned 500 total points
ID: 38734684
ve3ofa is right. Thanks for correcting me. I had not seen that one pass because somehow I still have a 2.0 directory on my development station with a date that is the same as the 4.0 installation. I thus thought that installing 4.0 had given me 2.0.

But Microsoft is clear that 2.0 applications do not work on 4.0 alone:

You can find the 3.5 SP1 download, which includes cumulative servicing updates to the .NET Framework 2.0, at

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