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

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?
.NET ProgrammingWindows XPMicrosoft Development

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Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger)

8/22/2022 - Mon
Tapan Pattanaik

Tapan Pattanaik

Tapan Pattanaik

Experts Exchange has (a) saved my job multiple times, (b) saved me hours, days, and even weeks of work, and often (c) makes me look like a superhero! This place is MAGIC!
Walt Forbes

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?
Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger)

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 http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=17851

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.
David Johnson, CD

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.  http://www.hanselman.com/blog/CommentView.aspx?guid=7cd75505-192f-4fef-b617-e47e1e2cb94b (via wikipedia)
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