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Can’t install .net 3.5 on server 2012

Posted on 2014-12-19
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Last Modified: 2014-12-23
When trying to install .net 3.5 using Roles and Features it fails with, ‘Installation of one or more role services or features failed.  The source files could not be found etc…  I have tried dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /Source:D:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess, this fails with Error 0x800f081f – The source files cannot be found etc. I’ve read that I should uninstall KB2966828, KB2966827 and KB2966826, but I don’t have them installed.
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Question by:grsg
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Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 40509115
And at last this is the solution...

the author already stated those updates are not installed
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Author Comment

by:grsg
ID: 40509153
Hi Thommy, I've been through EE results trying the solutions, but still have the errors.  To add more info - the server can connect to MS update, I've copied the sxs folder to C:\ and have opened up permissions and have two copies of installation disks, but I always return to the same errors
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40509182
Try running .NET FX Verifier and see (a) if it can tell you what is installed (check all versions) and (b) if it can repair .NET.

http://cid-27e6a35d1a492af7.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Blog%7C_Tools/netfx%7C_setupverifier%7C_new.zip 

The .zip file that contains the tool also contains a file named history.txt that lists when the most recent version of the tool was published and what changes have been made to the tool over time.
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40509196
Even if the server can access Microsoft update, you are including the /limitaccessnflag so the server won't use it. I'd start by dropping that flag and the source flag. Let windows grab the appropriate binaries from the web. The error is *often* caused by a version mismatch between the media being used and the parched OS. While the common culprit patches have been listed, that list is by no means exhaustive. I've found others that break the ability to use RTM media as well.
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Author Comment

by:grsg
ID: 40509232
Hi Cliff, just tried your suggestions but still get fail with error 0x800f0906 exactly as before
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Author Comment

by:grsg
ID: 40509242
Hi John, verifier finds .net fw 4 client, 4 full, 4.5 and 4.5.1 but I need 3.5 for Sage to run
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by:Seth Simmons
ID: 40509245
have you tried the all option?

Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx3 /All /Source:D:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40509248
That's usually a good sign that windows is unable to contact WU. Do you have another 2012 server with 3.5 already installed?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40509253
In addition to the above, you might find .NET 3.5 in Programs and Features, Windows Features. If there, you may need to check it (enable it), close out, and possibly restart the server.
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Author Comment

by:grsg
ID: 40509262
Seth, yes did try the All option, but no good.  Cliff, I can connect to WU from Control Panel and can see new updates waiting for MS Office and I can browse the web freely.  No, I don't have another 2012 server, I do have 2008, is that asking a bit much to think that it may be compatible?
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Accepted Solution

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Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 40509295
Definitely not compatible.

Well, the painful way then. I've never had this method fail.

Stand up a VM or grab an old workstation.

Install a new server from media. Since you are trying to add 3.5 to 2012, use 2012 media, NOT 2012 R2 (yes, it matters.) also match edition (standard, datacenter) and core or GUI.

Do *not* patch this new install.

Add .Net 3.5 using the media as the source. This will work as the install and media definitely match.

Meanwhile, on the existing live machine, use the windows update control panel to view installed updates. Make a list.

Once 3.5 is installed on the new machine, install each update from tour list and *only* those updates.

Restart the new server

Now you can add 3.5 to the existing server, specifying the WinSxS folder of the new server as the source. Any patches that touch the folder, causing the media mismatch, have been installed, so this makes version matching succeed.

----

Yes, it reads a bit convoluted, but in practice is easy. You can make the update list while the fresh OS is installing. The whole thing. from first click to final success, takes about an hour. Which is less time than it takes trying to uninstall various updates to find the culprit. As I said, I have a 100% success rate with this method when the rules are followed.
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Author Comment

by:grsg
ID: 40512755
Hi Cliff, life is never easy...  I don't have another 64bit  machine to build the second server on to.  I may be able to ask some friends if I can copy from their servers the relevant files.  If I copied the WinSxS folder from another server 2012 R2 installation and used that as the source on my server, would that work?
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40513163
Only if it is built to a patch level similar to your live server. And copying winSxS itself is not supported and doesn't always work as expected. I'd not consider that path trustworthy.
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Author Closing Comment

by:grsg
ID: 40514492
I solved this in the end by removing all the updates that had been installed since we installed the server, a slow process, but easy as they were all installed over two days last week. After a reboot I was able to install 3.5.  I'm awarding Cliff the points as I could see his solution would work, but as I didn't have a spare machine to build the new server on I couldn't use his solution, but he put enough information in his explanation for me to realise my problems were being caused by the updates.  Thanks to all that contributed.
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