Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Install That Never Ends

My computer has been trying to stall the same two Microsoft Netframework updates for about a month now. It's been more of a nuisance than a real problem. It slows down shutdown and takes up memory space.  I finally decided to do something about it, though.

Apparently Microsoft built Net Framework one version on top of the other. You can install a later version the first time you install it on your XP operating system. The problem is, the later versions don't include some elements from the first versions that they need to install updates later. If you didn't install 1.0, then 2.0, then 2.5 Sp1, then 3.0, the 3.5 Sp1, then 4.0 ad infinitum you can't get past the Net Framework 3.5 Sp1 update with the XP updates. Depending on which version you skipped, you could wind up reinstalling up to seven updates that I know of. 

I took out the whole Net Framework manually (a serious pain in the buttocks) and then reinstalled starting with version 2.0.  I managed only to reduce the number of rotating updates from seven to two.

XP claims it's installing the update. It shows the little bar graph thing and even tells you when it's "all finished".


As soon as you reboot the computer, there they are. Lying in wait. Begging prettily to be installed.

Like the intensely irritating Lois and Bram kid's tune, "The Song that Never Ends", it just goes on and on my friend.  I discovered that the only thing you can do is remove the enitre Net Framework and reinstall each piece from 1.0 on.

I found two bits of software that help.

The first:, Aaron Stebner's handy Net Framework Cleanup Tool removes all Net Framework versions from your computer. Make sure you get the file from Stebner's site or Softpedia so you get the right one and don't download something nasty.

The second tool is aSoft's .Net Version Detector.  The file unfortunately will be saved on your computer with with the same name as a notorious malware program.  Be sure and get your copy from the aSoft link to make sure it's the good one.

.Net Detector checks to see which version of Net Framework you have and gives you a button beside the list of versions in the version detector window. The buttons take you right to where you need to go to download that version. Simply run the tool and start at the top downloading the files and installing each successive version.

You should stop having trouble with the update after that.

Good luck.  When you get done, give yourself a nice reward for a job well done.  You deserve it. I bought myself a sleek new mouse.


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