Oddly enough, this has been my, by far, most popular blog post the past 9 years I’ve been running this blog. This blog post has been updated numerous times, and was initially written for Windows Server 2012, but is still applicable today.
If you are, like most people, having issues with installing .NET Framework 3.5 on your server or client machine, read this blog post to get some more clarity on this question.
This blog post focuses on installing .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, and Windows 10.
First available on January 16, 2008, the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 is a framework with a shared library of code that can be used by developers. It also provides a run-time environment for applications.
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 is a typical prerequisite for legacy applications, and a general guideline is to install it. This post is a guide for how to install .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, and Windows 10.
There are several ways of checking which .NET Framework versions you have installed:
– Control Panel
– The Windows Registry
For more information, refer to this article:
Where do I find the .NET Framework 3.5 installation status?
This blog post describes how to install .NET Framework 3.5 using:
- Command-line (DISM)
- Server Manager (GUI)
- Offline Installer
Unfortunately, installing Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 is not as straight forward as you might think. Microsoft has a guide for installing .NET Framework 3.5, but it does not provide the full story.
If you are trying to install the feature from Server Manager or Programs and Features, the following error appears:
“Do you want to specify an alternate source path? One or more installation selections are missing source files…”
Install .NET Framework 3.5 using the command-line (DISM)
Go to a command prompt and enter this command:
dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /all /Source:d:sourcessxs /LimitAccess
Note: Source should be the Windows installation disc. In my case, the media was located on D:
Install .NET Framework 3.5 using Powershell
It is also possible to install .NET Framework 3.5 using Powershell. Use this command to accomplish this:
Add-WindowsCapability –Online -Name NetFx3~~~~ –Source D:sourcessxs
Install .NET Framework 3.5 using the Server Manager
Go down to Specify an alternate source path and enter <media drive>sourcessxs as the path.
Enter the source path. This should be the Windows media path.
Install .NET Framework 3.5 using the offline installer
You can also install .NET Framework 3.5 using the Offline Installer: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=25150
Review installation of .NET Framework 3.5
Once you have followed one of the above 3 installation methods, you should see the .NET Framework 3.5 Feature installed. You can verify this via:
- The GUI
Review installation of .NET Framework 3.5 using the Server Manager
If you open Server Manager and open Add Roles and Features, you should see the following for the .NET Framework 3.5 installation:
Review installation of .NET Framework 3.5 using Powershell
Use the below Powershell command to see if .NET Framework 3.5 is installed and with which subversions:
(Get-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:SOFTWAREMicrosoftNET Framework SetupNDPv3.5").Version
Incredibly, this is still an issue and still my most popular blog post on this site. For the past 7 years, since this blog post was first published, not much has changed on the GUI side. The possibility to install .NET Framework 3.5 using Powershell is improved, but not much more. Even though .NET Framework 3.5 is an old library, we are likely to see it as a prerequisite for the upcoming years as well.
When did you first encounter this issue and is it still applicable to you?
Please leave a comment below with your answer!
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