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I need to install .NET on Windows XP so that I can use Microsoft's uuidgen program, but before doing so I need to make sure that it will not affect any applications and cause them to stop working. Does anyone have any experience with this?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The only thing installing .NET does is install extra binaries, add services and add some registry keys; thus there isn't much really modified that could cause existing applications to stop working.

A .NET application will use these extra binaries and the configuration of the registry, the services either provide support for compiling the .NET application (NGEN) from an intermediary language to machine language or provide caching capabilities for fonts (WPF Font Cache).

.NET 3.5 includes all previous versions down to .NET 2.0 thus any .NET program should just work and nothing else breaks. You will need to install .NET 4.0 apart as it doesn't contain previous vesions, please note that .NET 1.0 and 1.1 are rarely needed.

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Is your comment ".NET 4.0 includes all previous versions" true? I believe that .NET4.0 is an entity in its own right, with its own CLR. Installing it will not also install .NET1.1/2.0/3/0/3.5. – Andy Jun 30 '10 at 16:32
Ah, woops, they did not include them to make the download size smaller, I'll correct the last alinea. – Tom Wijsman Jun 30 '10 at 20:21
.NET 3.5 includes 2.0, 3.0, and 3.5. 1.0 and 1.1 are independent, and generally unnecessary. – afrazier Jun 30 '10 at 20:41

It shouldn't stop anything working.

I'm not going to give a 100% guarantee, because I've learnt that those don't exist where computers are concerned.

Anything working now should still work as it doesn't need .NET (or has already installed it for you) and .NET doesn't remove anything from your machine.

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Many many people, including me, have experience with .Net on XP.
It's really harmless. Non-.Net programs don't use it.

Just remember that you only need to install the latest version, which also installs all intermediate versions until version 2.

If you are worried, take an image snapshot of the system disk (which is anyway always recommended before any serious update).

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You might need to install .NET 1.1 as well - that is a separate installl. – ChrisF Jun 23 '10 at 13:13
There is no need to install .NET 1.1 apart as far as I know of. – Tom Wijsman Jun 23 '10 at 13:18
@Tom - I've had to install it when installing a relatively old tool built on 1.1. – ChrisF Jun 23 '10 at 13:20
Installing 1.1 can be done later, but only if required. It can be done anytime after or before installing the latest .Net version. – harrymc Jun 23 '10 at 13:25
.NET 2.0 is build on .NET 1.1, but it's possible: There might be software explicitly checking if .NET 1.1 has been installed in an old way or something, nice to know if I somehow ever meet a .NET 1.1 application that doesn't want to work... – Tom Wijsman Jun 24 '10 at 21:30

I've installed .Net a few times. And the only problem is it can make your Windows XP slower if you have old computer. I've installed in on pentium celeron mobile laptop with 512MB Ram and it make the laptop slower. But in Core Duo laptop with 1GB Ram it runs well.

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I would agree that is it "harmless" and just to show how harmless it is, I would encourage a installer of this NET stuff to use regshot a reg tracer , total uninstall (old) or anything else that you can see EVERYTHING that goes on behind the scenes between installed and not. i saw some surprising "Changes" to things that i dont quite understand during the 3.0 + 3.0sp1 instalation.

It doesnt hurt to LOOK does it :-) even though it may hurt your eyes.

i have had various net framework items installed on the system, and overall there are normal operating system items that could be concidered more "intrusive" and "controlling" than this. but also check out your Advanced options in Internet Options after its instalation, there is a new Hole in town, and new lamers who may someday learn to exploit it.

as Shultz would say, I know nothing, but i did see things i am not telling the commodant.

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