I want to install .NET framework 3.5 on a couple of machines that do not have internet access. If I install the "no internet access"-package it still wants to download something. How can I figure out what is missing? Are there other installation packages?

Edit: I would present screenshots but I cannot upload anything from here and the shots would be in german. So I present only the text translated back to english...

Installing the "full redistributable package":
At the bottom of the license agreement page it display this text:

Size of download file: 67 MB
Appoximate download time: 2h 44min (56KBit/s) 18min (512KBit/s)

It shows the text even if I installed Windows Installer 3.1.

After agreeing it displays the "Download and Installation Status"-Dialog with a progress bar labeled "Download:" and

Status: Connection to server attempted (try X of 5).
Total Download Status: 56MB/67MB

I tried it in a VM with no network connection. It tries 5 times while the progress bar shows progress. Later the progress bar is labeled "Installation:". Even later it reports problems during setup and provides two buttons "Send Report Later" and "Don't Send". Now here it comes: "Setup completed" and "Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 has been deinstalled successfully." (Emphasis is mine)
"It is recommended to install current service packs and security updates. More information at Windows Update (link)."

Edit2: Installed Service Pack 3, but still no success.

  • How do you know that it is trying to download something? Any error message? Aug 11, 2009 at 7:55
  • It says something about downloading additional stuff. I will retry the installation and post the exact wording... Aug 11, 2009 at 8:01
  • Edited the question... Aug 11, 2009 at 9:31

4 Answers 4


If you are using a localized version of Windows the setup automatically tries to download the language pack for your location.

To bypass the automatic download you can specify English as the installation language by using the following command line:

C:\path\to\installer\dotnetfx35.exe /lang:ENU

After the setup is complete you can download and install the language pack for your location manually.


  • Now this sounds interesting, since its a german WXP. I'll be back... Aug 11, 2009 at 14:17
  • Yeah, baby, yeah! Aug 11, 2009 at 18:19

As well as the .NET Framework 3.5 Redistributable, you must also have the required version of Windows Installer 3.1 Redistributable (v2). This may be the reason that the installer is trying to download more.


Have a look in your machine's Application and System event logs for any warnings or errors around the time when you were running the install, pay particular attention to any events logged by MsiInstaller.

It's quite likely that at least one of the messages should say what it's trying to install, which is very likely to be a missing pre-requisite of some kind (although you've got the full installer for .Net it probably doesn't include all the pre-reqs but assumes that you'll already have them, and then helpfully tries to download and install them if not).

See How .NET Framework 3.5 setup checks for its prerequisites behind the scenes for details on what the installer's doing to install it's pre-reqs.

The following are the prerequisites for deploying the .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows XP:

  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)*.
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 Service Pack 1 (SP1)*.
  • Windows Installer 3.1*.
  • .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 1 (SP1).
  • .NET Framework 3.0 Service Pack 1 (SP1).
  • Windows Imaging Component*.
  • XML Paper Specification (XPS) Shared Components Pack 1.0*.
  • Software Rasterizer for the Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Software Development Kit (SDK).

(from .NET Framework 3.5 Deployment Guide for Administrators)

  • 1
    Note that the XML Paper Spec install will fail with an obscure error message if you don't have the print spooler running on the machine (as you may not on a non-LAN machine).
    – GAThrawn
    Aug 11, 2009 at 13:28

Try first Windows Installer 4.5 Redistributable, followed by the Update to MSI 4.5 (KB958655) - they solve some problems with the setup of SQL 2005/2008 as a bonus.

After that install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service pack 1 (Full Package) (231.5 MB).

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