It looks like the .Net frameworks on my XP SP3 system has suddenly died, won't repair, won't uninstall cleanly, won't reinstall cleanly. An important app using .Net Framework 2.0 dies immediately on startup (with the usual option to send info to MS if I want to).

More details: I use Nikon's CaptureNX 2.0 for photo editing. It's worked more or less well for several years. All of a sudden starting a few weeks ago, it crashes on startup every time. The program uses (and installs during setup if necessary) .Net Framework 2.0. My system also has (had) .Net Framework 3.5 SP1, and .Net Framework 1.0

Scuttlebut on the Web says CaptureNX crashes often relate to .Net framework problems, so I tried running "Repair" from add/remove programs on .Net 3.5 Framework SP1, on .Net Framework 2.0, etc. Each one of those repair options itself reports one or more crashes during operation.

So, I figured I'd uninstall all of them in reverse order. The uninstalls also report some crashses, but add/remove programs shows the frameworks gone. Reinstalling them results in, you guessed it, crashes of the install process, though the installer reports success anyway (!?!). CaptureNX still crashes, and so does a .Net Framework 2.0 test program.


1) am I the only one suddenly seeing failures like this as of late June/July 2011? The system has been very stable, and I've done nothing suspicious other than letting the June 2011 Windows XP Security updates run.

2) I've seen various helpful links on the Web about uninstalling .Net framework manually. These include: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2008/08/28/8904493.aspx , http://support.microsoft.com/kb/908077 . The steps in the latter don't help. Haven't tried the former, but I'm concerned that all of this may no longer be current advice. Does anyone have advice on how to reliably remove/reinstall/test the stack of .Net 1.0 Framework/2.0/3.5SP1?

BTW: Please do NOT suggest I do clean windows install. This system would probably take a week of full time work to recreate, and there would be risks of some apps not coming back. CaptureNX is not the only app on this system that took a lot of fiddling to get configured properly.

Thank you!

  • "Please do NOT suggest I do clean windows install" - if your hardware is bad (you haven't demonstrated that it isn't) then this may be your only reliable option (after replacing the faulty HW, of course). Jul 18 '11 at 22:39

Most likely you installed one or more of these from the June updates: KB 2478656, KB 2478658, KB 2478663, KB 2518864, KB 2530095, KB 2518864, KB 2518870. Read the bad news at http://windowssecrets.com/newsletter/keeping-you-up-to-date-say-no-to-net-%E2%80%94-again/

I'll cut to the chase with these two extracts:

For the .NET updates MS11-044 and MS11-039, the risk of installation errors is greater than the risk of not patching.

The list of known issues documented in KB 2538814, however, is long. In the worst-case scenario, you have to rip out all of the .NET versions on your system using the Aaron Stebner tool. In the least-terrible case, you must run a repair install of .NET 4, if it gets stuck.

This is not exactly my area of expertise (all I'm doing is parroting), so I'm going to suggest that Stebner's tool is probably the only viable solution and cede the field to someone who does know what he/she's talking about.


Sometimes to "nudge" devs in the right direction, microsoft will either ignore "low-priority" windows xp users issues, and suggest a newer version that could be even worse than the last.

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