Guy’s Ezine 169 .NET Framework Cleanup Tool

Cleanup Tool for .NET Framework from Aaron Stebner

Despite being an aficionado of PowerShell, I have never developed a ‘feel’ for .Net Framework.  I simply accept that these building blocks are always there waiting to respond to my scripts.  All I have to do is install the latest version of .Net Framework.  However, the normally trivial task of installing can be a nightmare if you need to uninstall a previous version of .Net.  The problem gets really tricky if you have applied an operating service pack or two in the meantime.

Uninstalling .Net Framework is one of those problems that you never really believe exists until it happens to you.  Fortunately, Paul DeBrino who is a regular contributor to this ezine, has researched the definitive tool to remove any version of .Net Framework – Aaron Stebner’s .NET Framework Cleanup Tool.

I love the whole philosophy behind this tool, which is to get your machine in state where you can install a new version of .Net Framework.  Understanding this means you are prepared to take the risk that it will remove shared registry settings, or even files that are used by other programs.  For this reason, you should try a plain normal installation of the current version of .Net Framework first.  Furthermore, given this warning, even gung-ho Guy would backup the machine before proceeding with Stebner’s cleanup tool.  That said, once you install the latest version those updated files and registry settings should enable programs relying on .Net Framework to function correctly.

Another mystery – at least to me – is that certain combinations of programs require you to install multiple versions of .Net Framework.  Moreover this state of affairs is supported by Microsoft.  As I hinted earlier, I regard .Net as a wonderful servant, but it does seem strange that the design team were allowed to get away with this multiple install ability, given the problem that uninstalling causes.

Reader’s Comment

I just wanted to let you know of possible problems with the dot net cleanup tool.

I ran into a problem on one of my customers’ laptop. They had gotten a couple of viruses on their system and asked me to remove them. I cleaned them all up and had a problem that the dot net 3.1 patch kept on asking to be installed and would fail. I tried to uninstall the dot net and couldn’t, so I tried the cleanup tool that you talked about. To my delight it worked! Thanks again for the info…

Well, at least until I tried to run windows update on the system again to see if any thing else needed to be updated. No luck there! Now the system was giving a denied access error during the update check. I finally had to go through and do a update of ACL lists to fix the problem. At least before the cleanup the windows update would run and tell me that the patches were there. Go figure! Maybe the cleanup tool is doing something to the ACL’s and maybe there is a fix to stop it.

All’s well that ends well.


Craig H.

Guy wonders if re-installing the latest .NET Framework would have cured this problem.

Craig’s Reply

Yes, I did, but I still had to fix the ACL’s.  My email was just a little warning that problems could happen.

Recommended: Solarwinds’ Permissions Analyzer – Free Active Directory ToolFree Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory

I like thePermissions Analyzer because it enables me to see WHO has permissions to do WHAT at a glance.  When you launch this tool it analyzes a users effective NTFS permissions for a specific file or folder, and takes into account network share access, then displays the results in a nifty desktop dashboard!

Think of all the frustration that this free SolarWinds utility saves when you are troubleshooting authorization problems for user’s access to a resource.  Give this permissions monitor a try – it’s free!

Download SolarWinds’ Free Permissions Analyser – Active Directory Tool

Guy Recommends: Tools4ever’s UMRAUMRA The User Management Resource Administrator

Tired of writing scripts? The User Management Resource Administrator solution by Tools4ever offers an alternative to time-consuming manual processes.

It features 100% auto provisioning, Helpdesk Delegation, Connectors to more than 130 systems/applications, Workflow Management, Self Service and many other benefits. Click on the link for more information onUMRA.

WSUS EasyReporter 3.0

I say again, Paul DeBrino is a stalwart at researching nifty utilities, here is a recent letter that he wrote to me.

Dear Guy,

Whilst working on an interesting WSUS project, it was discovered that the WSUS 3.0 built-in reports do not disclose when a specific patch was installed. Instead, they focus more on what is needed / outstanding.

This provoked me to research an alternative reporting system for WSUS. I am in the process of installing and testing, according to the demands of a current project. Therefore, my feedback is somewhat limited at this time, despite the promising screenshots offered on the product’s site.

Paul De Brino


  • WSUS EasyReporter is a tool to view information on the status of Microsoft Server Update Services
  • RSS Feed support
  • Easy to view list of computers alphabetically or by WSUS groups
  • Each user can set the groups they want to view
  • Easily find out when a patch was installed
  • Runs as a web site on the WSUS server
  • Includes access to premium support forum
  • Free product upgrades


  • Windows 2000/2003
  • IIS 5.0/6.0
  • .Net Framework 3.5
  • Windows Server Update Services 3.0
  • Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions 1.0

Download WSUS 3.0 Management Pack for Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 here

See also SolarWinds Patch Manager WSUS extension.

Will and Guy’s Humour

If you have trouble in understanding some of my ramblings, you may find it illuminating to view some of these English eccentricities that Will and I have collected.

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