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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    First some background, then my question. . . . The computer in question is a Dell XPS 435MT, bought less than a year ago and running on 64-bit Vista Home Premium, and with high-speed processor (2.5 mHz), extra RAM (6GB), and 750 GB of HD. That said, my question follows.

    For some weeks now, I've been working with Dell Tech Support trying to resolve an issue with Dell DataSafe (Dell's online file back up service), and after much effort and "trial and error," they seem to have concluded that the ultimate culprit is some sort of conflict and/or registry problem with Microsoft Net Framework. A day or two ago, he fully removed Net Framework 3.5, SP1 for the 3rd or 4th time, only this time I think the plan is to leave it out because, in the words of the Dell technician "Vista doesn't need Net Framework." That being the case, we are now at my question.

    Net Framework 3.5 SP1 remains out of my computer (though Windows Update wants to put it back, but I set that update to "hide"), and while Dell DataSafe remains problematic it is my impression is that it is going to be removed as well, then reinstalled but THIS time with Net Framework still uninstalled so hopefully that will resolve that issue. However, 2 or 3 other minor little "quirks" in the computer that I had never considered as connected to the same problem, HAVE ALL GONE AWAY since removal of Net Framework, so this would appear to substantiate the fact that it MAY have been the cause.

    Now my question. . . .just WHAT does Net Framwork do, and what (if anything, other than eliminating some of my former software quirks) are the consequences of leaving it out? I'm NOT in any way a techie, so please answer that question if you can in SIMPLE LAYMAN'S TERMINOLOGY so I will know what you are talking about. I've got to believe Microsoft put it there for some reason, so what is it and what does it do? From a personal stand point, I see several reasons stated above for doing as Dell suggested and not put it back, and cannot think of one reason for reinstalling it. FWIW, my wife's desktop is a virtual clone of mine, with nearly all of the same software as mine (including Net Framwork and Dell DataSafe) installed, so that fact only further confuses me. :-(

    I am now toying with buying Windows 7 and upgrading, with the idea that should totally replace Vista and put a whole new (and properly working?) operating system in and rendering all of these questions and problems moot. However, I want to wait long enough to see if Dell can resolve the issue as it is before considering upgrading. Given Microsoft's well-earned reputation for problems and quirks in their software, I really would prefer watching Windows 7 awhile longer before upgrading. Right now, I am keeping that option open, and only want to know what the consequences are of not putting Net Framework back. I thank you in advance for any advice or suggestions you can offer.

    David E. Cann

  2. #2
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    I think you can probably get along without 3.5. The framework versions build adding cumulative features of support for software developers and services providers, including Microsoft. 1.1 and 2.0, which have been established and around for some time would be much more problematic to try and do without but 3.5 is mainly supposed to enhance the performance of some activities that will function a bit differently without but still do the same job. Also some advanced support features for newer developer technologies have been put in I believe, like better support for AJAX.

    Win 7 is better but its no sure bet that it will resolve the apparent conflict between Dell's service and the dot net framework.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    I seem to recall some MS publicity blurb, presumably for end-users, that said the .NET Framework was to enable program writers to create smaller packages by pre-installing the dependency groups need to run a program created using .NET Framework.

    Many users do not need .NET Framework installed, for many that currently do, there may be alternative programs that could be used that are not written using .NET Framework.

  4. #4
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    The Microsoft dot net framework is just a set of low level programs that are used by applications developed using the .net environment. When you develop an application, you are using a lot of features and th3e size of a stand-alone program would be very big, even for the simplest programs. With the framework, you can distribute a software of a reasonable size as it can use the resources already present on your computer.

    So the implications, in your case are simple: if all your software are working without the framework, then you don't need to do anything. If some applications require the framework, then you will have to choose between them and Dell datasafe.

    Upgrading to Windows 7 may solve all these problems... or not! Interactions between software are very complex and not all combinations can be tested. Unless you can put Mr. Dell and Gates in the same room and say 'fix my computer' you will be like a ping-pong ball.
    This eco-post is made of recycled electrons

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron Tarbox View Post
    I think you can probably get along without 3.5. The framework versions build adding cumulative features of support for software developers and services providers, including Microsoft. 1.1 and 2.0, which have been established and around for some time would be much more problematic to try and do without but 3.5 is mainly supposed to enhance the performance of some activities that will function a bit differently without but still do the same job. Also some advanced support features for newer developer technologies have been put in I believe, like better support for AJAX.

    Win 7 is better but its no sure bet that it will resolve the apparent conflict between Dell's service and the dot net framework.

    I've been doing some reading on MS's webpage, and they themselves state Net Framework has"compatibility issues, so that fact alone is enough to make me leery of it without some compelling reason to put v. 3.5 SP1 back in it. For example, if you upgrade to 3.5 SP1, there are two different upgrades that go with it, one to address the compatibility issues in general, plus another for 64-bit o/s users for other compatibility issues, so it looks as if Microsoft is REALLY living up (or down?) to their poor reputation on this one. :-(

    So long as everything works properly WITHOUT it, then my inclination is to just leave well enough alone and take the advice of Dell and leave the darned thing out. . . .at least for now, but I'm willing to listen to reasoning to the contrary if there is any. I'm not a programmer or any other technical user, just an old (67) retired geezer and home user wanting to get some recent frustrations out of his life, so hopefully I can get away with not putting it back if Dell can get Dell DataSafe doing scheduled backups again in addition to the manual ones. :-(

    David E. Cann

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