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  1. #1
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    Uninstalling old versions of .NET Framework

    Susan Bradley has just recommended we upgrade .NET Framework to version 4.5.2 or 4.6.1 (or stick with 3.5 SP1) on Windows 7. I have 4.6.1. Can I uninstall (through Programs and Features) 4.5, 4.5.1, 4.5.2, and 4.6?

    I am on Win 7 SP1. Along with pretty common programs I am running Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition.
    In Programs and Features I have listed:
    4.5 Multi-Targeting Pack
    4.5.1 Multi-Targeting Pack
    4.5.1 Multi-Targeting Pack (ENU)
    4.5.1 SDK
    4.5.2 Multi-Targeting Pack
    4.5.2 Multi-Targeting Pack (ENU)
    4.6 SDK
    4.6 Targeting Pack
    4.6 Targeting Pack (ENU)
    4.6.1
    4.6.1 SDK
    4.6.1 Targeting Pack
    4.6.1 Targeting Pack (ENU)
    Microsoft .NET Version Manager (x64) 1.0.0-beta5

    Is it safe (and necessary) to uninstall any of these? If so, which ones? What about removing all of them up through 4.6 Targeting Pack (ENU), leaving just the 4.6.1 versions (4 of them!)?

    Finally, related questions are
    1. What are all these different versions? What is the difference between "Multi-Targeting Pack", "Multi-Targeting Pack (ENU)", and "SDK"? Why are they all needed? (Are any of them there because of Visual Studio?)
    2. Susan said "On January 26 Microsoft released .NET Framework 4.6.1 for Win7 SP1. Why does my Control Panel say it was installed on my system on 12/17/2015? (Could it have been installed by a Visual Studio update?)
    3. What is the "Microsoft .NET Version Manager (x64) 1.0.0-beta5"? How did I get it installed on my system? What does it do?

    Thanks a lot,
    Gene

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Gene,

    It's safe IF you don't have any programs that depend on that version. Lots of programs that use .Net check for the version and if you don't have the version they were written for they will tell you so and refuse to run. It doesn't hurt to have multiple versions so IMHO to quote the Beatles "Let It Be!"

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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    I've just recently been offered the Optional 4.6.1 through Windows Update, which I installed and that is now the only .NET Framework showing in Programs and Features.

    Previously I only had 4.5.2 so 4.6.1 must have superseded the former and it only lists it as Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.1 without any of those other bits on the end.

    Unless you are building then you don't need the SDK versions, but I don't know what you may have installed to get those and other versions on your computer.

    You could uninstall the lot, install 4.6.1 from https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3102433 then see if a Check for updates gives you anything else, but as RG has said, you may have programs installed that rely on some of those other builds.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2016-01-31 at 04:22.

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    I've been offered the new update for 4.6.1 and intend to install it while retaining all existing versions. I'm a gamer and a lot of games use different versions of .Net Framework so I don't want to cause problems unnecessarily.

    Interestingly I have today been offered an old update from October 2014 which was never offered to me then but is now shown as important. It's KB2993928 relating to ASP.NET MVC 4.0. According to Susan Bradley's Patch Watch at the time of original release it seems to be aimed at servers while I just have a couple of individual desktops at home. It may have appeared on one machine since installing a different game (Witcher 3) yesterday although I've had that game installed before without being offered it. It might also have arisen as a result of a new graphics card being installed along with Geforce Experience which I didn't have before. I haven't checked the other machine yet to see whether it's being offered on that one as well. I'll leave well alone for now and see if anyone else reports it being offered.
    Last edited by Tandor; 2016-01-31 at 09:08.

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    It's safe IF you don't have any programs that depend on that version. Lots of programs that use .Net check for the version and if you don't have the version they were written for they will tell you so and refuse to run. It doesn't hurt to have multiple versions so IMHO to quote the Beatles "Let It Be!"
    Thanks RetiredGeek and Sudo15. It will be very hard to track down what versions of .NET Framework different programs might require, so I will indeed "Let It Be!"

    (There is not an easy way to track down that information, is there? How do you all keep track of that information? Most programs do not tell you when/if they are installing .NET Framework, or other resources. So it seems nearly impossible to keep track of that.)

    Regards,
    Gene

  8. #6
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Gene,

    The only way I know is to uninstall a given version then run w/o it and see which, if any, programs fail. Not very clean but effective. However, I wouldn't recommend it as it could lead to unintended consequences like corrupting the programs data files when the program fails.

    I just had a thought and found this Dependency Walker. I've never used it but have used similar programs in a past life (before retirement).

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Gene, The only way I know is to uninstall a given version then run w/o it and see which, if any, programs fail. Not very clean but effective. However, I wouldn't recommend it as it could lead to unintended consequences like corrupting the programs data files when the program fails. I just had a thought and found this Dependency Walker. I've never used it but have used similar programs in a past life (before retirement).
    Thanks, you have confirmed what I was feeling ("...only way I know...it could lead to unintended consequences"). I have heard of programs like Dependency Walker, but had no idea what to search for, so that is very helpful. Don't know if I'll do it, but I'm glad to know about it.

    Regards,
    Gene

  11. #8
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I solved a problem with failing .dotnet Windows Updates by uninstalling all installed versions and reinstalling the latest version of .net on several computers without any problems. YMMV. You could make an image backup and try this. If some program fails to work, you could the restore your image.

    Jerry

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    I solved a problem with failing .dotnet Windows Updates by uninstalling all installed versions and reinstalling the latest version of .net on several computers without any problems. YMMV. You could make an image backup and try this. If some program fails to work, you could the restore your image. Jerry
    Thanks, Jerry. At the moment I am having no problems with .NET updates. I just have numerous versions installed and was thinking of cutting down on them if it was safe and easy. If I ever have problems, though, this would be a good way to handle it. Thanks.

    --Gene

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneS View Post
    I have 4.6.1. Can I uninstall (through Programs and Features) 4.5, 4.5.1, 4.5.2, and 4.6?
    ....
    Yes, the older versions of any NF should be uninstalled (IF they are installed) as whatever apps (if any) you have that uses .NET Framework 4.x (NF) should (and will) be using the newest version of it.

    Older versions detected may be part of other program's installation packages that use NF. They may actually not be installed---for example, Secunia PSI alerts me from time to time of older uninstalled versions present, and I exclude them from its scan.

    NF 1.x, 2.x, 3.x and 4.x are mutually exclusive apps and do not replace one another. Therefor depending upon the version of Windows are automatically included and a specific NF version may be needed to run apps that require them. In other words, NF 4.x won't run an app that requires NF 2.x to run.

    NF versions are not mandatory to the operation of Windows and can be removed. If an app needs a version of NF and it is not found the app should, if well behaved, tell you of the missing NF when you try to use the app. The really good ones offer to get and install the latest version they need for you lending itself to keeping NF version #.x off except when you use the app as an slightly inconvenient security option if the app is infrequently used (Seatools comes to mind).

    Unless you develop apps requiring .NET Framework you should always install the runtime version.

    edit: I was wrong about ver. 3.x...it replaces ver. 2. Thxs Wavy for making me look it up.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2016-02-05 at 22:49.

  14. #11
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    FN
    Where did you get this info? It contradicts everything I have remembered reading about .Net. I have wanted to trim down .Net on my XP box but always ended my quest with a 'No Should Do'

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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