You'd think that installing .Net would be simple. Unfortunately, it can be quite a hassle, and a quick google search suggests that the problems are pretty widespread. Here is what my lack of progress looks like on Windows Server 2003 SP2:
- Installing 2.0SP1: This product is not supported on Vista Operating System.
- Installing 2.0SP2: SP1 error - This product is not supported on Vista Operating System.
- Installing 3.0: You must use "Turn Windows features on or off" in the Control Panel to install or configure Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 x86.
- Installing 3.5SP1 directly: You must first install Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0SP1 before installing or repairing this product.
Windows Update failed to upgrade to 3.5, so all of the above errors are generated using the full package distributions. I also ran the .Net Framework Cleanup Utility, followed by reinstalling 2.0.
I finally managed to make some progress using the Microsoft Application Verifier. Basically, the installers work fine, as long as they think they can work. The Appication Verifier allows you to spoof a platform that is supported, so I told 2003 SP2 to pretend to be Vista!
Hopefully, that's the end of the story for a bit, although I'll never get those hours of my life back...