Enabling .NET Framework 3.5 (before and after your install)

There is no doubt that Windows 8 relies on .NET Framework 4. But what about .NET Framework 3.5? Just on my machine, two of my daily tools require it (Advance Group Policy Management and VMware vSphere Client). To make matters worse, the source files are contained on media and not preloaded on your install!

Before the Install

The easiest way to ensure that your environment has .NET Framework 3.5 preloaded by default is to modify your MDT Task Sequence (you are using MDT right?) and to add an Install Roles and Features Task.

This task can be added anywhere in the State Restore phase of your Task Sequence. I prefer adding it before any Update task. Change the Operating System to Windows 8 and check the .NET Framework 3.5 features.

 After the Install

“But Joseph, I don’t want to reimage my computer! I just got it setup!” No worries – simply mount your Windows 8 ISO (which is so easy to do now!) and run the following command in an Administrative Command Prompt (which can be launched by Windows key + X + A)

dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /all /source:E:\sources\sxs\  /limitaccess

Be sure to change the /source option to match your mounted ISO.