Re-installing .NET Framework 1.1 Server 2003

I recently (up until a few minutes ago) had a problem with the .NET Framework that is built-in to Windows Server 2003.  I think the version is 1.1.4322.

What happened was, I wanted to make my other server here that was running WSUS and Sharepoint V.3 into another Domain Controller.  Bad idea.  Anyway long story short, don’t do that.

The reason being is that as many of you may already know, .NET runs under a local system account.  That being said, when a member server is promoted to a domain controller, all local accounts are removed and the .NET framework will obviously stop working.  Yes, I know there are a few work around things that you can do, like creating a weak domain login for .NET Framework, then specifying the account in the Machine.Config and setting the password, but it’s a pain in the butt because folders that .NET needs has to have their permissions reset for the new user, and every time a service pack is installed for that version of .NET, it reinstalls the Machine.config file.  Besides, you shouldn’t be running anything on your domain controller anyway, unless you have no other choice.  So, how did I screw things up?  Let me tell you.

First of all, I didn’t know that .NET 1.1.4322 was built into windows server 2003.  It sort of slipped my mind. So, after I demoted the server back to a Member server, I started my quest to fix .NET.  Of course, that was after I realized that my Applications didn’t work anymore.  So I headed over to my Add/Remove Programs list, and started removing any .NET versions that I had, and deleted all of the files in my Microsoft.NET folder under, “C:\Windows.”  That was the second mistake.

The reason that was stupid was because when trying to remove ASP.NET from the computer, it looked for files in that folder to remove them.  They weren’t there because I had already deleted them manually.  It asked me for a file called, “DefaultWsdlHelpGenerator.aspx.”  When I realized that the uninstallation could not complete unless I had that file, I started scouring the internet to find a copy.  Well, I did, and I was happy for about a half second.  Then it asked for something else, and I realized that I’d have to find a good source for all of the files the uninstall process was going to need.

I found out that the files were located on the CD, but under a .CAB file called, “NETFX.CAB”  It’s located under the first installation disk for server 2003.  Just go to “Installation CD Location\I386\NETFX.CAB.”

The next thing that I did was copy that file to the desktop, and extracted it to a new folder.  Then all I had to do was point the uninstall program to that folder and it worked great.  Keep in mind that it will most likely ask to reboot the server.

Afterwards, you can go back to Add/Remove Programs > Add/Remove Windows Components > Application Server, hit “Details” and check the ASP.NET checkbox again to re-install.

After that is completed, you’ll probably have to re-install .NET 2.0 and any other versions that your software needs.

Then you’ll be good to go!

Always remember though, NEVER install .NET on a domain controller, it will only give you problems!!!


*Edit – Just to let everyone know, even after I did all this and got everything working properly again, I was still unable to install WSUS or Sharepoint on the server.  I was required to re-install it from the ground up.  So, just be aware that even though you fix one problem with this, it doesn’t mean it will fix it all.  Sorry! *

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