How to Enable .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows 8.1

One of the prerequisites for a complete SQL Server 2014 installation is that the operating system has the .NET Framework 3.5 installed.

As you might know, Windows 8.1 has the .NET Framework 4.5 built-in and you can optionally activate .NET Framework 3.5 using the Windows Features panel.  However, the problem is that once you activate the .NET Framework 3.5 the computer will want to access to Microsoft servers on the Internet to get the binaries.

Windows Features

This article shows you how to install and activate .NET Framework 3.5 without Internet using the Windows 8 ISO and DISM.

  1. Create a folder on your system drive called NET35 (example: C:\NET35)
  2. Mount your Windows 8 ISO file or DVD
  3. Copy the folder sources\sxs\ from the Windows 8 ISO into the newly created NET35 folder
    xcopy G:\sources\sxs\*.* C:\NET35 /s
  4. Once you copy all the files, you can now utilize DISM to enable the .NET Framework 3.5 feature by entering the following command in an elevated command prompt (Start, Type “CMD”, press Ctrl+Shift+Enter or right-click the Command Prompt item and choose Run as Administrator):
    DISM.exe /online
             /All /Source:c:\net35


If all goes well,  you should now have the .NET Framework 3.5 installed without the computer needing access to the Internet.

Published in: on October 28, 2014 at 10:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

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