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Fixing the .NET Framework

The bane of my existence as a sysadmin was .NET. It would corrupt itself randomly, sometimes taking with it this awful now-defunct product written in .NET that nobody else wanted anything to do with. Those were the bad old days. These days, there’s a better way to go about fixing the .NET Framework when it goes bad.

Repair the .NET Framework when patches fail or other malfunctions

fixing the .net framework

This MSDN copy of the .NET Framework brings back memories.

In my day I’d reinstall service packs and the latest patches and one of the six things we tried would fix it. I rarely knew which one. But that was years and years ago.

Today, Microsoft has an automated tool that repairs it. You can run it as a GUI app or from a command line or script, and it goes back to version 3.5. The link has detailed instructions but you can fix a specific version, or every version installed. You can collect logs or repair. It can run passively, quietly, or interactively. This means you can attempt to repair it before you update it, potentially.

.NET can be notoriously hard to patch and my usual trick involving MSP files doesn’t usually help much.

After running this tool and letting it repair whatever it found that it didn’t like, you’re much more likely to be able to deploy your update successfully. There are at least four vulnerabilities in .NET on CISA’s Known Exploited Vulnerabilities list: CVE 2015-1671, CVE 2017-8759, CVE-2020-0646, and CVE-2020-1147. So if you want to keep your network and applications safe, this tool is a good thing to have on hand so you can get those updates applied, at the very least.

And maybe, with this tool to help keep things from going sideways, keeping it up to date going forward won’t be as painful.

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