.NET Framework 3.5, Windows 8.1 and WSUS

What a disaster – you’d think that a simple install of the .NET Framework 3.5 would be no problem for a site using WSUS.  Instead, I’ve spent hours troubleshooting cryptic error codes, only to discover these articles:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn482065.aspx

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh506443(v=vs.110).aspx

“For Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, WSUS is not supported as a source for feature installation (for example, adding .NET Framework 3.5 feature files) or feature file store repair operations.”

Are you kidding me?  Windows doesn’t even gracefully tell you this – I just started getting error 800f081f

Instead, they recommend using the DISM tool and installing from the source DVD.  The problem with that is that we have a Windows 8 source DVD, not Windows 8.1, since it upgraded itself from Windows Update.

I was skeptical, but I found a link on this forum to a standalone installer that somebody put together, since apparently Microsoft couldn’t be bothered to.  After many hours of headaches over this problem, I had it solved in about 15 minutes!  I’ll share the link in hopes that it can save somebody else the same pain.

http://forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/47748-NET-Framework-3-5-Standalone-Installer-for-Windows-8-1-x86-x64

Here’s the link to the executable, in case the forum goes away:

http://www.datafilehost.com/d/dd706c52

UPDATE: This also works on Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2

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