There is no doubt that Windows 8 relies on .NET Framework 4. But what about .NET Framework 3.5? Just on my machine, three of my daily tools require it (Advance Group Policy Management, Print Manager Plus. and VMware vSphere Client). If you try to install it from the source files, you will find that they are contained on orginial media and not preloaded on your install! Worse, installing it from Programs and Features will give you a cryptic error code. On two machines, I got two different codes – 0x800F0906 and 0x800F081F.
To get past this issue, we can use DISM or MDT. We can even automatically enable this feature in our Task Sequence to save future us some time!
Installing .NET FrameWork 3.5 Before Imaging
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. By adding it before any Update task, your machine will install any Windows Updates associated with that feature. Change the Operating System to Windows 8 and check the .NET Framework 3.5 features.
Installing .NET FrameWork 3.5 After Imaging
“But Joseph, I don’t want to reimage my computer! I just got this machine setup!” No worries – simply mount your Windows 8 ISO (which is so easy to do now with ISO mounting built in!) 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. You will also need to ensure that your SXS folder matches the OS that you are currently using. If you are running Windows 8.1, your SXS folder must be from a Windows 8.1 machine.
You can read more about this issue on TechNet. That information can be found here. I hope this saves you some time!