Software Deployment Tip: Deploy .NET to Server 2008 R2

While working on the next version of PDQ Deploy Pro we ran into an interesting problem. On Windows Server 2008 R2 it is not possible to use the standard .NET Framework 3.5 SP 1 installer, the installation must be performed through the Server Manager. Server 2008 and Server 2003 have similar restrictions with earlier versions of .NET.

Screen shot 2010 12 08 at 9.30.23 AM

So, if you come across the need to deploy .NET 3.5 to Server 2008 R2 you need to execute the Server Manager installation instead of the normal installer package. To do this remotely, create a batch file with the following command.

powershell -command import-module servermanager ; add-windowsfeature net-framework-core 

Deploying this batch file will get 3.5 up and running on your Server 2008 R2 systems. The install is quite a bit faster than the standard installer as many of the .NET components are already installed as part of other features.

Note: This particular command requires at least version 1.1 (release 3) of PDQ Deploy Pro and PDQ Deploy or version of AA Console, all of which were released this week. This is due to a fix in them which allowed access to certain parts of a 64-bit computer’s file system.