If you have ever tried to remove the .NET Framework from a server you have probably run into some of the same problems I have, you get errors saying there is something using the .NET Framework, you get messages saying turn off the services using the .NET Framework, or various other errors that won’t allow you to remove the product. Well there is a great tool called the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool that will help you get around all of these errors and remove the .NET Framework 2.0 with no problems.
This tool is a great way to get around installation problems. I suggest you try the typical uninstall via Add/Remove programs first but when that doesn’t work then test out the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool.
You can use this tool on any Windows based PC that is running .NET Framework, I used to on my Windows 7 box to remove the .NET Framework as a test, but have used it specifically to fix an issue with a Windows 2003 server that I needed to install .NET Framework 2.0 64-bit on. I couldn’t get the .NET Framework 2.0 32-bit to uninstall, I kept getting the error that it was in use and could not be removed. After running the .NET Framework 2.0 Cleanup Utility, I had no problems putting the .NET Framework 2.0 64-bit on my server and it’s been running very well since.
I think this is a very useful tool but there is always a chance that using this tool might cause a problem with your system. So be warned that it is a free tool that has worked wonders for many people (myself included) but there is always a chance! Keep all of that in mind as you continue through this tutorial for removing and reinstalling any version of the .NET Framework using the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool.
Now for this guide we will be using the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool to remove .NET Framework 2.0 but the tool can be used to remove any and all versions of the .NET Framework. So if you are having issues with other versions as well you can use the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool to get rid of them as well.
Download the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool (click link under Download Location)
So to remove the .NET Framework 2.0 using the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool, just follow these steps:
Extract the files to any location (I put mine on the desktop)
Double click the Cleanup_tool.exe
Click Yes (when prompted if you want to run the tool)
Click Yes (agreeing to terms of license)
Click the drop down (product to cleanup) and choose which version of .NET Framework you want (2.0 for this guide)
Click Cleanup Now
After it finishes it should say cleanup completed successfully for the specified product and a reboot is required to complete the cleanup process
Now you have removed the .NET Framework 2.0 and should be able to reinstall the .NET Framework 2.0 or complete whatever task was failing before you cleaned up the .NET Framework 2.0.
When using this tool keep in mind that it can cause problems with some systems. It is not a product endorsed by Microsoft, it’s simply a really good tool built by a guy who wanted to help people get around these types of issues with .NET Framework uninstalls.