.NET Verification for Win9X and NT4 operating systems (Net Setup Verifier)

edited December 2019 in Software

I was recently trying to install .NET 1.0 (and later) on Windows NT4, which according to most documentation of the day should work if you have SP6a. Unfortunately, it proved hard to verify whether the installation was correct, since the installation of NT4 itself went to C:\WINNT (rather than C:\WINDOWS) and all the available official releases of Aaron Stebner's NetFX Setup Verifier, obtained through Microsoft archives, choked on the fact that they could not determine where the .NET installation was built.

I eventually discovered that if I hacked the unpacked SetupVerifier.INI file in that tool to replace all instances of %10% with C:\WINNT, then the verification of 1.0 succeeded. Clearly Aaron Stebner had not tested those versions of NetFX Setup Verifier on Windows NT4. There is also another injection token %11% in that file, which is apparently used to test for .NET 1.1. My suspicion is that the code of this tool is trying to identify the root folder into which .NET is installed and is getting it wrong, resulting in these two tokens being set to NULL.

So after loads of research via the general web and archive.com, I eventually tracked down a very obscure link, which cannot be got to without a tremendous amount of detective work. The clue was in a blog where Aaron Stebner directed a comment-poster to try out a build that predates the earliest one you could find via links on the web or links within pages held by archive.com. It was a direct link to a file (which obviously failed when used on the web) that contained an older version. I put this file-link URL into the Wayback Machine, adding the appropriate asterisk to the archive.com URL so that it would find all historic instances of that link, with a full history-bar in the Wayback Machine. This got me both the oldest and newest versions of the tool that are older than the versions obtainable by any other means I had tried.

These older versions work - and they work on NT4, so they should also work on Win98, WinME and Win2K for validating .NET installations 1.0 and/or 1.1.

And so I am pleased contribute access to these versions for use by the community:


    By selecting a date, you can get at the differing versions for 2005, 2006 and 2007. At least some of these work "out-of-the-box" with NT4 (I've yet to try all of them). These old versions only target the earliest editions of .NET, but appear to have been better tested on legacy Windows (pre-WinXP) than any post-2010 version you can find.

I believe the 2011 version does actually work on Windows 2000. I also have versions of 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018 that I managed to obtain from more obvious sources - and any versions after that will be obtainable via the "normal" web. However, if these later versions work at all on XP and later, then the likelihood is that you can try the very latest, and if it doesn't work, try the version before that, until you find one that works. You can then leave the working copy of the tool on that machine as a handy means for checking any future corruption of your .NET installation.

I shall now commence some testing of these versions on a selection of the older operating systems (Win98 onwards) to check which ones work where. When done, I will endeavour to post access to them as individual downloads with those test results. See y'all later :)

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