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How to install NetFx3 on Windows Server 2012 (required by

SQL Server 2012)


In this post, we will learn how to install the NetFx3 feature (.Net Framework 3.5) on Windows
Server 2012 (R2). This feature is required by SQL Server 2012.
Scenario
Recently I have had the opportunity to setup a new Windows Server 2012 (R2) virtual machine
in which I must install a new SQL Server 2012 instance. SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1
installation wizard requires NetFx3 Windows feature enabled, if that feature is not enable, the
SQL Server 2012 setup wizard will end with the error shown in the following picture.

Picture 1 Error while enabling Windows feature: NetFx3

How to install NetFx3 on Windows Server 2012 (R2)


First, we have to open the Server Manager Tool of Windows Server 2012 (R2) and then we have
to click on the Add Roles and Features item in theManage menu as shown in the following
picture.

Picture 2 Add Roles and Features item in the Manage menu

If we have not already specified that we want to ignore the preliminary operations, it will show
the Before you begin section of the Add Roles and Feature wizard as shown in the following
picture.

Picture 3 Before you begin section of the Add Roles and Features wizard

Click Next button, the wizard will shows the Installation Type section where we have to select
the Role-based or feature-based installation option that it has used to configure this server
by adding roles, role services and features. Picture number 4 shows the Installation
Type section.

Picture 4 Installation Type section of Add Roles and Features wizard

Click Next button, it will show the Server Selection section; in this section we have to select
the Server on which to install NetFx3 feature, so click Select a server from the server
pool and over the grid, select the server as shown in the following picture.

Picture 5 Server Selection section of the Add Roles and Features wizard

Click Next button again, the wizard will shows the Server Roles section as you can see in the
following picture.

Picture 6 Server Roles section of Add Roles and Feature wizard

No selections are required in this section because we have to add a feature (NetFx3 is a
Windows feature) and not a Server Roles. Click Next button to go to the Features section that
shows all the Windows features that you can install on the selected server. As you can see, .Net
Framework 3.5 Features has not installed yet; click in the related check box as shown the
following picture.

Picture 7 Features section of the Add Roles and Feature wizard

Click Next button, the wizard will shows the Confirmation section.

Picture 8 Confirmation section of the Add Roles and Features wizard

As you can see, at the top of the window shown in the picture number 8 there is a warning
message. It informs you that for one or more installation selections are missing source files on
the destination server, so we have to specify an alternative source path. Click the Specify an
alternative source patch link, the wizard will shows the window in the following picture.

Picture 9 Specify an alternative source path for NetFx3 source files

The required source files for the .Net Framework 3.5 are in Windows Server 2012 (R2) DVD (or
in the related ISO file); in this virtual machine, the DVD device is associated to the letter " F".
Therefore, you can specify this alternative path "F:\Sources\SxS". Click OK button to return in
the previous window (picture 8), so click Install button to start the installation process.
The Results section will show the installation status, at the end the status will beCompleted
successfully as shown in the following picture.

Picture 10 Result section of Add Roles and Feature wizard

The NetFx3 (.Net Framework 3.5) feature has been installed in your system. Now we can retry
to install SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1, the error shown in the picture 1 has been fixed.
Summary
By default, on Windows Server 2012 (R2) the NetFx3 (.Net Framework 3.5) feature is not
installed because is already installed the .Net Framework 4.5; however some applications may
require the NetFx3 feature and in this post we have learned how to install it.