Scott Hanselman

.NET 3.5 SP1 GDR is available to download

December 18, 2008 Comment on this post [26] Posted in Learning .NET | Musings
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The General Distribution Release with fixes for .NET 3.5 SP1 is up, albeit a bit late, as downloadable content on  Note that this is an application compatibility release, and these downloads aren't setup to be friendly to end users.

If you are a developer affected by an issue, you can download these updates. If you aren't affected, I suggest you wait - this is not the way the vast majority of customers will get this fix. Wait until these updates come down via Windows Update next year. As of today, we are still on track for 2009Q1 availability of 3.5 SP1 on Windows Update, and at that point you'll see machines with .NET start updating to .NET 3.5 SP1 with this additional GDR applied.

You can download the packages for the app-compat GDR here. The KB is KB959209 and it should be updated soon with details.

Windows Vista, Windows 2008 Server - x86, x64, IA64

Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 - x86, x64, IA64

I am still on vacation in Africa so I haven't got details yet on registry keys for detection of the GDR, so bear with me. I'll try to get those details ASAP, as well as how to integrate these fixes into your setup if need be.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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December 18, 2008 14:55
OMG, Thank you sooo much for this post. I really really need these updates.
December 18, 2008 16:39
Woot! Downloading now!
December 18, 2008 19:04
Does anyone know what happens when you install 3.5SP1 using the stub/bootstrapper setup? Will the latest patched version be installed with the GDR pre-applied? I'm hoping this is how it works because adding extra steps such as installing separate GDR patches (or waiting for WU to install them) would be a bit of a pain.
December 18, 2008 19:08
I look forward to the .Net Frameowrk 3.5 Service Pack 1 Service Pack 1 that will be released in Q1 '09.
December 18, 2008 21:09
LOL - I was just hitting your website to post a "Where is it?" question, and here it is. Thanks!
December 18, 2008 21:40
Knowledge Base article is not found. :-(
December 19, 2008 0:18
What are the issues we developers could encounter that are fixed in this GDR?
December 19, 2008 0:22
And also, trying to post with my blog's OpenID apparently fails with the message:
Server Error
404 - File or directory not found.
The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.
- and the message is from, not from the open id login page.

Just thought you might like to know.
December 19, 2008 2:30
You may end up getting a "1603" error code in the install that you can't shake. I've written up one way around this here:
December 19, 2008 3:56
".Net 3.5 SP1 GDR" Very catchy name!
Any stats on the number of computers actively using Windows Update?
December 19, 2008 13:45
KB959209 is not published/available for us, the general public.

Does the GDR contain a fix for the NGen image corruption issues that was introduced by 3.5/3.5SP1? (The ones described in Connect items # 337149, 330302, 330903, and 341658)
December 19, 2008 13:47
I must say that _three_ separate installers that must be applied in a specific orders really instill confidence that this update is ready for distribution... ( <- insert borat quote here)
December 20, 2008 13:39
Kristofer - You're preaching to the choir. :(
December 20, 2008 18:09

Sorry, that was not aimed at you personally. More intended as a general comment regarding the GDR.

Since you have access to the 'inside info' - do you know if the GDR contains any fixes related to NGen image corruption and/or NGen image load problems..?
December 24, 2008 2:06
I was very disappointed to discover that the CLR bug which has prevented me from installing SP1 (Connect #361539) has not been fixed in the GDR. I guess I am expected to wait another 12-24 months for .NET 4.0 before I can use any of the new features that were released in this "service pack"; and who knows if it will even be fixed by then?

Let me quote from your blog post from 9/23:

"We won’t push .NET 3.5 SP1 to WU until everyone feels confident it’s solid."

Its not solid. A fundamental change in the type verification system in the CLR prevents certain valid types from loading in any application built on .NET 2.0 or later. I don't know how much more "not solid" you can get. How anyone is even considering pushing a "service pack" release with such a fundamental break is truly beyond my comprehension. And that is not even taking into account other very serious bugs which are apparently also not fixed in the GDR (Connect #387595 for example, a potentially serious security hole).

"We’re working on getting the Connect Bugs updated and lots of folks (myself included) are trying at every turn to increase transparency."

I have not received any update of any kind on my bug in months, either by email or through Connect, despite numerous attempts to get more information. There are many other people watching the Connect bug who also deserve an update on the status of this bug. Many of them are ISVs whose products will break the moment SP1 is released on WU. The response to this issue so far has been deplorable; if Microsoft has any interest whatsoever in maintaining any kind of customer relations, much less "increasing transparency," someone needs to step up and take responsibility for communicating the status of this issue, and for getting it fixed.

The handling of this issue is not directly your fault Scott. But you have consistently put yourself out there as a representative of the Developer Division to the community, and I would hope that you are as appalled as I am at the behavior of those you represent.
December 24, 2008 8:36

I'm not familiar with the details of your connect item (and can't access the connect website at the moment), but have you tried removing NGen images of the libraries involved (alt. clearing the entire NGen cache)?
December 24, 2008 19:27

NGen is not the problem, it can be reproduced on a machine that has never run the assembly before.
December 25, 2008 21:25
In july 2008 we rolled out the framework 3.5 with our own distribution system on about 10.000 workstations.
For march 2009 we want to update them all to framework 3.5 SP1.

It's not clear to me what to install now that the GDR exist.
Do we have the install all the updates include in framework 3.5 SP1 (meaning dotnet 2.0 SP2, dotnet 3.0 SP2 and dotnet 3.5 SP1) and after this also these GDR updates?

Could you please give some more explications for machines having the full dotnet 3.5 at the moment?

Thanks in advance.
Merry XMass and Happy New Year
December 27, 2008 20:10

Is there some sort of roadmap or public list for .NET issues? I know issues get reported on Microsoft Connect, but I was wondering if a list of issues gets posted somewhere as Microsoft is fixing them, or plans on fixing them. Is it just wishful thinking, or is there some active community involved in this and I just don't know about it?
January 12, 2009 22:20

I noticed that the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 download page now has a date published of 1/5/2009. Does that publish date indicate that the GDR is now included in the main framework download? If not what changed with this new publish?
January 15, 2009 22:46
Regarding the 1/5/2009 publish date for the .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 posting on the Microsoft Download Center, I did a binary compare (fc /b) of this dotnetfx35setup.exe with the original posting of 8/1/2008 and found no differences. Did they post the old file by mistake??
January 22, 2009 12:34

I installed the GDR and tried to find out what is changed in the registry, but I was not able to find any changes. How can I find out that the GDR is installed?

Kind Regards

January 23, 2009 1:26
I'm working on getting details on how to detect the GDR and how to best get it installed. More soon! I AM hearing all of you!
January 23, 2009 4:15
Here's how you detect the GDR patches:

• To check for 2.0 SP2 GDR
o append Microsoft\Updates\Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2\SP2\KB958481 to the selected root.
o If the key exists check the key value ThisVersionInstalled for a value of “Y”. If there 2.0 SP2 GDR patch has been applied.
• To check for 3.0 SP2 GDR
o append Microsoft\Updates\ Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Service Pack 2\SP2\KB958483 to the selected root.
o If the key exists check the key value ThisVersionInstalled for a value of “Y”. If there 3.0 SP2 GDR patch has been applied.
• To check for 3.5 SP1 GDR
o append Microsoft\Updates\Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1\SP1\KB958484 to the selected root.
o If the key exists check the key value ThisVersionInstalled for a value of “Y”. If there 3.5 SP1 GDR patch has been applied.
February 04, 2009 20:15

Any news on when .NET 3.5 SP1 and/or the GDR will be pushed to Windows Update? I've had a application out for over 7 months that uses .NET 3.5 SP1 and am excited/curious to see if sales improve due to the release of .NET 3.5 SP1 to Windows Update.


February 11, 2009 3:05
I believe it was pushed to Windows Update last week. The GDR can also be downloaded here:

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.