Can installing .NET on Windows XP cause any programs to stop working?

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I need to install .NET on Windows XP so that I can use Microsoft’s uuidgen program, but before doing so I need to make sure that it will not affect any applications and cause them to stop working. Does anyone have any experience with this?


The only thing installing .NET does is install extra binaries, add services and add some registry keys; thus there isn’t much really modified that could cause existing applications to stop working.

A .NET application will use these extra binaries and the configuration of the registry, the services either provide support for compiling the .NET application (NGEN) from an intermediary language to machine language or provide caching capabilities for fonts (WPF Font Cache).

.NET 3.5 includes all previous versions down to .NET 2.0 thus any .NET program should just work and nothing else breaks. You will need to install .NET 4.0 apart as it doesn’t contain previous vesions, please note that .NET 1.0 and 1.1 are rarely needed.

It shouldn’t stop anything working.

I’m not going to give a 100% guarantee, because I’ve learnt that those don’t exist where computers are concerned.

Anything working now should still work as it doesn’t need .NET (or has already installed it for you) and .NET doesn’t remove anything from your machine.

Many many people, including me, have experience with .Net on XP.
It’s really harmless. Non-.Net programs don’t use it.

Just remember that you only need to install the latest version, which also installs all intermediate versions until version 2.

If you are worried, take an image snapshot of the system disk (which is anyway always recommended before any serious update).

I’ve installed .Net a few times. And the only problem is it can make your Windows XP slower if you have old computer. I’ve installed in on pentium celeron mobile laptop with 512MB Ram and it make the laptop slower. But in Core Duo laptop with 1GB Ram it runs well.

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