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Creating a Single Setup Project to Install a .NET Framework Application and Dotnetfx.exe


This topic applies only to the .NET Framework version 1.0 redistributable package. For information about deploying the .NET Framework version 1.1 core redistributable, see the .NET Framework Deployment Guide Web site at .NET Framework 1.1 Deployment Guide.

The purpose of the Setup.exe Bootstrapper sample is to demonstrate how to create a single setup program that when launched installs the .NET Framework redistributable package Dotnetfx.exe, if necessary, and then installs a .NET Framework application. This sample bootstraps Dotnetfx.exe and a .NET Framework application's Microsoft Windows Installer-based setup program (.msi file). This sample is written in unmanaged code because it must be able to run on a computer where the .NET Framework is not installed. You can download a precompiled version of the Setup.exe Bootstrapper sample from the .NET Framework Deployment Guide Web site at

For .NET Framework applications that include data access, you can extend the Setup.exe Bootstrapper sample to silently install MDAC_typ.exe by checking for the existence of the registry key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DataAccess where the value of FullInstallVer is 2.6 or later. You can download a sample executable file that encapsulates the MDAC installation with a Windows Installer package (.msi file) from the Microsoft Product Support Services knowledge base article, "Install DCOM and MDAC Through a Windows Installer Package." This article is available at;EN-US;q257604.

The Setup.exe Bootstrapper sample automatically checks for the .NET Framework, launches a silent installation of Dotnetfx.exe if necessary, and calls the Windows Installer setup for your application. For details regarding how Setup.exe performs these tasks, see Setup.exe Bootstrapper Sample Operations.

You are responsible for creating a Settings.ini file that enables the Setup.exe Bootstrapper sample to work with your application. In addition, it is recommended that you deploy your setup program with a readme file that provides users with the minimum configuration requirements for installing your application and Dotnetfx.exe. For more information on creating the Settings.ini and readme files, see Using the Setup.exe Bootstrapper Sample With An Application.