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A safe way to get the user to check if the .NET framework is installed

, 29 Apr 2011
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Sometimes, it is helpful to find out if the .NET framework is installed on a machine, or get a user to check over the phone. But, some people should not be allowed near Regedit or the windows folder, so here is a safe way to get them to check.
Personally, I don't like that you can execute code in the address bar of any browser: I think it is a potential security risk. But, if you are on the phone to a custard (a cross between a customer and a b@stard), then this is a simple method that even a pretty non-technical person can cope with!
The only other ways I know of for a user to check what versions (if any) are installed on a machine are to look in the registry (and some people should not be allowed near Regedit), or to check for a folder called "Microsoft.NET\Framework\" under the main Windows directory (which may not be available to all users) and see what sub-directories exist. Since this means them looking into the Windows directory, I don't like to go there either - the damage a "non-technical person" can do without thinking is quite staggering, sometimes.
This method can be used very easily over the phone, and requires nothing that (probably) isn't installed already: Internet Explorer (it definitely doesn't work in Chrome, and probably won't in Firefox.)

Bring up Internet Explorer and paste into the address bar (note the upper- and lower-case, it is important):
Press ENTER.
You will get a popup saying something along the lines of:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0;
Followed by a number of ".NET CLR" versions. All the user has to do is read out the message box content.


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: PinmemberCharles Oppermann4-May-11 9:04 
GeneralRe: In IE9 (32-bit) on a Windows 7 (64-bit) machine, when I copy... PinmemberCharles Oppermann29-Apr-11 3:53 
GeneralRe: Sorry my fault, misintepretation of 'what works', the javasc... PinmentorDaveAuld28-Apr-11 21:53 
GeneralMy 5. I voted for this as an answer before and now used it m... PinmvpSAKryukov5-May-11 13:08 
GeneralI think I already 5<sup>ed</sup> this in Griff's solution to... PinmvpManfred R. Bihy29-Apr-11 3:45 
GeneralRe: I think you did, but thanks anyway. I am slowly moving my "H... PinmvpOriginalGriff29-Apr-11 4:03 
GeneralSmall note: Pasting javascript into the address bar is <stro... PinmemberHariharan Arunachalam29-Apr-11 1:17 
GeneralRe: Works fine in IE8 and below; Don't know about IE9, but it is... PinmvpOriginalGriff29-Apr-11 1:30 
GeneralIt does work on Chrome 11 :) PinmentorDaveAuld28-Apr-11 21:47 
GeneralRe: Not on mine (it updated itself ten minutes ago) - it doesn't... PinmvpOriginalGriff28-Apr-11 21:51 
GeneralWorks on Chrome, Doesn't work on IE9 :( yes it does, my bad.... PinmentorDaveAuld28-Apr-11 21:39 
GeneralShould have said, i do like the tip though, always wondered ... PinmentorDaveAuld28-Apr-11 21:38 
GeneralI read that the new browsers are stripping out alot of the b... PinmentorDaveAuld28-Apr-11 21:37 

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