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IanTaylor-6468 asked TianyuSun-MSFT commented

.NET 3.5 reference dll not found on .NET 2.0 Windows Server 2003 machine. Should I manually add this dll to GAC or need to install .NET Framework 3.5 ?

Hi All,

I have .NET framework 2.0 installed on my Windows Server 2003 machine. I have a source code which was targeting .NET framework 3.5.

My project is throwing error on the reference file System.Data.DataSetExtensions.dll. It says file not found on Windows Server 2003 machine.

Should I just copy and paste the System.Data.DataSetExtensions.dll from other machine and deploy this into the GAC to resolve this issue ? or need to install .NET framework 3.5 in Windows Server 2003 machine.

Please let me know which approach should work fine ?

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.NET v3.5 SP1 runtime should still be safe to be installed on Win2003 server. In fact if your server have .NET 3.5 installed but not installed SP1 yet, you're strongly recommended to install SP1 to patch some known vulnerabilities of the system.

Also note that after install SP1 you should install this fix to address some compatibility issues.

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TianyuSun-MSFT answered TianyuSun-MSFT commented

Hi @IanTaylor-6468 ,

Welcome to Microsoft Q&A forum.

I think if the error only mentioned the System.Data.DataSetExtensions.dll, then only add and deploy it to GAC will work fine. Of course, I believe installing .NET Framework 3.5 will also work fine, but as you know, Windows Server 2003 is end of support, so I’m not sure if installing .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows Server 2003 will cause some compatibility issues or other errors.


Perhaps you can try to add and deploy this dll to GAC first, and if it doesn’t work, or there are some new errors appear, you can consider installing .NET Framework 3.5 later.

Best Regards,

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Hi @TianyuSun-MSFT ,

Thanks. I will try adding the System.Data.DataSetExtensions.dll into the GAC to see if it resolves the issue.

Since I am installing on the production database server, would like to know if it would cause any impact to existing databases, by just adding the System.Data.DataSetExtensions.dll to GAC ?

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Hi @IanTaylor-6468 , I’m not 100% sure about the impact to existing databases. Actually we don’t suggest perform these things(operations) on production database server installed machine, add and deploy dll to GAC should be performed on development environment.

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Noted @TianyuSun-MSFT .

So the safest bet would be to install .NET Framework 3.5 considering it is production DB server, rather than installing manually in GAC

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