Some programs downloaded from the internet are programmed using the Microsoft .NET technology and require the .NET framework to be installed before you can run them. Our program Windows 7 Home Starter Edition Wallpaper Changer is also designed using the .NET technology. Microsoft .NET has many versions starting from 1.0 to the latest 4.5 and consequently some programs require one version while other programs need another version to run. This causes confusion to ordinary Windows user as to which version of .NET framework is installed on their PC. Fortunately, there is a free program called .NET Version Detector which finds and tells you which versions of .NET are installed on your PC. If a version of .NET is not found on your PC, then it also displays a link to download and install it.
You can download the .NET Version Detector from the ASoft website. It supports successful detection of .NET framework versions 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 on all versions of Windows. .NET Version Detector is a portable tool, so you do not have to install anything on your computer. Just download the ZIP archive, extract the program file and run dotnet.exe from there. This application itself is designed using Borland Delphi so it does not require any framework to run itself. You have to accept a license agreement before you can run it. It shows you all the information about installed .NET frameworks and their service packs or upgrade status in a simple and small window.
In front of every version shown, you would find two download buttons – green colored and purple colored. The green colored download button is for downloading .NET Framework for that version. The purple colored download button is for downloading the .NET SDK (software development kit) for that version. If you do not know already, the .NET technology downloads are available in two forms – SDK and Framework. The SDK downloads are very large and are for application developers only. The Framework downloads are just the runtime components required to run a program designed using .NET technology. If you are confused about which one to download, just download and install the framework.
The .NET framework versions 1.0 and 1.1 are over a decade old and you would hardly find a program that uses them, so its better not to install them. The .NET framework versions 2.0 and 3.0 are included in version 3.5, so you can just install version 3.5 and get it over with. But then Windows 7 already contains version 3.5. So in general, you need to install only version 4.5 (which supports version 4.0).
.NET Version Detector also contains a commandline to automatically save the information about the detected .NET versions to a specified file. You can save the information in plain text format or XML format. When you give this command, it does not show any window – just saves the information to a file and exits.
So if are unsure about which versions of the .NET frameworks are installed on your PC, then you can use the ASoft .NET Version Detector freeware tool. It also shows download links to download .NET SDKs and Frameworks for all versions. You can download it from http://www.asoft.be/prod_netver.html.