The installation failed with: This patch package could not be opened – Fixed.

I have been trying to install the KB958481 patch for Microsoft Dot Net Framework 2 for many hours. Each time the installation would fail with “The installation failed with: This patch package could not be opened. Verify that the patch package exists and that you can access it, or contact the application vendor to verify that this is a valid Windows Installer Patch Package.”

Of course the patch file exists (I am installing it after all) and the patch file came from Microsoft so I would hope it’s valid.¬† Most of the suggestions seemed to resolve around removing the dotnet framework and reinstalling. All of which I had done in a variety of ways. First by uninstalling the software through add/remove programs and then through Aaron Stebner’s dotnet cleanup tool – neither of which solved the problem.

Eventually I stumbled across a tech posting (made after my initial problem started) in the Microsoft forums (first and second posting that mentioned installing the Microsoft Installer 4.5 redistributable component. After an initial reboot before installing, a reboot after installing, installing the .net patch and another reboot afterwards I was up and running and able to install the other .net patches too.

Error 403 when using firefox and Visual Web Developer Beta 2.

I tried my first web page in .net using the visual web developer beta 2 (why am I a sucker for trying out beta software?) and it didn’t work – returning an error message http error 403 Forbidden. Oddly enough, if I opened the same page in Internet explorer it worked ok. From my experience with IIS I knew this was something to do with NTLM authentication but trying to find out where this was configured was rather bewildering. In the end, the post on the microsoft forums gives the answer – “Select the Solution Explorer view, and right click the very first element of the tree (the project itself). Choose property pages and select Start Options. On the Server section, clear the NTLM checkbox and save the configuration and it now works in firefox. MS’s official response is that this is by design to ensure websites are secure. Personally I just wonder how many websites on the internet insist on using NTLM authentication…..not many I guess so I’m afraid this excuse doesn’t ring true to me.
As a side note, I can’t see how you are meant to permalink to the individual post in the forum – there doesn’t seem to be any visible anchors to use. I had to use the WebDevelopers Extension to display the anchors. I’ve logged a bug in the forums on this point too.