It is my personal opinion that the .NET Framework in Windows is a pain in the lower anatomy. It is a common source of numerous problems, including installation failures, as mentioned in this previous tip. The same Microsoft developer responsible for the tool described in that tip has recently updated another free little application that helps manage .NET problems.
This one is called the .NET Framework Setup Verification Utility. It will check if your .NET Framework is working properly. It verifies the presence of necessary files, directories, registry keys and values for the .NET Framework. It will also verify that simple applications that use the .NET Framework can be run correctly. It requires no installation and can be run from any convenient location. You can use a drop-down menu to select from various different versions of .NET to check, running from .NET 2.0 to .NET 4. The figure below shows the tool in action. One small annoyance is that you seem to have to agree to the EULA every time you run it although there is a silent mode that I haven’t tried.
The description of the tool and the download is at this MSDN link. It is supposed to work in all current versions of Windows but I have only tested it in 64-bit Windows 7.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.