Microsoft Update Tuesday was this past week. A lot of people have had the above 2 updates fail. The updates affect the .NET Frameworks 1.1 (sp1) and 2.0. They are security related updates and as such they are considered critical. When the failure occurs, the updates persist in the update management software and therefore the little yellow shield on Windows XP machines sits in your minimized tray.
FWIW, these updates failed on me as well. Fortunately, I recalled a similar problem from last year. It took me a while to recall the fix and find out where I stashed my disk with the software, but once done the same fix worked for me again. Caveat: Microsoft does not endorse this fix. I do not work for Microsoft nor am I working (currently) as a software engineer. My background is as a database developer. Be that as it may, the fix works for me and it might be of use to you. Note: this fix has been tried on my Windows XP machine and as far as I know applies to Windows XP only (it may work with other operating systems, but you try it at your own risk).
1) First, try and uninstall all versions of .NET related programs through the Add/Remove Programs on the Control Panel. This failed for me when I got to .NET Framework 2.0, but you may have better luck. If so, then skip step 2.
2) If the uninstall fails through the Add/Remove programs panel within the Control Panel, then download a program called dotnetfx_cleanup_tool.zip. The link points to this blog page by an engineer who works at Microsoft. Aaron Stebner notes on his page that all tools are offered As Is (Luckily, Stebner is still offering this tool for download). There is no warranty associated with the tools, so use them at your own risk. Having noted that, this particular tool has worked fine for me on 2 occasions where Microsoft's updates of the .NET Framework have failed. On each occasion, the tool performed as described. Save the tool to your desktop and unzip it to a location where you can find it on your hard drive. Press the executable file located where you unzipped the tool. A dialog box will come up asking you which version of .NET do you wish to uninstall. Uninstall all of them.
3) Restart your machine. Upon restart, after logging back in, you may find some programs that rely on the .NET framework (i.e. Quicken) provide error messages saying some process or other has failed. Do not worry. When you reinstall the frameworks the program(s) will work again. Acknowledge the dialog boxes, but don't bother sending a report to Microsoft (unless you're just ticked off that this has happened and want to bug them...in that case, then by all means send the log file).
4) Go back to Microsoft Updates. When the buttons come up, press the customer install button. Let it search for the required updates. All of the .NET Framework versions should appear under the Software, Optional category. Select only those items to install. Do not select other updates as we want to minimize the potential for failures. Install the .NET Frameworks 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0.
5) After the .NET Frameworks have installed, restart your machine. You may not be required to do this by the updates, but it's just good form.
6) Once you've restarted go back to Microsoft Updates. Do another Custom Install search. Once again, select any updates that are related to .NET Frameworks. You should see one that updates .NET Framework 1.1 (that'll be Service Pack 1 or SP1) and several related to .NET Framework 2.0 that have numbers like "KB928366". Select those only and install them.
7) Restart your PC.
8) Once you've restarted, then go back to Microsoft Updates. Do a custom install search. The final update for .NET Framework 1.1 should come up (KB928365). Select that one only and install it. You may or may not be prompted for a restart. I'd restart anyhow, just for good measure.
9) You're done! KB928365 and KB928366 should have been installed on your machine. If you saw any other updates at the Microsoft Updates site, or you just want to be certain, go back to the site and do another custom install search. If nothing comes up, then you've been successful! If something comes up during that search, then apply those updates as you see fit.
10) Burn a copy of the .NET clean up tool that you downloaded to a CD or floppy and label the disc clearly so you can find it again. You never know when you might need it nor do you know how long Mr. Stebner will continue to offer it for download.