Install .Net Framework 3.5 on Windows Server 2016 – Alternate Path Error Fix



  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016
  • ISO that was used to install the Server local to the machine or via a USB/DVD/Share

One issue i had on my virtual server running Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Standard was that i decided to limit my access too far beyond the host as the host is on a VLAN which already has a full DNS/DHCP setup. This meant if i wanted to add a Role or a Feature i had no way of using the Microsoft Repositories as the “Source”, a way around this is to just use the Windows Server 2016 iso that you probably used to create your VM. Below is a screenshot of the original error i got whilst trying to use the “internet” as my Source.


  • The way around this is to Mount the .iso file as shown in the image below which will in turn create a local Emulated DVD Drive, in my case this is now the E: drive. You can also do this within the VM by mounting the ISO from a share perhaps and going through the settings but i have all my software on the local Server VM
  • Now head to the Server Manager which usually pops up when you first log into your Server or start it from your Start Menu, its usually sitting on the tiles too as well as your taskbar. Click Add Roles and Features
  • Click Next
  • Ensure you click Role-based or feature-based and Next
  • Select your Server from the pool, mine is called NewYork so i am selecting that and clicking Next
  • Skip the role section and then click Next
  • Click on the .Net Framework 3.5 Features, you can add the HTTP Activation or non-HTTP Activation but i don’t require this for now so i am just selecting as shown and then selecting Next
  • Select Specify an alternate source path
  • Ensure your path is the directory of the iso you mounted and point to the drive:\sources\sxs path as this is where the source files reside, click OK and Install
  • .Net Framework 3.5 is now installed