Fixing TurboTax BootStrapper Setup Failed

Intuit Inc.
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Update: See user comments below for the Turbo Tax 2010 fix

Update #2: If you still need the .Net Clean up tool, the Link has moved to here.

Last night some friends called and told me they were having problems installing Intuit’s TurboTax, every time they tried to install it Turbo Tax would have an error that BootStrapper Setup Failed and asked if i’d come check it out.
On Intuit’s web site the make it clear that if you get this error you need to uninstall .net framework 2.0 Link. What they don’t tell you is what to do if you can not uninstall .net framework 2.0.
Going into the control panel and clicking remove on a program doesn’t always work. This is what happened in the problem last night. With .net Framework, many programs use it in the background of your system, so it could have either been corrupt or windows just didn’t want to let it go, if some other program was using it.
Searching for a way to uninstall .net framework 2.0 manually pointed me to this site Aaron Stebner’s Blog where he’s written a program that will completely uninstall all the .net frameworks that you choose. The .NET Framework Cleanup Tool worked perfectly, one thing you may notice is that since many programs use the .net framework in their background, once you reboot some programs like at&t firewall and other things may not work, BUT once you download this .net framework 2.0 SP1, install it and reboot all programs should start to work once more.

If this post helped you please leave a comment, thank you

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11 Comments to “Fixing TurboTax BootStrapper Setup Failed”

  1. Vickie 22 February 2009 at 2:56 pm #

    5 Stars for this, thank you so much. I have been trying to fix this issue for 5 hours, contacted Intuit with no success. Once I happened on to your site the software was up and running in no time flat.

    Thank you so much,

  2. W. Gibbs 11 April 2009 at 10:18 am #

    I also had this issue last year, when I tried to use Turbo Tax. This year the error “Bootstrap failed” reared its ugly head again, and I despaired. Fortunately, the above tip sent me to Aaron’s website which provided the answer. I did not have to perform the final step ( NET framework 2.0 SP1) to get other programs running, but will keep the link to the tip and tool handy.
    Thanks again. It saved me many hours of work.

  3. ChrisJ 14 October 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    Dude – you rock -thanks!

  4. Aelbedawi 18 February 2010 at 8:55 am #

    I do want to let you guys all know, there is a reason that that tool isn’t obviously available on the TurboTax support site – they only want people to use it as a last resort because the tool does pose a risk to the system. The tool removes registry entries, and has the potential to damage (sometimes permanently) the OS. The article on the TurboTax support site that you would should have found is 6586, which is also easily found by clicking the support tab, then searching for “bootstrapper”.

    Here’s the link to the article.


    Another way to do the same thing, is to use the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility to remove the registry part of .NET, then manually delete all .NET related files, which allow you to install with no problems (Aaron Stebner’s tool essentially does all this in one click)

  5. MeeToo. 19 January 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    After trying everything listed here, elswhere, and failing miserably on the 2010 update, I found the temporary directory where the install was unzipped. I bypassed the installer script and in a sub-folder found the actual update executable. Ran it, everything updated perfectly. I suspect the problem is in their batch script.

  6. Handy Manny 11 February 2011 at 1:27 am #

    For TurboTax 2010 all the .NET fixes were a big FAIL on 3 different computers. If you have installed TTAX and are running the Federal manual update MeeToo FINALLY had the answer, but was a bit close-mouthed! First, run the manual update exe. While it’s failing (in Vista), go to C:\Users\Your_user_name\AppData\Local\Temp\ and look for the temp directory just created. Go in to the directory nest and ignoring the first Setup, find the folder called Turbo Tax 2010. In this folder run “Turbo Tax 2010 Installer” and your update will run.
    For once it is NOT a MS fail, it is a .INTUIT fail.

  7. Aaron Stebner 12 February 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    One note – the link to the cleanup tool in this post is no longer valid (they discontinued my old file server). You can find the tool at now.

  8. Andy 13 February 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Thank you so much for this workaround–it worked great, as opposed to all the .NET fussing which I had to revert since it did weird things to my computer. For Win7 with .NET4, where the main problem is the autorun/setup script which erroneously blocks setup, the temp folder workaround is awesome.

  9. nrthrnrdnck 20 March 2011 at 7:06 am #

    You and Arron totally ROCK! intuit should pay you for every fix. Thansk!

  10. chaos-dave 23 June 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    I used Aarons tool, then downloaded and installed new official .Net 2 & 3 & 3.5 from MS…still didnt work.

    Finally happened accross this website and it worked:

  11. fortunecookie 1 April 2012 at 12:50 am #

    THANK YOU Handy Manny!! All the frickin convoluted runarounds (.Net FW & antivirus sw) didn’t work but your path is rightous! I used windows 7 but the temp dir fix worked all the same:

    1. Run the TTx 2010 installs that you’re having the ‘bootstrapper setup fail’ problem with (mine were the state modules for business and HAB). On the second (and last) confirmation screen before the error message, NOTE the entire path of the temp dir it just created (C:\Users\YOUR USER NAME\AppData\Local\Temp\RANDOMIZED NAME\Setup.exe). You’ll still have to go ahead with the failed install to be able to get to other screen.

    2. Go to windows explore and enter path C:\Users\YOUR USER NAME\AppData\Local\Temp\RANDOMIZED NAME\ but do not run the setup.exe in this dir but go deeper into subdir \TurboTax 2010\ and run TurboTax 2010 Installer.exe there. I would think if you’re having problems with 2011 programs, just substitute 2011 for 2010… Good luck

    Very sad that Intuit has fallen to this level of support…

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