ICS MSDNAA Software Distribution FAQ

Details on MSDN Academic Alliance Software Distribution

Q: How do I obtain access to the e-academy system for MSDNAA software?

A: To receive an MSDNAA account, your instructor must submit your email address to the ICS Program Coordinator. Ask your instructor what address he/she submitted. It may be your UH email address or one you provided. We enter the addresses that the instructor provides.

Q: I forgot my password, or you said my account was created, but I never received notification. What should I do?

A: You can go to the MSDNAA site, enter your username for the Remind me of my Password form.

You should have received an e-mail with this information. If you did not receive an e-mail regarding MSDNAA, we do not have your correct e-mail address or you are using a mail system which blocks e-mails from us (Hotmail often does this).

Some e-mail systems (Hotmail seems to be one), may block the e-mail telling you to register or other information such as: software codes, important system messages, etc...
Please check the spam settings on your e-mail system.
Many e-mail systems allow you to customize what is blocked and/or allowed in your Inbox.
The procedures vary depending on the email system provider, but are generally under "Options", "Mail settings", "Spam settings" or "Bulk settings".
If you specifically tell the e-mail system to allow messages from "billing@e-academy.com", "MSDNAA_support@e-academy.com", "system_mail@e-academy.com", "automated_email@e-academy.com" then you should receive everything.

Q: Why aren't all the products available for the MSDNAA available on our ICS server?

A: Here's why we don't have *ALL* the software available at the MSDNAA site for our department.

  • There are currently over 600 individual product line items there.
  • Each item must be "configured" for access.
  • Configuration involves a minimum of filling out about 5 web forms, and if doing multiple delivery modes, as many as say 20 web forms could be involved
  • Each app requires it be initialized for access by:
    • being placed into a network share server.
    • Create an ISO image for Secure Download.
      • This also involves using the SDC wrapper tool to generate the SDC encrypted form we store on our webserver.
      • We don't have unlimited disk space to store each SDC image for all applications at this time.
      • We don't have unlimited SDC creation time.

All in all, we'd need to spend a *LOT* of time creating duplicates of CDs, SDC Wrapping them, etc. Followed by an extensive amount of configuration via Web Forms at the MSDNAA site.

We have chosen the most likely software people will need and set those up first. We may accept individual *SPECIFIC* requests for any software beyond that, but do not promise we will implement said requests.

We hope you now understand that this isn't an uninvolved process on our end.

Q: I have a CD I got from someone for Windows XP, and when I tried to use the registration key I got from MSDNAA, it wouldn't work, what gives?

A: The Registration keys you get for MSDNAA products at the MSDNAA site work only with the MSDNAA distribution kits you get from the MSDNAA site. (there may be some kits that work either way, but you are on your own if you want to go down that dark alley).

Please download the MSDNAA kit from the MSDNAA site to use with the registration key you get from the MSDNAA site.

Q: Where's Microsoft Office, Word, PowerPoint, etc?

A: Those products are NOT included in the MSDNAA program. (They are NOT development applications) You can check the Leeward CC Bookstore for student versions of those applications. Or, get yourself a copy of OpenOffice (OpenSource, Free-for-all http://www.openoffice.org/) or StarOffice (Free for Academic users http://wwws.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/get/index.html). The only real cost with {Star,Open}Office is that it is slower than the MS Office Suite apps.

Q: That download was FAST! Is that it?

A: When you choose a download delivery what you receive from the MSDNAA site is not actually the chosen product but a special Download Handler application which knows how to decrypt the encrypted image. The encrypted image is known as a Secure Digital Container (SDC) and is hosted on an ICS web server. The downloader knows where this file is located, downloads it, decrypts it, and then leaves it on your hard drive.

The downloader is smart and will resume a download in progress that was interrupted, if you run it again (from the disk).

Q: I am having trouble with the download, may I download again?

A: Yes, you can download many times, but you can only Purchase One time (without special permission).

If your download was aborted prior to completion, just re-run the downloader program again. It should start off at the point of disconnection and continue to completion. (You may need to do this several times until it finishes completely).

If you just want to get the download image down again (because you deleted it) then you should remove not only the downloaded IMG or ISO files, but the Downloader program as well.

The process to download again:

My Profile (on the left-hand sidebar menu)
My Software (first entry in the main-body of the Profile display)
Select the product you wish to download again.
Click on "View Order Details"
Click on the "Download Software" gadget
The downloader will be re-downloaded.

Re-execute the downloader (Again, make sure that you have deleted the previously downloaded "downloader" and IMG or ISO images)

Suffice to say its PREFERABLE to retain the downloaded IMG, ISO, or unpacked install tree so you can refer to it later.

Q: I'm on a [ Macintosh/UNIX/Linux/Commodore 64/Adam Coleco ] and the downloaded file is not runnable

A: Yes, that's an unfortunate negative feature of the MSDNAA digital delivery system. If your ISO burning station isn't on your Windows system, you can't get the image file. You will need to be on a Windows machine in order to get the downloaded ISO images.

Q: I'm left with a .IMG file, what do I do with that?

A: Some Products that are pre-wrapped into SDCs by the MSDNAA site for us decrypt into .IMG files, not .ISO. All you need to do is simply rename the file as .ISO. If Windows gives you some grief about "changing a file's extension, the file may become unusable" Say "YES".

Q: I downloaded the kit, and I have ISO (or IMG) files, but no CD Burner, what now?

A: You will have to find an environment in which you can temporarily use a system that meets the requirements, or if you want to be adventurous, you can try out one of the ISO handler applications for Windows.
Here's a list:

Product Features Where to get it Shareware, Freeware, Cost
Virtual CD Letter drive mapping onto ISO image
Free for personal or academic use
Magic ISO Maker Image file edit tool & burn image to CD/DVD
http://magiciso.com/ Shareware $29.95
Explorer-Like container access to ISO data
Shareware $30
FarStone Virtual Drive
Virtual CD Letter drive mapping onto ISO image
Virtual CD Letter drive mapping onto ISO image

Q: I really would like to have a CD provided to me. Is that possible?

A: The E-Academy site has a limited number of titles available for single unit purchase at Software

For generally $10 - $20 (incl shipping) you can get several media kits.

You can see what you can order directly from MSDNAA at http://www.msdnaa.net/products/studentmediapurchasing.aspx

The Copy Center at Leeward CC has a limited number of applications available that can be purchased for $5.00 per CD. While the software is free the charge is for the labels, envelopes, and student help costs to make the CD.

Q: I upgraded my computer, and now I can't reactivate my MSDN software, since the activation key no longer works. Help!

A: You have to contact Microsoft here. The FAQ on Microsoft Product Activation is at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;302878

Q: Can I have 2 or more copies of software?

A: No. You are allowed a SINGLE copy of software. Please see the : MSDNAA Usage Agreement

Q: How does MSDNAA handle MSDNAA Licensing Policies?

A: MSDNAA was designed with MSDNAA-specific licensing policies in mind. Every time a student or faculty member orders software through MSDNAA, they must agree to the standard EULA provided by Microsoft. Agreement to the EULA is recorded in one of the transaction reports (see below) available in MSDNAA. MSDNAA also restricts the number of times a student can order each MSDNAA software product. Each student/faculty is restricted to one order per MSDNAA product. Students can always request additional installs from their Program Administrator if required. MSDNAA includes a module which enables Program Administrators to issue additional installs to individuals as well as additional installation codes (PIDs-for example for Windows XP, Visio or Project where each install requires a new code).

Note that we will not grant additional installs, even though a procedure exists for it. You will need to contact Microsoft if you need to have your activation key changed.

Q: I deleted the ISO download after installation, but the application is now asking for the CD to add components, what do I do?

A: DO NOT DELETE THE DOWNLOADED IMAGES! Please, burn them to CD or leave them on the hard disk.

Q: I lost or forgot to print out my registration key when i selected my software. How can I get it back?

A: Please read everything that is presented to you in your download transactions One of the first things that pops up when you order the software is a receipt with the registration key(s) on it. You should print this or save it to a file, or write it on a napkin if you are downloading at MacDownload's hamburger cafe.

If you fail to do so, you can still retrieve it by click the "MY PROFILE" button on the left side of the MSDNAA screen, then select the "My Software" option. Click on the right column for anything you downloaded and the receipt screen for that product will be presented to you.