ITFAQ:MSDNAA

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MSDN Academic Alliance at Digipen

To see the products that are available and to purchase them, go to the following and login with your DigiPen email address:

If you have questions about the Microsoft Academic Alliance or e-academy, you may be able to get them answered here at the MSDNAA Home Page
Once you have logged into the DreamSpark store you can visit the help link near the top of the page for assistance using the store and acquiring software from it.
To receive support for any products ordered from the "Special Offerings" section of this store, please contact DreamSpark@kivuto.com. These products are supported by Kivuto Solutions Inc.

Your MSDNAA Account

New and returning students will receive an email from elms_support@e-academy.com or noreply@e-academy.com. This email will provide instructions on how to obtain Microsoft Academic software for free (download) or very cheap (CD/DVD). You will be given a login and password that will be required to access the site. This is NOT the same as your DigiPen login/password. The login for the site is typically your DigiPen email address, ie: "DigiPenUsername@digipen.edu".

  • If you have forgotten your password you can visit the site and use the "Forgot your password?" link on the login page to have a new password sent to your DigiPen email account.
  • If you did not get the registration email you can still visit the site and use the "Register" button on the login page to complete your registration.
  • If you get an error message stating: "No active matching account was found with the identifier entered." then you will need to contact support.msdnaa@digipen.edu have your account added.
    If you use the Contact Us link from the help area of the store and then the Contact Customer Support or the Create an Account links you will be contacting support.msdnaa@digipen.edu. We are only able to assist you with the creation of accounts, which is normally done automatically through out the school year.

Available Software

The MSDNAA only provides Microsoft developer-related software (e.g. Visual Studio, Windows operating systems, Access, etc.)

It does not provide any office applications (e.g. Word, Excel). You cannot get 3DS Max, Maya, Photoshop, or anything not Microsoft developer-related.

There are currently two ways you can receive the software:

  1. You can download the software from a central server. This is the fastest way, but you are entirely responsible for making backups of your software.
  2. You can order the software on CD/DVD and e-academy will mail you the CDs/DVDs. They will arrive in about 5 days.

Notice:

  • If you are having trouble ordering, be sure to login before you begin shopping for products.
  • You can only order any given product once.
  • You can not get a download and a physical copy of the same product.
  • You can not get additional copies of your ordered products.
  • You can not download a product more than once.
  • You can not get your product keys from the store again later.
  • The MSDNAA Administrator can not help you get more copies or find your lost keys.
  • So, Keep copies of your downloads or media and your product keys.

Information

The recommended approach is to order the CD/DVD, if you have that choice. This will cost between $12 and $30, but it is guaranteed to work and you will be able to easily re-install the software if you re-install Windows or get a new computer. With many students trying to download GBs of data from the server, it is quite possible that you may experience very long downloads or timeouts, especially during the early days/weeks of the new semester when everyone is trying to download multiple CDs/DVDs of data. When you go to the e-academy website to order your copy, you have to decide at that point which method you want to use. Once you choose the method, you can no longer switch. So if you choose to download, and it keeps timing-out (for whatever reason), you can't change your mind and order the CD/DVD. This is just the way the e-academy system works. All products are available via download, but only a few are available on CD/DVD. The nice thing about having the CD/DVD is that if you need to re-install the software, you'll have it readily available. If you download the software instead, YOU MUST MAKE A BACKUP BEFORE INSTALLING IT. If you don't make a backup and your computer crashes and you lose the software, you're out of luck. The same is true if you purchase a new computer and you want to re-install it. If you didn't make a backup, you're out of luck.

After you purchase your product for download (it's free, but you still have to go through the check-out process in order to get a key), you will be presented with a download link (button). This is NOT for the product itself. This link will download a 400 KB .exe file to your computer. This executable is a special program that will automatically download the product that you selected. The product will be encrypted when it is downloaded, so you cannot use any other means of downloading the software. This special downloader will only download one specific product. You will get a new downloader for each product that you wish to download. Sadly, the downloader program is a Windows-only executable, so you need a Windows machine to download the software (unless you know how to execute Windows programs on other platforms).

When the downloader program runs, you will not be prompted for anything except a location where you wish to save the installer, which can be several GBs for a DVD. (Make sure you have enough space on your hard drive where you want to download this. Since the downloader may have to decompress the file after downloading, you may need to have a lot of extra space on the drive.) This program will download the encrypted installer and may take anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours, depending on factors such as your bandwidth, the Internet congestion, and the load on the server. If you quit the program in the middle of the download, it will remember where it left off. Then, when you run it again, it will continue from where it left off. So if you see it "stuck" on 1% or something, it's because the bandwidth is completely consumed. You should just wait a while and try again.

Once the "real" installer (or CD/DVD image) is downloaded, the program will decrypt the setup files. Once the setup files are decrypted, you can run the necessary setup program. Some products do not download setup programs, but instead are simply .iso CD/DVD images that need to be burned to a CD/DVD in a special way before they can be installed. After you download the "real" installers, you won't be able to download it again. You get one copy and only one copy. So, if you're downloading the product, DON'T LOSE THE FILES THAT YOU NEED TO INSTALL IT. You won't get another copy. Please go back and read those last two sentences again. I'll wait... Did you read it? Now, go read it once more.

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