Microsoft DreamSpark Program (formerly MSDNAA)

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KB0012097: Microsoft DreamSpark Program (formerly MSDNAA)

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What is Microsoft DreamSpark?

Microsoft DreamSpark is the easiest and most inexpensive way for academic departments to make the latest Microsoft software available in labs, classrooms, and on student PCs. The program, which is available in more than 160 countries worldwide, has two primary goals:

– To make it easier and less expensive for academic institutions to obtain Microsoft developer tools, platforms, and servers for instructional and research purposes.

– To build a community of instructors who can share curriculum and other learning resources to support the use of these technologies.


Here’s who is eligible for access to DreamSpark software:

  • All faculty and staff of the College of Computer and Information Science (CCIS).
  • Any NU undergraduate or graduate student who is:
    currently enrolled in a CCIS class while classes are in session.
  • a CCIS major enrolled in classes or on co-op.

Our DreamSpark account is not a University-wide program, students outside of CCIS will need to contact whoever is in charge of their major to find out if they offer a similar service.

Each semester the list of students that have signed up for access to DreamSpark software will be compared with a list of enrolled students that we get from the registrar’s office. Any student who is not enrolled for the current semester will have their access disabled until they are again enrolled in a CCIS class.

How to Sign up for DreamSpark Access

  • CCIS Faculty and Staff should send mail to
  • Students should use the CCIS/DreamSpark: Student Sign-up form.

When signing up, you will need to log in using your CCIS username. Your username is the bolded part of

Login Information

Your DreamSpark login information is your CCIS email address and a password that is separate from your CCIS login information. If you forget your password you can request a reminder here: Forgot Password

Access to the DreamSpark Progam

As long as you are a CCIS Student or on coop as a CCIS Major or Grad Student, you will have access to the DreamSpark Program. Once you graduate or leave the college, your DreamSpark account will be disabled and you will not have a way to access your account. Due to our strict licensing terms, the DreamSpark Program Administrator cannot give a user access back to their account if they are not currently enrolled at the college. This also includes access to software and serials previously acquired to the program. It is highly recommended that software acquired from the DreamSpark program is backed up by the user to a local location and that all serials acquired through the program are stored somewhere locally as well.

The DreamSpark Program Administrator will not give access back to accounts not currently enrolled in CCIS classes.

Downloading Software

To download software from DreamSpark once access has been granted, please go to the DreamSpark Software Center which is hosted by Kivuto.

Installing Software

In most cases, software acquired through the DreamSpark downloader comes in either .img or .iso form. These are disk image files which can be burned natively using Windows 7 or by using CD Burning/Recording software such as ISORecorder. They can also be mounted as virtual disks using DaemonTools, and opened directly as folders using WinRAR.

Which version of Windows 7 is offered by DreamSpark?

Windows 7 Professional w/ SP1 (x86 or x64)


Each student is entitled to 1 license/serial for each piece of software that they download. In specific circumstances 1 additional license can be given, but that is at the sole discretion of the DreamSpark Program Administrator.

Licensing Best Practices

It is strongly recommended that when creating Virtual Machines for testing, that a serial is not tied to these machines unless they will not be rebuilt in less than 60 days. Windows activation gives Windows 7 client machines a 60 day grace period before requiring them to activate. Serials usually have 3 or less activations available to them and should not be used up on VMs if at all possible.

Exhausted Available Activations

The Windows 7 activation program should provide you with a phone number to call to reach their automated activation service. Please follow the instructions provided as this method takes about 5 minutes and will activate your copy of Windows. The DreamSpark Program Administrator does not have the ability to grant you additional automatic activations on your serial.

Transfer of Ownership

If you are no longer using a PC that has your serial attached to its copy of Windows and want to install it on a new machine, you will need to format the previous machine first. The DreamSpark Program Administrator does not have a way to deactivate serials and will not issue a new serial if this occurs.

Requesting Additional Downloads

Requesting an additional download is only to be used for downloading additional copies of a product. This should not be used for requesting support on products, or for requesting additional licenses.

Problems or Questions?

Signed Up But Never Received Account Information
It takes up to 2 business days after signing up to create your account. Please check your CCIS email address for the confirmation email, which can sometimes end up in your Junk Mail folder.

If you have not received your login information within 2-3 business days, please visit the DreamSpark page, click on “Enter the CCIS MSDNAA Site”, click on Register, and attempt to finish the registration of your account using your CCIS email address.

If you still cannot access your account, email for support.

Forgot my Password
If you believe that you already have an account and just forgot your password, please visit DreamSpark. Using your CCIS email address as your login name, click the link for “I’ve forgotten my password!” and the site will re-send your password if your account exists.

[color-box]Note: all DreamSpark-related mail is sent to your CCIS email alias, so be sure to check the email of the account this is forwarded to. Your forwarding address can be found in /home/username/.forward if you are unsure.[/color-box]

For any other questions, please contact us at


Ashutosh Warikoo September 4, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I have a query. Which version of Windows 7 will we students have access to?

Christopher Noyes September 6, 2011 at 9:51 am

Windows 7 Professional with Service Pack 1 (x86 or x64)

Ashutosh Warikoo September 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm

How should we migrate our software license across machines?

Christopher Noyes September 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm

To use your license on a new machine, the old machine must no longer be using it. In the case of an application, you can uninstall it. In the case of an Operating System such as Windows you will need to replace it with another OS, or erase your drive. You can re-use your license on a new machine at this point. However, if the license has exhausted the maximum amount of activations that it is given you will need to call the number they provide at installation time to activate your product.

I hope this helps. For a more in depth discussion on this matter you can mail with any additional questions.

Pradep Panchatcharam September 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Does having an account at MSDNAA entitle us for a MSDN Subscription as well ? As in can i use my MSDNAA credentials to log in to the MSDN site and download software from there ?

David Blank-Edelman October 28, 2013 at 9:08 am

Sorry, MSDNAA and MSDN are very different subscriptions. We only offer MSDNAA.

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