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Logging in to DreamSpark

Q: What is my ELMS login username and password?
A: For students, your ELMS userid is your Unity email address ( However, since ELMS is independent of NC State University, the password they provide will be different. Your initial password will be sent to your Unity email address by ELMS when your account is created.

Q: I forgot my password, how do I get a new one?
A: If you have forgotten your password you can have it emailed to you through the ELMS system using the link on the Login page.

Q: I am a new/returning student, when will I receive access to DreamSpark?
A: All DreamSpark-eligible accounts are enabled at the beginning of each new semester, and disabled at the end of final exams. You can review the dates for future semesters at eligibility requirements. Please also be aware that when the system is disabled, administrators cannot issue additional downloads or product keys.

Q: I'm having trouble logging in. What should I do?
A: First, review the eligibility requirements to confirm you are eligible and that the system is enabled. Next, be certain you are using the correct login id, being your Unity email address ( Finally, try requesting your password from the Login page. If you are still having problems, go to the DreamSpark site and click on "Contact Us" fill out the form to send us a help request. Please be sure to describe the types of login problems you are encountering. Someone will contact you for more information if necessary.


Q: Who is eligible for this program?
A: The DreamSpark license stipulates that only students taking courses in the ECE Department (with an ECE prefix) may download DreamSpark software. Students who are electrical or computer engineering majors but are not currently enrolled in at least one ECE class are not eligible to download DreamSpark software. This includes students who are currently participating in Co-op and students who do not take summer courses. The students may, however, continue to use previously downloaded software.

Q: How long will my ELMS account be active?
A: Your ELMS account will be active as long as you are an eligible participant of the DreamSpark license, meaning as long as you are a current student enrolled in an ECE class. For more details, see eligibility requirements.

Software Availability

Q: What software is available under this program?
A: A full list of software available under our DreamSpark subscription cannot be provided here. To view the list of softwares, you should log into the site.

Q: When will new softwares be available?
A: New software versions are generally available at the same time they are available for retail. However, software availability is controlled by Microsoft, and so we have no information on what products will be available or when.

Q: Do DreamSpark products provide the same functionality as those available through the retail market?
A: Yes, a product purchased through the DreamSpark program offers the same functionality as a product purchased through the retail market.

Licenses and Software Usage

Q: What happens if the my department decides to cancel their DreamSpark membership?
A: MSDN subscription licenses are perpetual. As such, if a department decides not to renew, the user can continue to utilize the software that was received as a benefit of their earlier membership, but only as long as your usage conforms to the academic usage agreement.

Q: Upon graduation, are your rights to any downloaded programs from this ELMS web site revoked? Or are they yours to keep?
A: Yes, access to the site is revoked during any semester in which the student is not enrolled in an ECE class. Any software downloaded is yours to keep, but only as long as your usage conforms to the academic usage agreement.

Q: Is the software permanently unlocked by the license (or "key")?
A: Product activation keys are single-use. Once a product key has been used to activate the downloaded software, the same key cannot be used again. If you must re-install a piece of software due to system crash or failure, or you have a new machine, you must use the form available from the "Contact Us" link to request an additional activation key.

Q: Can I install my software on two computers at once?
A: Yes, as long as you are the owner of both computers and both are being used for educational purposes. Friends, family and colleagues not currently enrolled in a course are not allowed to access or use the software available from this Web site. If you have been assigned an ECE computer, different licenses cover the software -- email us at to request software installations on ECE computers.

Q: I have a new computer now, how can I re-install my software?
A: You must use the form available from the "Contact Us" link to request an additional activation key.

Downloading and Installing

Q: Where is the product serial number?
A: The product serial number will be available on the order confirmation page.

Alternatively, you can find the serial key for all of your purchases by following the directions below:

  • Log-in to the site.
  • Click on "Your Account" button found at the top of the page.
  • Find the software in your Order History and click the "View Details" link.
  • You should be able to see all of the software details information including the serial key number (If one is required).

Q: If my download times out or I get disconnected, how do I continue my software download and installation?
A: The Secure Download Manager provides functionality for pause and resume of downloads, so disconnects are not an issue.

Q: I downloaded the software and all I got was a large .img or .iso file. Help?
A: These files are disc images that include the information necessary to make a disc bootable, in addition to the files for the software. More information is provided by Microsoft here.

If you need CD burning software, you might try Active@ ISOBurner or DeepBurner.
NOTE: WolfTech does not support or warrant these products in any way - use at your own risk.

Q: I am having trouble burning my CD/DVD image, what can I do?
A: Due to the countless hardware and software variables involved, we can only provide general guidance about burning image files. Some helpful information and tips on CD/DVD burning are:

  • Try burning at a slower speed.
  • Make sure you are using the proper type of media for your cd/dvd image.
  • An .img file can be safely renamed to a .iso file.
  • Make sure you have read/write permissions to the file you are trying to burn
  • One good site on CD's and CD-ROM's is at


Q: I can't get in to the DreamSpark site or the download does not start, What's wrong?
A: If you experience issues with access or downloading, first, please be patient and try again later. The site may be experiencing very high usage levels. Also, please be sure to use Internet Explorer when attempting to download anything from the ELMS system -- other browsers often have problems.

Q: Why can't I access the site or start a download from my Macintosh system?
A: The DreamSpark site is not compatible with Apple OS X. You must use a Windows system to download the software.

Q: Can you please check the configuration of <insert Product>?
A: Please be aware that the ECE Department does not host the files you download from DreamSpark. Problems downloading are commonly caused by issues with your network connection, filewall, or permissions in the location you are downloading the file.

Q: My download is inaccessible or corrupt, my CD/DVD does not work, I lost my download or media, what should I do?
A: In most of these cases, you should attempt to re-download the image. You may also try temporarily disabling your antivirus/antimalware software or removing and re-installing the Secure Download Manager.

Additionally, make sure you are downloading the image to a file location where you have read/write/modify access, and consider running a chkdsk on your system to fix any file system errors. For issues with burning CD/DVDs, see the section above.