All software downloadable from DreamSpark is supplied directly by Microsoft, and not by the University. Although Microsoft provide free standalone student licences for this software, the University may well not have a license to run many of these applications in the computer labs. So when you do start to use any of the software downloaded from DreamSpark, please make sure that you save out files in a format useable by the software packages we have in the computer labs, which may be several versions older then the latest DreamSpark versions.

The DreamSpark web site is fairly easy to use. It uses the cart shopping system you may be familiar with on other on-line shopping web sites.





Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How can I check I'm eligible to download  DreamSpark software ?
A. When you Submit the following information, one of 2 things can happen:

  1. On success you are automatically redirected to the DreamSpark web site.
  2. On failure to qualify you'll receive an error message.

Your LJMU username

Q2: How long will my DreamSpark account be active ?
A. As long as your LJMU account is active. Be aware that if your LJMU account has expired, is disabled, or locked then you won't be able to login to DreamSpark.

Q3: Can anyone in  LJMU have an account ?
A. No. Microsoft insist that your School belongs to a STEM discipline..

Q4: What is my DreamSpark username / password ?
A. It's your LJMU username e.g.:
The password is what you use to login to any lab PC in LJMU.

Q5: What's the URL for DreamSpark ?

Q6: What software is available ?
A. Having logged into DreamSpark the easiest way is to use the Product Search bar as there are hundreds of software titles available.

Q7: Where's Office ?
A. DreamSpark does offer the full Office suite but it isn't free. The only free Office applications on DreamSpark are:

Access 2003 2007
Visio 2003 2007
InfoPath 2003 2007
Project 2003 2007
OneNote 2003 2007

An alternative to Microsoft Office is OpenOffice:

Q8: How much do I need to pay for the software ?
In an agreement with Microsoft, the DreamSpark program provides this software free of charge.

Q9: How can I obtain the software ?
There are 2 ways

  1. Choose Download as your delivery option from DreamSpark if you are not in either of the 6th or 7th floor computer labs.. If your software requires a serial number or activation code then you can get this through Your Account on the DreamSpark website. You will also receive a billing Email which summarises your order. We recommend that you keep all Emails received from DreamSpark Premium !
  2. Otherwise if available choose the Get software from computer lab option in DreamSpark. Some of the more popular software titles have already been downloaded. On any PC in the 6th or 7th floor James Parsons Building go to:
    Start -> All Programs - DreamSpark
    This will, for your current login session, give you a Z:\ drive. In the DreamSpark folder there are the downloaded images
    . You can burn your own CD / DVDs to take home. However, you will still need to login into DreamSpark and "purchase" the software from their web site to get the product key.

Should you choose option 1, it is recommended that you only select one software title at a time :

Download Manager

If you've never downloaded anything before you must download & install the SDM. You only need do this once unless you have say a desktop PC & a laptop that you want to use for DreamSpark downloads. Basically the SDM has to be installed on each device that you want to use.

Locate Find the MSI installer file.
Install SDM Run the MSI installer file which will install the Download Manager.
Download your software Download the .SDX file for your order.

Confusingly at the end of the download you'll have an option to Launch the software. All this will do is open up a folder with your ISO file in it. Read on to find out what to do next.

Q10: How do I burn an .ISO file ?
A. You can use software such as Nero to burn the image to a CD / DVD. Start Nero and go to File -> Open, and then browse to where your .ISO file is.

Q11: I don’t have Nero are there any alternatives ?
There are a number of free alternatives to Nero such as ImgBurn that you can use to burn your software to disc
. If you don't want to burn a physical disk or have a netbook that doesn't have a physical drive you can mount the ISO file as a virtual DVD using MagicDisk which again is free.

Q12: The file I've downloaded is a .IMG file, now what ?
A .IMG file is a disk image, it's just a slightly different format than a .ISO. Both Nero & ImgBurn support .IMG files, so use them as you would with a .ISO.

Q13: I deleted the ISO I download after installation, but the application is now asking for the CD, what do I do ?
Do NOT delete any downloaded images. Burn them to CD or DVD or leave them on your hard disk.

Q14: I have more than one computer at home is it possible to have another license key?
Yes we can provide more license keys for you if needed, although excessive requests will need valid explanations or documentation to verify that they are not being used for illegal purposes. Use the Contact Us link from the Help section of the DreamSpark site to request more.

Q15: I'm trying to re-install a product but it won't accept the license key. Why?
You may need an additional license key. It depends on the product. Microsoft are more strict on certain products particularly Operating Systems like Windows 7 / 8 / Server 2008. Other products like Visual Studio you don't need a key at all.

Q16: DreamSpark says I have run out of downloads can I have more ?
By default, you are provided with two downloads, as a minimum, to successfully install the product. Again use the Contact Us link from the Help section of the DreamSpark site to request more.

Q17: If my download times out or I get disconnected, how do I continue my software download and installation ?
A. If you were in the middle of downloading the software itself, there will be a Resume button that will allow you to resume your download.

If you have any questions then aren't answered in the FAQ click the Support button below




Page last modified 04 September 2014.

Send feedback
LJMU Logo banner imageLJMU Logo banner image (print)