FAQ – MSDNAA Software

MSDNAA Software

Which username/password should i use for [insert service name]?

We have {finally} evolved to where each user has ONE username and ONE password for all CoE/CADE machines and services. We may refer to your CADE or CoE username and password. This is separate from your CIS/uNID and it’s password, but we may ask you to use those for authentication, such as when creating your account or changing your password.

Accounts created prior to ~May of 2017, CADE/CoE username is some combination of letters from your names (First, Middle(s), & Last) and generated by an algorithm. For al newer accounts, the username is your uNID (formatted as a lower-case ‘u’ and 7digits). Once created, we don’t change them except in rare circumstances.

Your CADE/CoE account is used for:
• logging in to any Linux, MacOS, or Windows computer on our Domain (USERS\ or users.coe.utah.edu), including lab machines, Terminal Servers, VDI hosts, or other Virtual Machines.
• connecting/mounting a Network File Share with CIFS/SMB.
• WebPrint and any PaperCut printing services.
• logging in to your DreamSpark and MSDNAA accounts.
• mounting a Network File Share with NFS.

Note: Your CADE/CoE username and passwords are 100% separate and in addition to your CIS or other campus logins and accounts. Some departments may have labs or computers that require specific logins.


What are MSDNAA and DreamSpark?

MSDNAA stands for Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance. It is a program run by Microsoft through which they partner with universities and colleges to provide software to support education.

DreamSpark is the website used to distribute MSDNAA software and license keys to students, faculty, and staff.

The College of Engineering pays for an annual subscription to the MSDNAA program. As part of our subscription, students in the College of Engineering have access to select Microsoft software to aid them in their studies. This software is provided at no cost to the student since the College pays for the subscription. In order to access the software students need to login to the College’s DreamSpark website.


What software can I get for free?

In general, most Microsoft software is available through the MSDNAA program with one major exception, MS Office. The software available includes (but is not limited to) Windows, Visual Studio, Visio, Project, OneNote, XNA Game Studio and SQL Server. Office is available to all through the University’s Office of Software Licensing, software.utah.edu.


How do I get access to the free software?

As part of our subscription, Microsoft provides the College with a Dreamspark website. An account on this website allows College of Engineering students to download select Microsoft software and access license keys for that software, if required.


Who can have an account on the College of Engineering’s Dreamspark website?

Access to the College’s Dreamspark website is available to all students, faculty, and staff in the College of Engineering. This includes students from other disciplines who are enrolled in College of Engineering courses. If you have a CADE Lab account, then you should be able to login to the College’s DreamSpark website.


How do I register for a Dreamspark account?

There is no longer any need to register for an account. Simply go to our DreamSpark web site and login with your CADE username and password:



Can I download MSDNAA software from an Apple computer?

No. The Dreamspark website requires you to run a “secure downloader” in order to actually download software from the website. That downloader will only run on a Windows computer. However, see this FAQ.


Can I access MSDNAA software without having to download it?

Yes. Much of the MSDNAA software available on the College’s Dreamspark website has already been downloaded and made available on the lab computers in the Engman Lab. To access the software, login to an Engman Lab computer, open “My Computer” and navigate to the “M:” drive. You can then copy the desired software from that location and then access any needed license keys through the Dreamspark website.

The software can also be accessed on other department Windows computers by navigating in Explorer to \\chips.eng.utah.edu\msdnaa.


Can I have more than one license for any particular MSDNAA software?

While this used to be allowed, a recent update (Spring 2012) to the Dreamspark website no longer allows users to have more than one license key for any given product.