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Courtesy of Microsoft Dreamspark, I now have a valid license for Visual Studio 2008 Professional. However, it is a 3GB+ download, and my connection has a 1 meg speed. I can't leave anything long enough to download it all in one go, and resuming the download (with either the on-site download manager (won't resume on IE8, won't even start on Firefox 3), or firefox's native downloads) doesn't work. Which leaves me with a license, but no program.

Is there any other way to download the program over multiple sessions? ATM if that isn't possible, I'm consider torrenting it, and then using the dreamspark provided key, but would that still count as a legal copy as far as updates, etc go?

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4 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I quote from an article by the University of Texas: "Microsoft DreamSpark - Purchasing", which says towards the end:

Click the Download button marked Download Manager.

On campus — Periodically use the Pause button to suspend your download to ensure that you do not use your entire bandwidth quota. When paused, you can use the Exit button to quit the Download Manager. The Download Manager will place a link on your desktop that you can use to resume your download.

I'm not a user of DreamSpark, so I don't know which Download Manager is referred here. But I suggest that you access the site via internet explorer, to let Microsoft use its own download manager, and try out if the Pause/Exit mechanism that is suggested here does work for you. If it does, use it periodically.

Edit: Found this:

If you RESUME the download using the icon on your desktop, it's likely to FAIL and DESTROY the part of the file you've already got... But if you go back to DreamSpark and download the SAME FILE AGAIN rather than using the desktop link it appears to resume OK.

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There is a link in the page called "download manager". That's what they are referring to. As I said before, that doesn't work for me (won't resume on IE8, won't even start on Firefox 3). –  Macha Sep 26 '09 at 18:37
what does "download manager" link ? What errors do you get ? Can you post a screen-shot of the screen containing it? –  harrymc Sep 26 '09 at 19:21
See also the edited part above. –  harrymc Sep 26 '09 at 19:22
It's a ActiveX control (for IE) or Java applet (for other browsers) in a window that shows the download progress. It's used for other things by MS aswell (like the Win 7 beta). The error I get is "the source file could not be read". –  Macha Sep 26 '09 at 19:26
As a wild guess I'll hazard that the problem is on the Microsoft side, since that's the source. I suggest you go to dreamspark.com and use the Support menu option Contact to get in touch with them. However, you should prepare a better description of the problem than you've furnished us here. –  harrymc Sep 26 '09 at 19:34
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Torrents may not work (legality aside), Can't really say for sure, but every copy of VS I have ever had has been pre PID'ed in the setup file.

If you email Microsoft, for a nominal fee, they may be able to give you a media pack.

If not, get a friend with a fast connection to help you.

I am sorry, but I have not seen anyone with problems resuming using either the Microsoft Download Manager or Microsoft downloads through Firefox. If you are having this problem, it could mean other problems. It is worth a try using a download manager such as Free Download Manager, but if this does nothing, you could be out of luck.

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Had the exact same problem 1 yr ago. It almost seemed like Microsoft's servers don't support resume at all and it kept timing out on me. Only way I could get around it was finding the fastest possible wired internet connection (my school, of course) and d/l there. Heh, since I couldn't transfer the ISO from school computers (no DVD burner, too big for my flash drive, no shared dir) I had to unplug a machine in the lab, spoof the MAC address and assign the matching static IP on my laptop to fool the router.

Are you remote from your campus or something?

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Dreamspark is for high schools and colleges. Unsurprisingly, my high school does not supply high speed internet access to students. Hence downloading it at home –  Macha Sep 26 '09 at 20:34
Ah makes sense. –  hyperslug Sep 26 '09 at 22:10
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I just started using DreamSpark.com and currently, the site requires you to use Microsoft®'s own "Secure Download Manager" which is the only program that I know of that can make use of the *.sdx files that DreamSpark.com provides for downloads. In Secure Download Manager, you can pause, stop and resume downloads, and if you close the application before the download is finished, you simply need to open the *.sdx file to resume that download. Secure Download Manager has some caveats, it doesn't show your download speed, you can't queue up multiple downloads, and it eats up your RAM for breakfast (i.e., I have 4GB of RAM on my laptop, and while running only background processes, Avast anti-virus, and Secure Download Manager, I had 96% RAM usage and 35% processor usage on my AMD 1.4GHz A6 quad-core), but currently, it is the only way to download software from Microsoft®'s DreamSpark program.

Also, Secure Download Manager stores your download in its own *.sdc container file until the download is complete, and then extracts it into a folder named after the product you're currently downloading. On my laptop, when this process begins, and until it is completed, my laptop is practically un-usable.

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Also, Secure Download Manager stores your download in its own *.sdc container file until the download is complete, and then extracts it into a folder named after the product you're currently downloading. On my laptop, when this process begins, and until it is completed, my laptop is practically un-usable. –  Reed Brousseau Mar 30 '13 at 20:46
you can edit your question. I added your comment to your answer. –  Mixxiphoid Mar 30 '13 at 21:09
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