for downloading your Visual Studio software (and more…)
Step 1: Register/Sign in at
the MSDN ELMS system.
- If you haven’t already registered your account at the store...
Go to the sign-in page at our online (Microsoft Imagine) store. ← (That’s
a link – click on it ☺)
You can’t sign in yet; you need to complete registration for your account. Click on the
…and follow the on-screen directions to get everything set up. You do
have an account, and your Username is your student ID number on its own (as
used to log into the computers in class).
- Once registration is complete, you should be signed in. If not, sign in
- See the plethora of software available for download? When you are
done grinning, proceed with the instructions below.
- Note: you can download a
newer system for your computer (Windows 10; or Windows 8.1 or 7 if you
prefer an earlier version). Visual
Studio 2015 does not work on XP or Vista - it
requires Windows 7 (Service Pack 1) or higher. For Windows 10,
choose the “multiple editions” version, not the
“education” one at the top of the list. If you do decide to
update your system, take care of that before installing Visual Studio.
- Mac / Boot Camp
peoples: This is the easy place to get the Windows system disc(s) you need.
Step 2: Download Visual
Note: The general procedure
for downloading is the same for any product you decide to download
- Important – you want
Visual Studio 2015, (not 2012,
- By default, you should see software in the “Featured”
category displayed towards the bottom of the browser window. Click on
“Visual Studio 2015” in that list.
- “Visual Studio Community 2015” should be expanded at the
top of the list that pops up. While you could choose that version, I recommend “Visual Studio
Enterprise 2015 with Update 3” a little further down the page. Find
that, click on the “+” next to it to expand, and click
- In the dialog that comes up (or on the receipt page that shows up
if you’re slow to act), click download, and a more detailed download
list will show up. You want to download the one shown below. Do not choose the web installer.
- If you want to download directly to a USB thumb drive (8GB or
larger), note that most of those drives are formatted FAT32 and thus
cannot handle files bigger than 4GB. You’re unlikely to be told
about this limitation until the very end of your download, at which point
you will be told that the file is too big for the targeted file system,
and you’ll have to download it all over again (as I just
did…). Very frustrating. If
in doubt, download to your hard drive, and then move the ISO to a thumb
drive after download. It’s easy to fix the limitation on the
thumb drive’s end, just clear everything off of it, and then
reformat it to be exFAT
(handles big files, best compatibility across computers / systems).
- Note: If
anything goes differently for you, or you need to come back later to
download, you can always get to all products you’ve ordered by
selecting “Your Account/Orders” in the dropdown menu below
your ID that displays near the top right whenever you’re logged into
Step 2a: Get the download
into useable form
file you download is an ISO disk image. You can choose to create a DVD from it,
or you can access/extract the files from the ISO directly.
- If you can’t or don’t want to burn a DVD:
Windows 8 and beyond: just double-click on the ISO, and it will
“mount” and open as if it were a drive attached to your computer.
(You’ll see it listed with your other drives in Windows Explorer). If
double-clicking doesn’t work for some reason, right-click and choose
Windows 7: Install 7-Zip, (it’s simple, reliable, and
free). Right-click on the disc image (.iso) file,
select “7-Zip/Extract Files…” and extract the full contents
of the disc to any folder/location you choose.
If you have a dual-layer DVD burner on your computer, I recommend that
you burn a DVD from the image. (This
image is too big for older / single-layer DVDs, so if that’s your
situation, take one of the non-DVD approaches above). Burning a DVD gives you an install disk that you can use again later
if you get a new computer or have to reformat your current computer.
Right-click on the ISO file, and choose “burn…” If
that option isn’t available, you no doubt have alternate burning software
installed on your computer. Open that software, choose the option labeled
“burn image” or something similar, and follow their instructions.
Step 3: Install Visual
Note: this installation is known
to sometimes take a long time. Be prepared to have it run overnight.
- Before installing Visual Studio, it’s a good idea to use
Windows Update to make sure your computer is up to date. Click on the
start menu, type “windows update” launch the program and check
for updates. Once those updates install, check for updates again to make
sure you’re completely up-to-date. (Reminder: this version of Visual Studio does not work with Vista
or XP - if that’s what you have, you need to upgrade to Windows
7 or higher).
- To start installation, open your DVD / mounted ISO / folder to
which you extracted files, and launch vs_enterprise.exe - the only
application you’ll find at the top level there.
- Default install should be quite reasonable. But if you’re
tight on disc space, you can click “custom” and remove all
languages other than C#. You can always install extra features later
if/when you need them.
- When installation completes, you’ll likely need to restart
- Launch Visual Studio.
- At the welcome screen, sign in with the same account you sign in
with at school, (worthwhile to check “keep signed in”), and
then wait through that first time setup you’ve already experienced
- It’s unlikely you’ll be asked to choose any more
settings, but if the “choose a default collection of settings”
dialog comes up, choose “Visual C#”.
- Once Visual Studio completes its launch, click on the Tools menu
and select Options…
On the left side, click on Text Editor to expand it, and then click C#
and then Tabs.
§ Indenting: Smart
§ Tab size: 4; Indent size:
4; keep tabs
- You are all set to get to work writing code at home! Use Visual
Studio as you do at school.
- Note – Visual Studio
will sometimes alert you about updates to extensions, etc. It’s OK
to put aside or ignore completely most or all of those updates,
particularly for features that look unfamiliar to you. If you later end up
investigating / doing work with any of those features (SQL, Azure, …), you can take care of updates at that
time. I’ll let you know if I notice any come through that could be
relevant to you.
software / accessing earlier orders:
- You have access to a ridiculously large amount of software via our
online store. Browse to your heart’s content! Note that in the
“Featured” category on your home page I’ve highlighted
some products you might be interested in.
- Note: You have 24 month access to download / licensing details for
all products you get from our store:
While logged in to the store, click on “Your Account/Orders”
near the top of the window.
Click on the applicable item, and you’ll be back to what you saw
when you first went through checkout. Note that there’s a download link
and (if needed) a product key.
I strongly recommend that you save archives of your
downloads, and record all product keys, before your 24 month window runs