Last time I had a “little” problem with MSDNAA (MSDN Academic Alliance). I’ve been downloading VisualStudio 2005 when the MS downloader failed for some reason. It was unable to download the SDC file from server for some times, then it told me I already downloaded it. Damn!
I requested reinstall from the ELMS site… Nothing happened by ~2 weeks, noone contacted me with instructions. Unfortunately you can’t order VS 2005 on dvd from ELMS.
But… there are some locations (even my university has one ) you can download compressed and “protected” iso images from. So, I did an experiment. I downloaded a downloader for something like ms crc305 or sth, renamed downloaded sdc file of VisualStudio to crc305.sdc and run the downloader to unpack it. I was a bit surprised, but I got decrypted iso file That means there is no file or product-specific encryption key, so probably someone wrote generic unpacker for this kind of files. So I started looking for it and found nothing… except two SDC Wrappers – tools for creating sdc files, but without unpacking option. In fact these wrappers contain full unpacking procedures, but I was too lazy to find how to enable it on the UI.
After few hours debugging and coding I wrote complete unpacker for this kind of files. You can grab it here. It’s a console tool, it will print valid commandline when you run it without parameters. If you find sdc file that is not supported by this tool, just let me know (eg. write the comment with a link to sdc file). As I hate zlib, you will need .NET framework to run it (yeah, DeflateStream rocks!). Maybe some day I will port it to C++, so you will get native windows exe, or maybe even source code
You have to remember that you can download sdc files and decompress them freely, but you shouldn’t install software it contains until you “purchase” it on your academy ELMS site. In most cases you will need the key that is provided after checkout, otherwise the software won’t install or run.