On the Hub FAQ's
These are common questions regarding downloading and installing Microsoft Office and Windows products from the On the Hub portal. This collection will change over time as new issues and questions are encountered.
- How do I download Office or Windows via the On the Hub portal?
- I tried the download, but it keeps showing me "Unpacking error - The product did not unpack correctly. Please download the product again." I downloaded the product multiple times, but it still wouldn't work. What can I do?
- How many computers can I install Office and/or Windows on?
- Where do I access my product key, and what is an access guarantee?
- How many times can I purchase Office or Windows through this program?
- Can I keep the Microsoft software from the download site after I leave VCU?
- Can I download and install Office or Windows on my VCU owned office computer or my work-issued laptop?
- I logged on, and I don't see anything to download. Why is that?
- I work at VCU Health Systems. How can I get super low-cost Microsoft software for personal use?
- I got the email about my download, but there was no product key in it!
- I am trying to install Windows, but my key doesn’t work.
- I tried to activate Office after installing, but my key doesn’t work.
- I did not enter my key when I first installed Windows. How do I enter it afterward to activate?
- I did not enter my key when I first installed Office. How do I enter it afterward to activate?
- It is prompting me to sign in to activate my version of Office or Windows. What login do I use to activate?
- I had a key, and I don’t know where it is. I need to re-install my version of Office or Windows. What do I do?\
- I’ve tried to install Office 2010, and I keep getting a “Language Pack” error!
- Where can I find information about upgrading Windows?
- I want a Windows installation disc. Where can I find one?
- I need to get my download again, but it won’t add it to my cart and indicates that I can have only one copy. What do I do!?
Log on to the portal by navigating to https://vcu.onthehub.com and logging in with your eID and password (if you have already signed into the Central Authentication Service in your browser, you will be automatically logged into On the Hub). You can view all available products for download and select the products you wish to download here. The downloads are free for students and $14.99 per title for faculty and staff.
You can download and install the product of your choice. Go ahead and go through the purchase process, and then follow these steps to download and install:
- First, download the SDM, the Software Download Manager. Download this first and save it to your computer.
- Second, download the SDX, the Software Download Index file. The SDM you downloaded in step one runs this SDX file (this is what starts the actual download of the product from the portal). The download will be an IMG file that, and you can use the SDM to launch and extract and begin the installation of your download. You can save this IMG file to a disc for installation. The SDM and SDX will work from the download site with both Mac and PC for all the available products.
- Follow the installation steps to install your product on your machine.
- License your copy of the product using the product key available online at the time of purchase. For information on accessing your product key, see question #4 below.
2. I tried the download, but it keeps showing me "Unpacking error - The product did not unpack correctly. Please download the product again." I downloaded the product multiple times, but it still wouldn't work. What can I do?
An incomplete or interrupted download commonly causes this. For best results, use a reliable Ethernet connection as your first choice. For a second alternative, connect to a secure wireless connection.
Current versions of Anti-Virus software from McAffe and Symantec have been verified to be interfering with the download. The only way to deal with this is to uninstall them entirely before downloading the software. It is highly recommended after uninstalling either McAffee or Symantec that you immediately reinstall a new Anti-Virus software. For a list of free AntiVirus software available for personal use, please visit this webpage: Anti-Virus for Personal Use
You can install each version of Office on up to two different computers. This means that you have two valid activations of your Office key. You can only install Windows on one computer, with one re-install allowed on that same computer.
Your product key is displayed on the On the Hub web page in red after checkout. We recommended that you write this key down somewhere, or save it in a file for safekeeping. If your access guarantee is still valid, once you click the link, you see the key shown in RED. The key will be visible in your account based on what access guarantee you obtained upon purchase.
By default, the key will be on the On the Hub site in your account information for 30 days. You will see information about this 30-day expiration in your email receipt and on the web site. It’s only referring to the key being visible in your account information, not about Windows or Office products expiring.
If you want your product key to be visible in your account information online longer than 30 days, you can purchase an extended access guarantee for a $4.95 fee. This purchase keeps your key visible for up to 24 months.
If your initial 30 days have elapsed, and you did not purchase the additional 24-month access guarantee at purchase, you will need to pay a fee of $11.95 to gain access back to your product key online. Be aware that this $11.95 fee only covers access back to your product key for 60 days.
The access guarantee is intended to be a convenience. We recommended that you purchase an extended access guarantee during your first 30 days of obtaining the product, or save a copy of your product key when first purchased.
What you're purchasing is an exclusive use license. Even if your cost is $0.00 (as is the case for students), you may only buy Office or Windows once. If you have already purchased a version of Office or Windows and need to purchase again, you will need to buy a separate version of either Office or Windows (multiple versions are often available on the On the Hub portal).
If you are a student, yes. After you leave VCU, your license remains yours. If you are an employee, once you depart your position with VCU, your license is no longer valid, and you are required to uninstall the product.
7. Can I download and install Office or Windows on my VCU owned office computer or my work-issued laptop?
No. VCU has a different way of licensing Office and Windows on VCU owned computers. The downloads available on the On the Hub portal are for personal use only for both faculty/staff and students. If you need Office or Windows on a VCU owned computer, please contact your department’s technical support or the VCU IT Support Center.
If you don't see anything to download once logging into the On the Hub portal, this means that your current affiliation makes you ineligible to use the program. This issue is common for those employees who work at the MCV Hospital and have a hospital affiliation. Hospital employees have a separate Microsoft H.U.P (Home Use Program). You can find out more information about this program by contacting the Hospital Information Systems Service Desk at 804-828-6447.
See the answer to question 8. Please contact the Hospital Information Systems Service Desk at 804-828-6447.
The product key is not emailed to you in your email receipt. Follow the On the Hub portal link to it in your confirmation email.
Your product key is displayed on the On the Hub web page in red after checkout. We recommended that you write this key down somewhere, or save it in a file for safekeeping. If your access guarantee is still valid, once you click the link, you see the key shown in RED. The key will be visible in your account based on what access guarantee you obtained upon purchase. Just getting the download alone gives you a 30-day access guarantee. If you want access to this key for longer than 30 days, you can purchase a more extended guarantee period during checkout.
The key is an upgrade key, not an installation key. This affects how and when you use the key.
If you install Windows to a virtual machine or to a bare hard drive (and are not directly upgrading Windows), do not enter your key during the installation process. Use your key to activate the product after installation is complete, and you have your network adapter installed and an active network connection. Detailed information on activating Windows 10 can be found here.
Aside from mistyping your key, the only thing that can cause this is when you try to use this key to activate a version of Office that comes pre-installed on the computer from the factory. A factory pre-installed version needs to be uninstalled before installing the version of Office you obtained from the On the Hub portal.
Alternately, if you install and you have already used your office key more than twice, Office will not activate. If this is the case, to successfully install and license Office on this machine, you will need to download and install an alternate version of Office (see all available versions on the On the Hub portal).
Click the Start button. Type Activate. The top search item, “Activation System Settings” will appear. Select this to see if your copy of Windows is activated. If not, enter your product key there.
For instructions on how to activate the different versions of Office, please visit this Microsoft Support page.
15. It is prompting me to sign in to activate my version of Office or Windows. What login do I use to activate?
If you are prompted to sign in to activate your copy of Office or Windows, please sign in with your VCU email address and your current eID password. By default, all active VCU users have a valid Microsoft Office 365 account through our Office 365 license agreement. Your VCU email address should be entered in this format: your eID@vcu.edu
16. I had a key, and I don’t know where it is. I need to re-install my version of Office or Windows. What do I do?
If your access guarantee is still active, you can re-download by logging back on and selecting your account information from the On the Hub portal. You’ll see the list of items you have ordered. If your access guarantee is still active, you can click “view details” on the item you wish to download to reveal the download button.
If your access guarantee has expired, you can renew and gain access back to your key for 60 days for an $11.95 fee. We recommend that you purchase an extended access guarantee during your first 30 days of obtaining the product, or you save a copy of your product key when first purchasing the product. This practice will avoid your having to pay a fee to gain access to it in the future.
This is caused by Windows being out of date. Install Windows updates and restart. Installed antivirus software can also contribute to the error. See the second part of the answer to question #2 above.
Click here for information about upgrading to Windows 10. This link is provided as a courtesy to customers who are upgrading their personal copy of Windows on their personally owned computer. Be advised that a successful upgrade of an operating system can be involved and require experience and skill.
IMPORTANT – Customers assume all and full responsibility for a Windows upgrade regarding data loss and operational issues. VCU is not responsible for any data loss or operational issues incurred when a customer upgrades their operating system on their personal owned computer.
If you want to upgrade to Windows 10 and do not want to do it yourself, please contact the VCU IT Support Center. They offer free one-on-one consultations for operation systems upgrades.
By default, the product is available via download only, and no installation discs are made available. However, you do have the option to create your own install disc during the download of the product. You'll need to proceed with the download and installation process as though you were going to install from the download. The ability to create an ISO will be made available as an option later in the process, and only after you begin the download of the SDM and SDX files. This will take a while as the entire collection of Windows OS files are downloaded to your computer so that the installer can build the ISO file for you. Use an Ethernet connection only. Doing this over wireless is not recommended.
20. I need to get my download again, but it won’t add it to my cart and indicates that I can have only one copy. What do I do!?
To re-access the download, you'll have to pay a small fee to the hosting company. Log back on to vcu.onthehub.com with your eID and password. Then click on the Your Account/Orders link at the top center. Click the product you want to renew access to and put a check in the Access Guarantee Retrieval (60 days) and process the payment. Please save your download and key in a place that you'll remember to avoid future access fees.
Do you have any further questions?
If you have additional questions, please contact the VCU IT Support Center for further assistance.
This article was updated: 04/8/2020