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 afterwards to activate?
- I did not enter my key when I first installed Office. How do I enter it afterwards 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 install 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!?
Logon 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 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 which, and you can use the SDM to launch and extract and begin an installation of your download. Alternately, you can burn this IMG file to a disc to install from a disc. 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 fully install your product to your machine.
- License your copy of the product using the product key available online at 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?
This is commonly caused by an incomplete or interrupted download. For best results use a reliable Ethernet connection as your first choice, and a strong wireless connection as your second.
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 prior to downloading the software. It is highly recommended after uninstalling either McAffee or Symantec that you immediately install 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. It is 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 stay 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 has 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 key for 60 days!
The access guarantee is intended to be a convenience. It is highly recommended that you either 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 so that you do not have to pay an additional fee to gain access back to it in the future.
What you're purchasing is a special use license. Even if your cost is $0.00 (as is the case for students), you can only purchase a specified version of Office or Windows once. If you have already purchased a version of Office or Windows and need to purchase again, you will need to purchase 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, no. The license is contingent on being actively employed with VCU. Once you leave VCU your license is no longer valid and you must uninstall the product and purchase a new version directly from Microsoft.
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. If you do not know who your department’s technical support is, please contact 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 key is not emailed to you in your email receipt, but a link to it on the On the Hub portal is in your confirmation email.
Your product key is displayed on the On the Hub web page in red after checkout. It is 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 longer guarantee period during checkout.
The key is an upgrade key, not an installation key. This affects how and when you 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 you 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.
Besides typing it incorrectly, the only thing that can cause this 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 first prior to 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).
13. I did not enter my key when I first installed Windows. How do I enter it afterwards to activate?
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, and if it is 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 being 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 items you have ordered listed. 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. It is highly recommended that you either 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 so that you do not have to pay a fee to gain access back to it in the future.
This is caused by Windows being out of date. Install Windows updates and restart. 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!?
In order 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 you download and key in a place you'll remember to avoid future access fees.
Do you have any further questions?
If your question was not answered here, please contact the VCU IT Support Center for further assistance.
This article was updated: 02/22/2019