Free Windows 7 Through Stevens & MSDNAA

Here is a step-by-step instructional guide on how to get free and legal copy of Windows 7 from Stevens Institute of Technology. Also, I’m sure you can follow the second half of this once you obtain an account to Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance (MSDNAA) from your educational or professional institution.

My good friend Brian Feraudo who told me about this last week and I completed the installation on my new laptop last night. I still have some drivers to download for my finger print reader but for the most part, everything seems to be working perfectly. Although I’m not a big fan of Microsoft using the A-Team music in the background as they use little girls and cartoon-ish animals in their commercials but Windows 7 is definitely a great product worth getting — especially since it’ll be free.

Here are the steps (after the break):

Step 1: Visit the Stevens Helpdesk at and login with your regular pipeline (Stevens email) account.

Stevens Helpdesk

Step 2: Submit a ticket request. Under Request Type, select MSDNAA which will create a second drop down box. From there, select Account Request. Title the Subject to be something relevant and in Request Detail describe something to the extent you kindly requesting a MSDNAA Account. Fill in the relevant details accordingly but BE SURE to enter your valid Stevens e-mail address as this will be used to generate your account. When everything is filled out, click the Save button to submit your request and await a response from the Stevens Helpdesk. At a maximum, it has been a 24-48 hour wait (granted a weekend doesn’t come in between) but nothing too significant from what I have seen so far.

Submit Request

Step 3
: Welcome to MSDN Academic Alliance. About a day or two following your request, you should receive an e-mail welcoming you to MSNDAA. Follow the directions on the email which provide your login username and password to access MSNDAA. It should bring you to the site below. (For those not arriving here through Stevens Institute of Technology, your site may differ and I claim no knowledge on how it may impact the rest of the instructions.) Click the Log In on the left button to proceed.


Step 4: Select the Software tab at the top or if you are on another page, navigate your way to where it states Software as the title of the frame.

MSDNAA - Software

Step 5:
Select the drop-down box and select Windows 7 Professional – DVD English. You can pick whether you want the 32-bit or 64-bit but both will work. Press Go to proceed.

MSDNAA - Windows 7

Step 6: If you wish, verify that you have selected the right version of Windows Operating System and the price should be “Free!” with a download option. When satisfied, click Add To Cart to proceed.

Windows 7 - Purchase

Step 7:
You should now see what appears to be an invoice screen. I already downloaded and installed my copy so I am not certain if this changes once you have purchased the OS once already but the procedure is simple. Make note of the Serial Number for your Operating System that you just purchased. It is a one-time use only key and if you install/activate it on one computer, you can’t install / activate it anywhere else.

You should then click the download button and a “Downloader for Windows 7 Pro RTM” should be downloaded.

Windows 7 - Download/Serial #

Step 8: Type out the location of where you wish to download the Operating System. Don’t worry if you lose connection mid-download, I believe you can resume from where you left off. Otherwise you can always download it again since the “purchase” will be there in your account.

License Authorization

Let the download completely finish and launch the install if you are available for an upgrade. Otherwise, burn the image as bootable-DVD and you shall be good to go. Reminder, you don’t need your Serial Number at the time of the installation. You get about 30 days to go back and activate your install so no need to panic if you didn’t write it down or save it before you started installing.

Enjoy your new copy of Windows 7.

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