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Information for enrolled students

How to Survive at Hornsby IT

There are a number of things you need to know to make your time at Hornsby IT easier.

Some of these are:

Access your portal and TAFE email

Access your DET Portal using the following link This will give you access to your TAFE Email account, as well as other useful items.

Please Note: Many of your "Official" communications will go to your TAFE Mail account. You need to check this email account on a regular and frequent basis.

You may also require separate access to "e-Services" where you can:
  • view your personal details, enrollment details and unit/module results
  • view your employer details
  • change your contact details
  • request a transcript of results
  • view notifications and calendar information such as scheduled TAFE NSW final examinations

Logging in to TAFE

To access the resources on the network, you need to log on to the Desktop machine(s) in the Labs. You will have received a Username which which will look something like "Fred.Smith42", and some sort of default password.

To log on to the Lab machines, power up the machine (if needed), and then at the first display, read the Agreement and click "OK" to agree. At the next screen, enter your username with "@detnsw" at the end; so for Freddie, it would be "Fred.Smith42@detnsw", click in the password field and enter your password, and then press the "Enter" key to log on. Assuming you have typed everything correctly, you will (eventually) be logged on the machine and the local network.

Where is the "Learn Share"?

For some classes you will need is the Learn Share. Often you will need to assign the Network Share this yourself. The steps below tell you how to achieve this.

  1. Log in (if you are not already) to the TAFE Network

  2. Open Windows Explorer
  3. Select the menu option "Map network drive"
  4. In the dialogue box, select the drop-down which has "Z:" selected for the drive, and use "L:" ('L' for 'Learn' - a simple mnemonic)
  5. In the "Folder:" text box, type in "HOFIT10" and click the "Browse..." button
  6. In the dialogue box, browse to "LEARN" and then your course number (or other name your teacher may indicate) and click "OK"
  7. Click "Finish", and a Windows Explorer window should appear with your resources available to you now

Microsoft Imagine

The School of IT here at Hornsby, participates in a scheme called “Microsoft Imagine”. Once your personal domain accounts have been established, you will able to access much of MicroSoft's software catalogue.

You will receive an email in your TAFE-mail account from "Microsoft Imagine" at '' which will contain instructions on how to access the site, and your initial password. Please note, this email won't be sent until about the third week of semester.

The scheme is an opportunity to become compliant with Microsoft's licensing agreements without a large financial expenditure. The software is licensed to you in perpetuity, and can be used to upgrade to future versions after you are no longer studying here at Hornsby TAFE.

You will only be able to access the Microsoft Imagine Servers while you are a student at Hornsby IT.

The link to the Microsoft Imagine software online is  located here (new window / tab).

Please Note: You will need to access your TAFE Mail account to receive the download links for your Software. Microsoft uses this address as verification that you are a current enrolled TAFE Student.

What software is available under Microsoft Imagine?

Examples of software available to you under the scheme are:
  • Visual Studio educational version (this includes SQL Server Express Edition)
  • Microsoft Expression Web Dev Suite
  • Access
  • Visio
  • Project
  • SQL Server Developer Edition
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 8.1 Professional
  • Windows Server
  • BizTalk Server
  • Exchange Server

If you are having trouble with accessing Microsoft Imagine, check the "Troubleshooting Microsoft Imagine" section below.

Can I have multiple Installs of <product>?

Generally "no".

Some products, like WindowsOS may be available in two 'editions' (e.g. "32-bit" and "64-bit"), and their keys are typically for "the product" but not for the specific "edition". So, in the case of Windows 7, you can use a "32-bit" key for a "64-bit" install.

But be aware, you have a limited number (usually "1") of installs available for each product. Keeping in mind that this software is for your personal and educational use, and that the products are commercially valued at many hundreds of dollars each, you may feel that it is a little 'unfair' that you can only get 1 copy, but that is a limitation of the scheme.

Accessing Microsoft Imagine

Your username will be your TAFE email address =, and notifications of License Keys and such will be sent to that email address only.

Local Copies of Microsoft Imagine files

There are a small number of ISO files for software located on the "Learn Share" (\\HOFIT10\LEARN) under "Software". You are welcome to copy these files to save the "hassle" of downloading them yourself. However, be aware, that if the software requires a "Product Key", you will still need to sign on to the web site (above) and have a key generated for you by the system by "purchasing" the product.

Backing up your Work

One of the most common problems students face is losing their work. There is no guarantee that data you store on the PC will be there for the next lesson. The machines can (and in some rooms almost certainly will) be rebuilt on a regular basis.

So where does this leave you? You will be relying heavily on your USB drive.

The nice thing about USB drives is that they are small, light and store lots of data.

The bad thing about USB drives is that they are small, light, store lots of data, and are easy to lose. They also break pretty easily too.

You must get into the habit of backing up your work. I recommend that at least once a week you copy all your files from your USB drive to your Home PC.

Lost property

"I've lost my <insert-important-item-here>"

If it is within a short time, go back to the room you last had the item. If there is a teacher there, ask if you can check you the missing item. It may already be on their desk.

Most items should have your name on them - external HDD drives, glasses cases, notebooks, etc.

USB Flash drives, if there is no room for your name on the outside, you should create a text file in the root directory of the device called RETURN-TO.TXT and in that file, have your name, email and any other details you might want to try and ensure your property is returned.

Most items eventually end up in the IT Section Office (Ground Floor G-Block), so after a day or so, come to the door, press the doorbell and ask if your item has been handed in.

Trouble Shooting Microsoft Imagine


The first thing to remember is that the Servers we are using are shared with users world-wide. This means that there will be times when downloads are slow - especially during August/September as the Northern Hemisphere come 'on-line' with their new 'school year'.

Secondly, remember that the servers are located in the USA - at times there can be all sorts of reasons why the connection between your PC and the servers is slow.

So what can I do?

There are several things to try:

  1. Be patient
  2. Try a different Internet Connection - i.e. try the download here at TAFE
  3. Check the Software folder on the Learn Share - is the software file you want located there? If so, grab a copy from there
  4. Ask around in class if someone else has downloaded the same file, and ask if you can grab a copy

Microsoft Office for free

As an enrolled student you have access to office 365 for free. Go to (Links to an external site.)

You will need to supply your TAFE email address. You can only have access once you have enrolled.