General Tips and Tricks

General Tips and Tricks



Computer Maintenance:


  • I got a new computer/I re-imaged my computer. Now what?
  • Seniors: What happens to my IMSA account and computer after I graduate?
  • Computer Support Over the Summer
  • Email Etiquette

Backing up your files

It is very important for computer users to get into the habit of backing up their documents from their computers on a regular basis. Computer hardware and software failures can happen at any time and for any reason. A failure is very likely sometime in your computer’s life cycle. One of the worst feelings is the realization that the document that you have worked on for hours, weeks or even months is now gone, never to be recovered, or the loss of pictures that represent an important time in your life. All IMSA staff and students have space on the IMSA servers to store files. Be aware that some areas of the IMSA servers are limited on the amount of data they can store, also called a quota. The server space quotas are located here. (Currently 5 GB for students, 20 MB for alumni) Please note, to get the quotas document you will have to login to the IMSA web site. It is recommended you frequently backup your IMSA files to the file server and your personal files to a USB drive, external hard drive, or cloud storage. In more exciting news, IMSA staff and student accounts will soon be moved to Google Drive. Your IMSA account (including alumni accounts) will have UNLIMITED storage, so we recommend that you setup Backup and Sync from Google after the transition to automatically backup important files to the cloud whenever your computer is connected to the internet.

Google Backup and Sync

The Backup and Sync utility can be downloaded here. Make sure to log on using your IMSA google account to connect to your drive with unlimited storage. After downloading Backup and Sync, go to Settings -> Preferences to select which folders will be automatically uploaded to the cloud. If you do not wish to sync your entire document library (this may take some time, up to several hours if you have many files), select ‘Choose Folder’ to pick only specific folders to sync. Synced documents will be accessible from your google drive account on any computer under the ‘Computers’ tab. NOTE: While Backup and Sync is convenient, it does not hurt to manually backup your files to an external hard drive!

Physical Care: Static Electricity

The dryness of the winter season makes conditions ideal for large build ups of static electricity. Static electricity is the cause of more computer failures then most people realize. When a person feels a static electric shock it is in excess of 50,000 volts. Damage to a computer component can be caused by a static electric shock of less then 20,000 volts. So, a static shock that damages your keyboard or other computer components may be one that you never feel. Additionally, static electricity has a cumulative effect on computer components; a single shock may not render a component non-functional, but it can weaken the component. Over time, several of these small shocks may cause the component to fail. Certain clothing fabrics can cause a static electric charge build up just by walking. Shuffling your feet while walking can also build up a static electric charge. A good habit to get into is to touch a piece of metal before you touch any computer component. This will discharge any built up static charge, and protect your most valuable academic tool.

Computer support over the summer (in-program only)

Based on repair trends during the academic year, it is possible that any student computer needing repairs during the month of May will not be completed before students leave for the summer. For any repair in progress, you will be contacted via e-mail when the repairs are complete. You can then come and pick up your computer or it will be shipped back to your home, depending on the distance you live from IMSA. During the summer months students and their parents can contact the vendor/manufacture directly for any of their service needs. Your warranties are registered to you personally and do not require IMSA to get service. All manufactures have service and support contact numbers on their web sites. If you have questions or concerns, you may contact the IT HelpDesk at for additional support.

Seniors: What happens to my computer and IMSA account after I graduate?

First, CONGRATULATIONS SENIORS! It has been a joy working with all of you over the past three years. We wish all of you the greatest of luck in your next adventure. Before you leave us there are a few things you need to take care with regard to your IMSA account. After you graduate your IMSA account will transition from current student to alumni. The most significant change is to your quotas, or how much data you can store on the IMSA servers. Your quota will drop from 5GB to 20MB, so make sure to move your data to Google Drive or external hardware before you graduate. As an alum, your IMSA Google account will STILL HAVE UNLIMITED STORAGE. If you want to keep this storage, you must maintain your account by logging in at least once a year. We recommended you review the following web page for information on all the tasks you should perform before your leave campus. You will have to login to the IMSA web site to access this page.

In addition to cleaning up your account you also need to clean up your Tablet PC/Laptop. Certain software applications were provided to you while you were a student at IMSA. Since you are now graduating you will need to remove this software from your computers. Failure to remove this software is a violation of the software licensing agreement. Please uninstall the following software as soon as you leave campus. Thank you for your cooperation on this matter.

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc…)
  • Microsoft Expressions Web
  • Microsoft OneNote (Not in all cases, some Tablet PCs came with a license of OneNote. If you have a license key for OneNote you may leave it on your Tablet PC.)
  • Symantec AntiVirus

Returning IMSA Computer Equipment

All IMSA computer equipment loaned to students this school year for various reasons is to be returned to the ITS Helpdesk Office by the agreed date, or the student risks being charged a late return fee. All IMSA computer equipment loaned to students this school year for various reasons is to be returned to the ITS Helpdesk Office prior to leaving campus for the summer. Any equipment not returned before the declared equipment return cut-off date will result in an obligation being assessed to your PowerSchool account for the full replacement cost of the equipment loaned. Any damage to the loaned equipment, not covered under the accidental damage warranty, will also result in an obligation being assessed to your account in the amount of the repair costs.