General Email FAQs

  • Does IS&T's Help Desk support Outlook?

Our department does not support the use of Microsoft Outlook by members of the faculty or staff at the Law School.

We support Netscape Messenger as the email client for the Law School because of the interoperability features with our mail server. Using Netscape Messenger's Manage Mail Account feature, you can set your vacation message, view your quota, set up mail forwarding, and share your mail folders with co-workers. Also, our staff is thoroughly capable of handling any problem that may arise with Netscape Messenger.

Unfortunately, all of the email viruses that have been written in the past few years have all targeted users with Microsoft Outlook. Outlook has two primary modes of operation. It will either execute any attachment that enters your inbox, or it will block almost all attachments from getting through. In a modern computing environment, this is completely unacceptable. Attachments are very common and an essential part of electronic communication, so it's certainly a major hassle to turn them off. On the other hand, if you choose to allow Outlook to execute every attachment, then you leave yourself open to viral infection. Netscape lets you save all attachments, but does not automatically execute them, giving you an opportunity to choose what you do and do not want to receive.

In addition, some of the main features of Microsoft Outlook such as shared calendars would not work even if they were installed because we do not operate Microsoft Exchange servers at the Law School.

We would be happy to work with you to find the best possible solution while still maintaining a controlled, secure computing environment. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to let us know.

  • How do I manage my e-mail quota?

It is important to use all of the tools at your disposal to manage your e-mail so you can stay under quota. One common element that people are unclear on is what puts them over quota. You can have thousands of messages that contain only text and you will not go over quota. Messages that contain attachments are usually the culprit when a user goes over quota, as one message with a large attachment can be larger in size than every other e-mail you have combined. Creating folders under Local Mail in Netscape Messenger is important in quota management, as nothing under Local Mail counts against your quota. You can refer to the Managing Your E-mail Account tutorial to find out how to check where you are in relation to your quota. Once you have confirmed you are approaching or over your quota, you will need to know what can be done to clear space.

First, login to Webmail by going to and use your three-letter login and e-mail password to login. Once you are logged in, you can click on the Folders option across the top. This will give you a list of all the folders you have stored on the e-mail server, and how big each folder is. This allows you to know which folder contains the file(s) that are putting you over quota.

Now that you know what folder contains the largest amount of e-mail, you know which folder to begin filing or deleting e-mail from. If you have to delete e-mails, they may not register immediately as being removed. In order to force the server to clear off the e-mails you have recently moved or deleted, you need to follow this procedure in Netscape Messenger: Highlight the folder from which you have deleted the e-mails in Messenger, then choose File > Compact Folders (NOTE: THIS WILL ALSO EMPTY THE TRASH). You can go back to e-mail account management and check to make sure you are now well under your quota.

As always, if you have any problems during this procedure call the Help Desk at 3-6862.

  • Is the e-mail server down?

Most of the time, problems connecting to our email server are on the workstation, not on the server. When you're at home and cannot connect, it is usually a login problem or your computer does not have an active connection to the internet.

When you have a problem connecting to our email server, first note any error messages you may receive. Second, if you have more than one Netscape profile on the computer, make sure you have chosen the correct profile for email at Boalt. Then be sure the caps lock key is off and that you're typing in your email password accurately. If you still get a "Login Failed" error, call the Help Desk (643-6862). We'll help you with your password.

If you're getting any other kind of error, check to see if you have an active connection to the internet. Go to the Start button and click the Run command. In the Run window, type "ping" (no quotes) and click the OK Button. In the window that opens, look for the response. You should receive one of three responses:

1. Unknown host
2. Reply from bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=245
3. Request timed out

If you receive response number 1, check your typing. You must accurately type what is within the quotes above. If you still receive response number 1, then you do not have an active connection to the internet and therefore must establish one before trying to connect to the email server. Try rebooting your computer and resetting your DSL or CABLE modem or re-dialing your dialup modem. If you still cannot connect to the Boalt email server and still receive response number 1 to your ping test, you'll need to call your internet service provider and tell them you cannot connect to the internet.

If you receive response number 2, try to connect to the email server again and be sure you're not having a login failure. If you still cannot connect, it's likely a problem with your workstation. If you call the Help Desk (643-6862) we may be able to help.

If you receive response number 3, call the Help Desk (643-6862) and we'll do some further troubleshooting with you over the phone.