Google Email Problems

Yesterday morning individuals began reporting that they were not able to access their MCS gmail account. They had received an error stating that their account was deactivated or that their password needed to be changed. The cause of this problem was a synchronization process that we run on a regular basis to keep your MCS network login ID/password in sync with your Google Apps account login information.

If you have been effected by this problem, (which is why you are probably reading this), please read through to the end before doing anything. There is important information you need to know before you go through this short exercise

The root cause of the problem has been identified and a fix has been put in place. The solution at this time, for those individuals not being able to access their Google Apps account is simply to change their password on their Macbook and wait 15 minutes. The sync process is currently running every 15 minutes to expedite the account sync process and fix those account logins that have been corrupted.

System Prefs Menu

System Prefs Menu

In order to change your Macbook password , first select the “System Preferences” menu item from the Apple menu.

The System preferences application wil run and you will be present with a host of icons to choose from. Click on the  Users & Groups icon, and you will see your computer account. Make sure that under your account name it says “Mobile User”, in the spot where my account says “Admin”. If it does not say “Mobile User”, you can stop right here and bring your laptop to your BTL, As this fix is not going to help your problem.

Now select your account, then click on the change password button and follow the instructions in the change password pop-up dialog.

Apple User Account

Apple User Account

Changing your password in this way will change any service accounts associated with your network login. The following accounts are affected by the password change:

  • Schoolwires
  • Google Apps
  • Apple Wiki
  • WordPress Blogs
  • Helpdesk
  • Destiny

This now means that all your logins for those services have now been changed. Please note that the Google Apps sync usually runs once per day, in the evening, so future password changes will only be applied at that time. As of the time I am writing this, the sync is running every 15 minutes until we get everyone’s account working properly that has had a problem. All of the other accounts are changed immediately.

This issue has not effected any student accounts that we know of, but that does not mean that they are all good. If you know of a student having this problem, having them change their password on a Windows computer in a lab will accomplish the same thing.

Important: change your password ON YOUR OWN LAPTOP!! If you change your password using someone else’s laptop, when you go to log into your laptop you will receive a message about your keychain password being wrong. Handled correctly this is easy to fix, but beyond the scope of this post.





Google Apps Email Migration

(The following is a copy of a post originally published to the MCS Technology Wiki/Blog site on June 10, 2010)

We are beginning the migration of our email and calendar systems from Groupwise to Google Apps. Please read this entire post, or bookmark it for later reference. You will need this information as we transition to Google Apps for Education. With Google Apps, we’ll gain the benefits of a robust and innovative feature set — including the ability to access email and calendar services from any computer — as well as lower infrastructure and support costs.

What Will Happen

On June 16, we’ll turn off delivery of your email to your Groupwise account and turn on your new Google Apps account. At that time, all your new email messages will be delivered to your Google Apps account and any new calendar events to which you’re invited will appear on your Google Calendar.

Important: Existing email messages, calendar events, and personal contacts in Groupwise will not appear in your Google Apps account. However, if you wish, you can make arrangements with the Technology Department to have your email migrated to your Google Apps email for you. Simply send an email to with the subject line: Please convert my email, and we will put you in a queue to have your email converted. Before you make a request to have your email converted, please read the section About Converted Email. We will not convert your email unless you make this request.

We will not be converting your Address Books/Contacts for you. Instructions on converting your contacts is provided later in this email.

About Converted Email

Email conversion is a lengthy process due to the amount of email that individual users have in their mail accounts. Personally, I do not recommend that you convert any of your mail, but if you choose to, it is necessary that you properly prepare your email account for conversion. To prepare your email for conversion please do the following:

1. Remove all nested folders.

The conversion process will not handle nested folders. (ie: having “folder2” inside of “folder1”). You will need to move all of your folders so that they are at the same level in your inbox. Folders not present in your inbox will not get converted.

2. Remove special characters and spaces from folder names.

If you have characters such as “/” or “&” (any non-alpha character other than “_”) in a folder name, that folder will not covert and will be skipped. This is the way the conversion routine works and has nothing to do with us. Make sure that you either remove all spaces from folder names or replace them with “_” as well.

3. The Sent Items folder will not convert.

The conversion utility does not convert your sent items folder. If you want to convert your sent items, create a folder in your inbox called Old_Sent_Items and copy the contents of your sent items folder to it.

4. Clean out all personal email.

Go through your folders and remove any personal emails that are not a matter of public record or that you need to retain to do your job.

5. Remove duplicate file attachments.

Please make an effort to copy attachments that are in emails out of the email and into your H: drive, then delete the email. if you must keep the attachment with the email, please only keep the latest email and remove all other portions of the email thread that contain duplicate copies of the attachment.

Following these 5 steps will greatly decrease the amount of time needed to convert email and will insure that you start out with a clean, easy to manage set of data and folders in your new inbox. Once the data is converted, you will be free to rename and move the folders around to your personal satisfaction. The naming and folder restriction are confined to the conversion process, not to how you handle the data post conversion.

What You’ll Need to Do to Access Your New Mail

After June 16, log in to your Google Apps account and begin using it for all your email correspondence and calendar scheduling. To access your Google Apps email, open your web browser and go to Log in with the same username and password that you used to take the Apple Professional Development Survey. Your username is your first initial and last name (ie: ppoggione). You should have changed your password when you took the survey, so I can’t tell you what it is :-) Incidentally, if you try to access prior to June 16, you are likely to encounter an error since that URL will not be active until June 16. Also keep in mind that full mail functionality will not happen until June 17th or 18th.

If you would like to use an external email client with your new mail other than the web interface, or you would like to access it via a mobile device such as an iPhone or Blackberry, there are resources on the Google Apps site to assist you. You are not restricted as to what type of email client or device you use to access your email. You can find many resources on accessing Google Apps email by following this link.

Converting Personal Contacts

* A note to all staff member currently using Apple MacBook laptops and running the Groupwise email client: The export contacts procedure only works in Windows. You will need to log into a computer running Groupwise on Windows to create an export file

There is no automated means available to convert your personal contacts from Groupwise to Google Apps. For the Tech Department to convert contacts for you, we would need direct access to your Groupwise account and convert each individual account separately. For this reason we will not be doing it for you. If you would like to convert your contacts on your own, please follow these steps.


  1. Login to Groupwise
  2. Click Address Book – Right click on the particular address book (i.e. Frequent Contacts) that you want to move/export and selectExport Book.
  3. Change the “save as” file type from the drop-down box where you enter the filename to “Comma Separated Values (csv)”.
  4. Name the file address.csv and save it to your desktop
  5. Login to your Google Apps email ( and click Contacts link, then click the Import link (See image)
  6. Browse for the file on your desktop that you created in step 2 and 3, then click import.

Over time we will be developing more detailed instructions to help you complete these and other tasks quickly.


Will I still be able to access my Groupwise account after the switchover?

Yes, for the 2010-11 school year, you can still log into the Groupwise webmail interface ( after June 16 to view your email, calendar, and personal contacts. However, no new mail will arrive there. New mail will go to your Google Apps account email.

Can I access my Google Apps account now?

No, you can’t access your account until after June 16.

What will my email address be?

Your email address will remain the same, it will not change.

How much time is required to set up my account?

You’ll be able to master the basics — sending and receiving email and viewing and scheduling meetings — very quickly. However, the time required to completely move over to Google Apps can vary, depending on how you currently use Groupwise. For example, for a typical email and calendar migration, expect to spend about 4 to 8 hours over the course of a week or so, to view online resources, review documentation, and set up your services. If you also access email on a mobile device, plan on spending a bit more time.

Will you help me set up and use my Google Apps account?

Yes, The Technology Department will make its best effort to assist everyone with their new Google Apps account. We’ll provide documentation that contains instructions for accessing your account (such as this blog post), setting up your new services and mobile device, and using the services. As always, creating a helpdesk ticket will be the most reliable way to get assistance.

Watch for more email announcements and blog postings about these resources and other services.

If You Have Further Questions…

As always, if you have a question or have problems, you can create a helpdesk ticket or send an email to