School Image Software FAQ

The School Image Software (SIS) User Manual is located on the CD in the "manual" folder, and is called "sis2k50.pdf". It is also on your hard drive in C:\program files\sis2k\manual\. If you've removed the file to conserve hard drive space and are unable to find your CD, you can download the SIS manual (5.4MB).

You will require Adobe Reader to view or print the User Manual; if you do not already have Adobe Reader installed, you can download it free of charge from Adobe's website.

Please read the SIS User Manual before contacting Mountain West Studios for assistance.

Frequently-asked questions

What's the username and password?

The default username is sis
The default password is sis

Usernames and passwords are case-sensitive; please ensure that your CAPS Lock is not switched on. You should change the default username and password once you've installed the software. SIS supports multiple users and multiple security levels; for example, users can be assigned a security level that only lets them view the student data but does not allow them to make any changes. Additional information is contained in the Manual.

Note: If you've changed your username and/or password and have forgotten the new settings, you will have to uninstall and reinstall the program; there is no "back door".

Why do I see last year's images?

Last year's SIS installation must be completely uninstalled before you install this year's SIS.

Warning! If you created or modified templates last year and you want to use them again this year, you will first need to save them to a new folder on your hard drive outside of the "sis2k" folder, before you uninstall the program.

They are located in c:\program files\sis2k\templates\

Once you have installed the new version of SIS, you can copy your saved templates to the new "templates" folder within the new "sis2k" folder. If you require assistance with moving files, please contact the Information Technologist assigned to your school or district.

Directions for Uninstalling:

  1. Click the "Start" button. Click "Settings"
  2. Click "Control Panel
  3. Double-click "Add/Remove Programs"
  4. Scroll down to "School Image Software"
  5. Click "School Image Software", and choose "Add/Remove"
  6. Click "Uninstall"
  7. When the uninstall is complete, close any windows that you've opened
  8. Double-click "My Computer"
  9. Double-click drive C:\
  10. Double-click "Program Files"
  11. Right-click "sis2k"; a menu will pop up
  12. Select "Delete" to remove the sis2k folder
  13. Close any windows that you've opened
  14. The previous version is now uninstalled

To Install the New Version:

  1. Place your new SIS CD in your CD-ROM drive.
  2. The installation routine should start automatically; if it does not, double-click "My Computer", double-click your CD-ROM drive, double-click "Install" or "Install.exe".

Why do I get an error when I try to print?

If everything works, but you see an error when you click the Print button, it's probably because SIS was not installed by a person with "Administrator" privileges on your computer. If this is the case, uninstall the program (see above), and have an Administrator install it.

Why do the screen images appear "blotchy"?

Your video card and monitor must be set to display 65536 colours or better. This is known as "colour depth"; if the colour depth is set to only 16 or 256 colours, the colour transitions and gradients will not display correctly. If you are not familiar with the procedure to change your display settings, you should check with the Information Technologist assigned to your school or district.

Why do the printed images appear "blocky" when printed from another program?

This primarily occurs when you import the images into a graphics program (such as PhotoShop) and then increase the image size beyond it's original resolution. Images are optimized for SIS to print its various services at a specific size, while still maintaining a reasonable amount of performance from within the program. Mountain West Studios does not provide technical support for third-party software packages. If you require larger images for use outside SIS, Mountain West can create a custom photo cd for a nominal cost.

Why does the program run so slow?

There are several factors which may be causing the problem. At minimum you should be using a Pentium-class PC running at 200 MHz or faster, with at least 64MB of RAM, and at least 50MB hard drive space. As with any other program, you should have several MB's of free hard drive space for use as a "scratch disk" for temporary storage while the program is working. Any other software that you also have running (ie. word processor, Internet browser, email program, graphics program, etc.) will reduce the amount of RAM available to SIS, which will reduce your overall system speed. If you did not select "load all images and clip art" when you first installed SIS, the program will run slower because it has to load the images from the CD. You should also check to see if you have accidentally downloaded and installed "spyware" which may be using up your computer resources without your knowledge.

Do I need to install all the images on to my hard drive?

No, you do not. However, if you have enough hard drive space you should load them as it allows the program to read the images from the hard drive which is substantially faster than the CD-ROM drive. In addition, you will not have to insert the CD whenever you wish run the program. By default, the installation routine will load the images onto your hard drive.

How do I add images and data from retake and additional photo-day CD's?

From the main screen display, click the Tools button, followed by the Update button. If your school uses unique ID numbers for each student, select comparison by ID. If not, select comparison by First and Last Name. When prompted for the "postfix", use the default character; this prevents the accidental overwriting of the original images if the image names are the same. Images for students who already appear in your original SIS installation will be updated; the data will not be affected. Images and data for students who do not appear in your original SIS installation will be added. This procedure is covered in depth in the Manual; you should read it before attempting to update student information.

How do I create a new template?

This is covered at length in the manual. The easiest method is to modify an existing template; pick a template that is close to what you are looking for, and modify it through the Template Builder. Be sure to save it as a DIFFERENT FILENAME; this will allow you to return to the original template if you make an error and wish to start over rather than repair or troubleshoot it. If you DO accidentally over-write an original template, you can manually copy it from your SIS CD to your hard drive.

Why do I get a message stating "SIS is already running"?

SIS can only be installed when you are logged in as an administrative user, but then non-administrative users may get a message saying "SIS is already running" when they try to start SIS. There are several possible ways to remedy this, depending on your situation and your version of Windows. If you are at all unsure about any of these steps, please contact your school or district Information Technologist for assistance.

Solution #1

Windows Vista

Right-click the desktop icon, choose Properties, Advanced and set to Run as Administrator.

Windows XP
  1. Go to c:\program files\sis2k and delete the file.
  2. Run SIS.


  1. Copy c:\program files\sis2k\ and Students.backup to a safe location.
  2. Open c:\program files\sis2k\sis.ini file. Locate initialized=true and change it to False.
  3. Run SIS.
  4. Close SIS.
  5. Replace the and Students.backup files with the saved ones.
  6. Run SIS.

Solution #2

  1. Log in to the computer with the administrator password.
  2. Copy the sis2k folder from Program files (c:\program files\sis2k)
  3. Paste the sis2k folder into the Shared Documents folder.
  4. Run SIS.

Solution #3

  1. Go to c:\program files\sis2k
  2. Double click on to open it in Notepad
  3. Find the cache_version line and verify that it reads: hsqldb.cache_version=1.7.0
  4. If not, then change it to read as above.
  5. Next, find the compatible_version and see that it reads: hsqldb.compatible_version=1.7.0
  6. If not, then change it accordingly.
  7. Also, change the "modified=yes" to "modified=no"
  8. Save and close the file
  9. Run SIS

When I select 'Web Upgrade' why do I get a "can't connect" error message?

If you are unable to connect to the server, you may be behind a firewall which is blocking SIS from accessing the Internet. The firewall may be located within your computer, it may be in your router, or it may be located outside of your school (ie. district server). If you experience this error, please check with the Information Technologist assigned to your district or school.

Can I obtain additional copies of my SIS CD?

Yes. Additional copies are $15.00 each, including shipping. Please contact your MWS Area Manager to order.

What versions of Windows will SIS-PC work with?

SIS-PC has been tested with the latest versions of Windows 98, NT, 2000, XP, and Vista. To ensure that you have the most updated version of Windows, visit Microsoft's Windows Update site. Note about Vista: While SIS is compatible with Vista, you may experience hardware compatibility issues with devices such as printers. For the most part, XP printer drivers will work with Vista; all you have to do is click "ok" when the driver signing warning comes up during the installation.

Is there a WinCE version for Pocket PC's?

Yes. Please check our SIS CD page for information and screen shots.

Is there a Palm-OS version for Palm PC's?

No, but we do have a photographic database program for Palm PC's. Please check our SIS CD page for more information.

Who can I ask for additional assistance?

You can email our Digital Department (this is the preferred method of contact). If you are in Greater Vancouver you may telephone us at 604-433-0551 ext.122. For all other areas, our toll free number is 1-888-644-4494 ext.122.