PITTSFIELD -- A computer problem that knocked out the city government email system and other functions Thursday was not a serious malfunction or likely to occur again, according to IT Director Carol Nichols.

She said a low-battery level warning on the computer backup system had been received by IBM technicians, who subsequently notified her office and arrived at City Hall to change the battery. During the system's rebooting process, three of six email servers did not come back up immediately, Nichols said.

Email users in city government had to sign off the system for a time, she said, but some apparently didn't realize they could have signed back on sooner. Some city workers apparently thought the system was down for most of the day Thursday.

Nichols said one file server also was affected, but at any time while the servers powered back up she could have accessed files if necessary from backup files. There also is a cloud-based, or off-site backup for the city's files, she said.

"Actually, we have had no problems," Nichols said. "It's been going pretty well. That was just a fluke."