Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Task Scheduler for Windows Server 2003

Task Scheduler lets you automate tasks, and if you are lucky enough to have a Windows Server 2003 operating system, you get a simple to use, simple to understand wizard which helps you set it up.  

Woe betide you if you use Windows Server 2008 though… 
I'll do a write-up on that one when I get a chance. 

Click on /Start
/Control Panel
/ Scheduled Tasks
/Add Scheduled Task
And up pops the wizard.

Like it says, click on Next.

It will show you a list of programs that you may or may not want to run.  Scroll down the list and discover that the one you want isn’t there.  Now click on Browse.

I put my script in a folder which I call C:\Scripts.  Cunning, eh?  No-one will ever think of looking there.  Select the script and click on Open

 You can give your scheduled task a name, but it cleverly assumes that you will want to call it by the name of the program or script you selected.  Tell it how often you want to run this. 

And what time and what day you want to run it.

Then put in the name and password of a user who has the rights to do stuff.  You could enter your own name, but that will cause your successor a problem when you leave the company and everything stops working.  You might think that once you have gone you no longer care, but you never know if you will end up applying for a job to someone who remembers you. 

Hooray!  You’ve finished!  Easy wasn’t it?  One last thing to check – click the advanced options box and then Finish. 

This is the box you get if you want to edit your job, or if you set things up without the wizard.  It isn’t particularly advanced at all, if you ask me – the first two tabs just cover the ground that the wizard led you through.  But I think it’s worth stopping a task if it hasn’t succeeded after an hour, or whatever you think is a reasonable time, depending on what you want to do.  If it hasn’t succeeded after running for an hour, it probably isn’t going to no matter how long you leave it. 

Hope you find this useful.  I'll let you know when I've done the 2008 version. 

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