Scheduling Tasks

While Windows NT 4 relied on the AT command for the purpose of scheduling tasks, Windows 2000 actually includes the Task Scheduler utility. This tool allows you to schedule a program, script, or backup to run, according to the schedule you provide. Accessible via Control Panel (Scheduled Tasks) or the Accessories menu, you can schedule tasks to run once, daily, weekly, monthly, when the PC starts, or when a user logs on. A few important notes about the Task Scheduler:

  • You can schedule a task to run with elevated privileges. That is, you can specify that a task run using the Administrator account, even though the locally logged on user does not have the rights to perform a task.
  • If you change the password of the user whom the task is scheduled to run as, the task will fail. The password associated with a task does not change when the user changes their password. (For this reason, you might consider creating a service account whose password never expires).
  • In the advanced properties of a scheduled task, you can set things such that a scheduled task will never run when a machine is running off battery power, or that the task should run when the system is idle.
  • Note that the Task Service can be stopped or restarted – a possible course of action if a task fails and the username / password is not the issue.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.