Thursday, November 11, 2010

Troubleshoot scheduled tasks in Windows

Checking the Task Status

Periodically check the status of scheduled tasks, because sometimes you may not be aware that a scheduled task did not run. Use the Detail view in the Scheduled Task window to see the following information about each task:
  • Schedule - The schedule for the task.
  • Next Run Time - The time and date that the task is next scheduled to run.
  • Last Run Time - The time and date the task was last run.
  • Status - The current status of the task.
  • Last Result - Code that indicates the result of the last run.
The Status column has the following status and description information:
  • Blank - The task is not running, or it ran and was successful.
  • Running - The task is currently running.
  • Missed - One or more attempts to run this task was missed.
  • Could not start - The most recent attempt to start the task did not work.
The Last Result column displays a completion code. You can obtain a full explanation of all Windows completion codes from MSDN, but the common codes for scheduled tasks are:
  • 0x0: The operation completed successfully.
  • 0x1: An incorrect function was called or an unknown function was called.
  • 0xa: The environment is incorrect.
If the result code has the "C0000XXX" format, the task did not complete successfully (the "C" indicates an error condition). The most common "C" error code is "0xC000013A: The application terminated as a result of a CTRL+C".

Also check the following data in the task's properties:
  • Make sure the check box that turns on the task has a check mark.
  • Check the path to the program and make sure that it is correct. Also check the program to see if it requires some command-line parameters that are missing.

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