Windows Task Scheduler – a consistent way to execute exe files

A guaranteed way to make exe’s with parameters kick off is

aa) don’t run a scheduled task on a network share – if you get 0x1 as a result code .. copy everything to a local drive??? (latest update). Worked for me but is 2X work when source code changes.

aa1) UPDATE: If running bat files (tips from here)

  • run as highest privileges is checked
  • put the path of the bat file in the “start in” and a full path and bat file in the “Program/script” box
  • ensure there are no quotes in the Program/script and Start in boxes (not tested but I didn’t need them)
  • ensure all directories have “Ful Permissions” for the account you finally use to with’
  • test it with “r-mouse click” run. If it works there – it will worked with it logged on.

a) make a new Task Scheduler and make it it point to a bat file. You can try all sorts of other scenarios but  I have already spent hours – this works every time .


b) Now, lets take a look at that RunScriptNow.vbs.qualitysurfaces.bat file – I will copy the guts of it here:

 echo %date% %time% %username% qualitysurfaces >> c:\temp\test.txt
 cd c:\Users\Administrator\Desktop\Moreaware
 cscript //nologo //B RunScriptNow.vbs qualitysurfaces >>c:\temp\test.txt
 echo %date% %time% >> c:\test.txt

It writes to a log file of your choice, then it mimicks the “Start in” by cd’ing to the directory where the executable file is

In this case, I wanted to run a .vbs file with parameters so I use cscript but this is not the focus on this step b). We put any output to the dos prompt from this .vbs process to the log file.

Lastly – to know that we made it to the end of the cscript line – we write again to the log.

NOW WE KNOW FOR SURE THINGS WERE DONE! If gui items pop up from the command line – don’t expect to see them like with window 2003 – this is now all silent. Note I have a diff bat file for every parameter – substituting %1 in that bat file above for ‘quality surfaces’ in the script line DOES NOT WORK – neither does %%1.

c) For directly kicking off an exe – hmmm. I think I converted them all to .vbs but you simply put the exe file on the command line NOT fully qualified with a path since the cd line directly above it. Again – pipe the output (append or >> ) to the log file so you know what is going on.

d) here is the guts of the .vbs file which should speed things up for you. This is in leiu of me having a .exe example in c) 😉

Dim myDate, myTimeS
Dim nowvar
Dim incust
Dim ArgsListExtra

' get the arguments from the command line - we only want the first one and put it incust
if WScript.Arguments.Count >= 1 Then
incust = WScript.Arguments.Item(0)

'get the rest of the arguments - not sure why I left this in but it works with this in so lets leave it
ArgsListExtra = ""
if WScript.Arguments.Count >= 1 Then
For i = 1 to WScript.Arguments.Count
ArgsListExtra = ArgsListExtra & " " & WScript.Arguments.Item(i-1)

End If

'lets make the filename with a nice date and timestamp in the file name
nowvar =  Now()
myDate = FormatDateTime(nowvar, 2)
myTimeS = FormatDateTime(nowvar, 3)

myTimeS = replace(myTimeS, ":", "_", 1, -1, 1)
myTimeS = replace(myTimeS," ","",1,-1,1)

myDate = replace("0"&myDate,"/","_0",1,-1,1)
myDate = replace(myDate, "_0201", "201", 1, -1, 1)
myDate = replace(myDate, "_00", "0", 1, -1, 1)
myDate = replace(myDate, "_0", "0", 1, -1, 1)
myDate = replace(myDate,"_00","0",1,-1,1)
myDate = replace(myDate," ","",1,-1,1)

Dim finalstring
finalstring = myDate & "_" & myTimeS

' now assemble the command line we would normally type

Dim cmdstart
cmdstart = "cd ""C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop"" && "    ' look up what && does on the command line - it allows multi command line items on one line of text. Crazy

Dim command
command  = cmdstart & "JobMaterialCost.exe -c "&incust&" -u username -p password -fe c:\Users\Administrator\Desktop\"&incust&"_"&finalstring'& ArgsListExtra &" && pause"

' now execute it

if 0 Then
WScript.Echo(command) ' this is here in case you want to debug - this will NOT show up in the TaskScheduled version - but it might hang there until you press OK - except you cannot
'  press ok .... cause you cannot see the windows although it will still wait for you  🙂
Set oShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
'Launch a command shell .... "/K" &lt;- keeps it open   - we want ---&gt; /C */ - read up a GREAT text at <a href=""></a>
oShell.Run "CMD /C " &amp;command, , True
End If

'WScript.Echo("Done" &amp; incust)  ' again this might hang your Scheduled Tasks


End If

If you are interested in what makes the command prompt wait or not for the next process etc. within vbs files – see these links and read them twice – it is REALLY IMPORTANT if you use .vbs to help you script things

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