SCHEDULED TASK RUNS BUT FAILS


Description:  Task Scheduler is automatically installed with the Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003 family, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 operating systems and is started each time the operating system is started. It can be run through the Task Scheduler graphical user interface or the AT.EXE command.

With the Task Scheduler you can:

  • Create tasks.
  • Schedule a task to run at a specific time or when a specific event occurs.
  • Change the schedule for a task.
  • Customize how tasks run.
  • Stop a scheduled task.

 

Scoping the Issue:  There are a few things to remember when dealing with Task Scheduler jobs that Start but Fail:

  • Periodically check the status of scheduled tasks, because sometimes you may not be aware that a scheduled task did not run.
  • When creating a scheduled task, you must enter a user name and password, either in the Add Scheduled Task Wizard or in the Run as box in the Task tab of the scheduled task's property dialog box.
  • When the scheduled task runs, the program you've scheduled runs as if it were started by the user you specified, with that user's security context. For example, if the user specified for a scheduled task is a member of the Backup Operators group on the local computer, the program specified in the scheduled task file runs as if a member of the Backup Operators group is logged onto the local computer.
  • If another user is logged on to the computer at the time a scheduled task specified for a different user runs, the task runs but is not visible to the current user.

Administrators can use settings to instruct Task Scheduler what actions to take if a task fails to run correctly.  In case the task fails, administrators can indicate how many times to retry it.  If the computer is not powered on when a task is scheduled, an administrator can use settings to ensure that the task will run as soon as the machine is available.  An administrator can also define a maximum execution time for a task, ensuring that the task will time out if it runs too long.

 

Data Gathering:  In all instances, collecting either MPS Reports with the General, Internet and Networking, Business Networks and Server Components diagnostics, or a Performance-oriented MSDT manifest must be done.  

 

Troubleshooting / Resolution: 

  • Verify the Run As account has not expired or the account has not been deleted and recreated. If the account has been deleted and recreated, the password must be updated for jobs to run.  Updating the password for one job automatically updates it for all jobs that use the same Run As account.
  • Check the following policy: Computer Configuration \ Windows Settings \ Security Settings \Local Policies \ Security Options and verify the setting for System Objects: Default owner for objects created by members of the Administrators group is set to Object Creator.  With the above policy in effect any task that is created will be owned by the creator and once the creators account is deleted, the task will act as a orphaned object.  If that occurs, you will have to forcefully take ownership of the task to get it working again.

 

Additional Resources: