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I want Windows to dial automatically as soon as I insert my modem via USB, but I realize this is a better, more general, more useful, and more interesting question.

How can I get Windows to execute a given command once it finishes installing a device with a given hardware ID?

(I'm guessing this is a Task Scheduler trick. If it is, then great -- this means I can also run the command already elevated.)

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AFAIK Task Scheduler has no event triggers besides time/date. –  kagali-san Dec 5 '10 at 16:08
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The Task Scheduler that came with Vista or later can "perform an action based on an event that has been logged in an event log", and so on. -- msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb756979.aspx . –  William C Dec 5 '10 at 20:11

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You might want to look into AutoHotkey. While it is not specifically what you are looking for it can automate all kinds of things on your system. It is a worthwhile investment to learn it.

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AutoHotkey is not applicable, Laurens. Microsoft already provides a command-line executable for dialing connections, called <code>rasphone</code> support.microsoft.com/kb/555935 . Thanks anyway. –  William C Dec 5 '10 at 20:03

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