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I have a Task Scheduler job to run Robocopy for backing up local files to a network share. I have to use domain credentials to access the network share but the local computer is not on the domain, and the job is run as a local admin. This solution of temporarily mapping and unmapping the network share works but it leaves my password exposed in plain text for anybody who looks at the Task Scheduler job actions. I would prefer to map the network drive normally on a semi-permanent basis so the Task Scheduler job just has to run Robocopy and refer to the appropriate drive letter. However I always get the error "The system cannot find the path specified." in the Robocopy log when running this from Task Scheduler, even though the command works fine from an elevated command prompt (job is set to run with highest privileges). Also note I have done this registry tweak to access mapped drives from an elevated command prompt.

EDIT: To clarify, logged in as the local admin, I launch Windows Explorer as administrator. I map the network share to drive letter Y. I launch the command prompt as administrator and run

C:\Windows\System32\Robocopy.exe C:\temp Y:\temp

Works fine. I create a Task Scheduler job to run the exact same command, whether user is logged in or not, with highest privileges. I run it and get an error. I write to a log and get

ERROR 3 (0x00000003) Getting File System Type of Destination Y:\temp\
The system cannot find the path specified.

followed by

ERROR 3 (0x00000003) Creating Destination Directory Y:\temp\
The system cannot find the path specified.
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Does your local path or network path have spaces in them? If so, are you encapsulating the path with double quotes at the start and end of the path? – sunk818 Sep 5 '13 at 5:00
@SunWKim No spaces in either path. – Craig W Sep 5 '13 at 6:04
what is the command line you are using to perform the backup from local to network? What kind of network share are you backing up to? Makes me think perhaps the network share is not available (not connected) when you perform the backup command. – sunk818 Sep 5 '13 at 16:33
Is it running as your user or just "an admin." If it's your user, is the drive persistently mapped for your user? – Nick Sep 5 '13 at 22:40
@SunWKim Yes, the drive is connected after mapping. The local admin does not have rights to the network share which is why I have to map it as a different user before running Robocopy. – Craig W Sep 9 '13 at 15:03

4 Answers 4

Mapped drives are a User Interface concept and are not available to background tasks like that. Access the target via UNC and make sure that the user that the task runs as has access to the target.

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Not possible. The computer is not on the domain so I have to run the task as a non-domain user but only domain users have access to the network share. – Craig W Sep 6 '13 at 17:14

Try using:

pushd \\machine\share

within a batch file of your scheduled task. Network shared drives are only available from a user-run environment. "pushd" will allow it to be run in the context of the script.

When you're done use:

popd \\machine\share

to unmap the drive.


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Try changing the "start in" location to "c:\". This seemed to fix it for me so maybe the system was preventing the cmd.exe from executing from the default \windows\system32\ as a security feature.

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Another option is just to use the full network path, as Robocopy supports them. i.e. robocopy c:\temp \\server\share\temp

Or better yet, run the backup on the server itself. Create a domain admin account just for the backup process. Feed robocopy the password from a text file that only domain admins can access.

Years ago I created several .cmd scripts that would backup essential files for every system on the network this way. The only external program that I used was Cgywin's Grep command, and a command prompt smtp mail sender.

I made one script that would scan the network for systems. It would create a text file of all the system names, and alert me via email of any new systems that it found. (I had a config file that it would parse for systems to skip.) Each new system had a backup directory created for it and an backup configuration file placed in it. The user could modify this file and list any directories that needed backed up. They could also specify the time for their backups so it wouldn't happen when they were in the office. I ran this script on the server every 5 minutes, as it took no processing time and I like the security feature of alerting me when a new system was plugged into the network.

Another script would parse all of the individual backup configuration files and schedule a task to run a backup on that system. This was run daily at 12:01am.

Finally the backup script would parse the config file that was passed to it by the scheduler and using robocopy would copy all of the files. I had full error checking on the config files since users would edit them, and I would get emails on any problems.

The users could read their backup files, but could not delete the backup. This provided some protection from damage from a possible disgruntled employee.

Probably something much more elegant could have been made in .vbs or powershell, but I am not really a programmer. My programming classes included Cobal and JCL. I remember I copied the scripts when I left, but who knows where they are now.

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