I have Windows Server 2003, with schedules setup via Remote Desktop under one account. That account appears in the 'creator' column too. I have 'Run only if logged on' unticked.

When I have logged in under that account and then 'disconnected' leaving the the session alive, the schedule runs. But every time the server is rebooted, the task again fails to run until I again log in and disconnect.

Any KB fixes I've missed or issues I've overlooked? Normally I only discover the issue when a user tells me the schedule has stopped running so it's a real reliability issue.

I'd also be happy with an answer suggesting an alternative scheduler with higher reliability.


  • Does it fail to run, or run and then fail? What's the Last Run Result code reported by the Task Scheduler after it attempts to run while you're not logged in? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jan 18 '12 at 0:59
  • It says 0x0 (success) normally. In fact, when I try to run it from the other account I use, it says it's run and returns 0x0 even though it hasn't executed. – Glinkot Jan 18 '12 at 1:05
  • We need more information about the rest of the sheduled task. For instance, have you set it to run at highest privileges? Did you tell it to run when only certain parameters are true? Have you deleted and recreated the task with the same outcomes? – user3463 Jan 18 '12 at 5:05
  • Hi. Both the accounts are localadmin accounts. I'm not aware of a setting to run the task itself at a different privelege level - if so where is it and I'll have a look. I have this issue with several tasks, some of which I've recreated with the same result unfortunately. – Glinkot Jan 19 '12 at 22:01
  • I added an edit to my answer. The facts in your question and comments seem contradictory. – surfasb Jan 20 '12 at 0:42

A couple of things to check:

Make sure that the task you are scheduling has the Run only if logged in option unticked.

Ensure that the Task Scheduler is set up to interact with the desktop

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Administrative Tools.
  2. Click Computer Management.
  3. Expand Services and Applications, and then click Services.
  4. Right-click the Task Scheduler service, and then click Properties.
  5. On the General tab, make sure that the startup type is set to automatic, and that the service status is Started. If the service is not running, click Start.
  6. On the Log On tab, make sure that the local system account is selected, and that the Allow service to interact with desktop check box has a check mark.
  7. Click OK, and then quit Computer Management

If you want to use the localsystem account to run the scheduled tasks instead of a user account then you need to use the SCHTASKS tool (e.g a task running on the server locally and not needing to use network resources etc)


You need to grant "Run as Batch Job" permission to the user that you are running the task as. It is in the Local Security Policy


A task that only runs correctly when a user is logged in sounds like a permissions issue. What does the task exactly do?

Does the task run correctly if the user account is left logged in at a console or remote session and then the task is started remotely under a different remote session?


I want to verify this. The facts in your question and your comments seem contradictory.

So if I understand the situation correctly, the Task was created under "Admin2". If you log into that account, whether it be remotely or at the console, the task will start while you are logged in.

The task refuses to run correctly (it returns 0x0 even though the results are undesired) at system startup.

Nor will it run correct if you log in under "Admin1".

But then you say:

It says 0x0 (success) normally. In fact, when I try to run it from the other account I use, it says it's run and returns 0x0 even though it hasn't executed.

The other account seems contradictory. You've mentioned only two accounts with local admin privs. At first, in the question you state the task does work on the other account, if you login remotely. Then in the comments you say it doesn't work. This seems confusing.

  • Hi, the task just runs a .bat file which in turn runs an .exe file. No, if it is run under another remote session it doesn't work even if the other user is logged in. :( Good to see we have an IT/singing expert on board! – Glinkot Jan 19 '12 at 22:06
  • @Glinkot: Strange. What does the exe do? – surfasb Jan 20 '12 at 0:33
  • Hi. Re your edit: I didn't say it works from the second account. For clarify, let's say the account it's setup under is called 'automate' (which it is!) and the second mfoley (which it is!). Logging in remotely as automate and manually running it, works. Logging in as automate, then disconnecting, leaves the schedule running. Running manually from mfoley account returns 0x0 but doesn't actually execute. Restarting causes the schedules to no longer run, until I have logged into RDP as automate and disconnected again. The exe copies/encrypts files, from folders both accounts can access. – Glinkot Jan 20 '12 at 1:18

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