If you manage Windows servers you are probably familiar with the Scheduled Tasks service. While not the fanciest job scheduler in the world, it is loaded with a decent set of features and, since it ships with the OS, arguably a lot cheaper than some of the third party options.
I use scheduled tasks a lot. Anything that needs to be done periodically tends to become a task. Why should I do that stuff manually?
Did you know that scheduled tasks are really just files? And since they are just files, you can copy them.
For example, suppose you want to copy that “Restart IIS” task from one server to another. First copy it out of the Scheduled Tasks folder to somewhere else (perhaps the Desktop). Copy and Paste works best – if you drag a job out of Scheduled Tasks you’ll be moving it and removing the task.
Now copy it to the other server and then drag it into Scheduled Tasks. Done! This saves me tons of time when configuring the maintenance stuff on a new server. I can setup a whole fleet of tasks in just a few clicks.
One small caveat: The task will run as whatever user copies it into the scheduler. Often, folks will change the “Run As” property on the task – if you do, be sure to check that after the final copy!
Want to make sure your complex tasks get backed up? Select them all, copy them and paste them into a directory that is already on a scheduled backup. Simple as that. Or heck, toss them onto a USB drive or burn them to CD. Again, they’re just files with a .job extension.
You can even toss scheduled jobs into the version control software of your choice. You do have the extra step of copying them from the Scheduled Tasks view though.
Any other good scheduled tasks tricks or tips?
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