Chapter 5. Running and Scheduling Tasks

Introduction

As a system administrator, it is important to understand how to run tasks. A task is simply a program, application, command, or script that does something useful. In the Windows environment, you need to know how to run tasks with alternate credentials, so you aren’t always logged on to your workstation with administrator credentials. You need to know how to run tasks against remote servers or workstations, which enables you to do daily administration tasks without ever leaving the comfort (and security) of your workstation. Often it can be beneficial to have tasks run as soon as someone logs into a system and there are several ways you can set this up. Finally, if you are trying to automate certain tasks (as all good system administrators should), you’ll need to schedule tasks to run at certain times of the day or night. I cover all of this and more in this chapter.

5.1. Running a Task with Alternate Credentials

Problem

You want to run a task using a username and password other than the one you are currently logged in with.

Solution

Using a graphical user interface

  1. Open the Start Menu.

  2. Browse to the application you want to open.

  3. For Windows 2000, press the Shift key and right-click on the application.

  4. For Windows Server 2003, right-click on the application.

  5. Select Run As.

  6. You will be prompted to enter the username, password, and domain of the user whose credentials you want use for running the task.

Using a command-line interface

The runas.exe ...

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