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Question  Can I add this software to the Scheduled Tasks so it runs automatically?

Within Windows you can use the Scheduled Tasks application to load and run our prank software on a particular computer. This type of pranking is extremely evil and could cause havoc for users of the system. Please use caution when implementing one of our pranks this way.

Our example steps will be using Windows XP Scheduled Task manager.

Scheduled Tasks can be found in the Control Panel. If you cannot locate this item you probably do not have sufficient rights to schedule tasks. After locating this Scheduled Tasks item, double-click on it to open a list of all of the current Scheduled Tasks, see below:

Added Scheduled Task

Double click on Add Scheduled Task to begin adding a new task that you want Windows to run. The first screen you will see is below:

Scheduled Task Wizard - Start

Click Next to begin the process of adding a new Scheduled Task and you will be brought to a screen that lists all of the registered programs that Windows thinks you can launch. This screen will look something like this:

Scheduled Task Wizard - Select Program To Run

Click the BROWSE button to select our software, which is not in the list. Navigate to the location where the prank is you want to schedule. In our case it is c:\share\fun\clippy.exe. Note: If you have created a shortcut to the program to add Command Line Options, select that within the Browse screen. This will retain all of your command line settings when launching the Scheduled Task. After selecting the application or shortcut you want to run, you will be brought to this screen:

Scheduled Task Wizard - Name

In our example we are going to launch the Clippy prank on the system every day. You have many different options on selecting when the prank is ran.

Scheduled Task Wizard - Time

After selecting you scheduled time you might be prompted for a username and password (see below). This is an option setting, however depending on the rights you or the logged in user have...the task will not run if you do not run it under a user that has Administrator rights (or close to it). Don't worry if you do not know the password, you can change it later.

Scheduled Task Wizard - Username/Password

The last step in creating a Scheduled Task is a summary screen which shows you the Scheduled Task you have created. CHECK the option to open the Advanced Properties on the Scheduled Task. This will allow you to configure specific settings for running our pranks as a Scheduled Task. Note: If you fail to check this option, you can always get to the Advanced Properties by double-clicking on the ask. The summary screen looks something like this:

Scheduled Task Wizard - Finish

From here you can see the Advanced Properties for your Scheduled task. This is where you can configure all of the properties and attributes about your task. Click on the Schedule Tab to modify the schedule properties about your task.

Scheduled Task

After clicking on the Schedule Tab you will see a screen that looks like the screen below. You can change when the task starts each day and how often it runs. We selected 8am because that is when most people start at the office. Next click on the ADVANCED button to edit some of the advanced properties about your task.


From the ADVANCED button you are brought to the Advanced Schedule Options. For our example (below) we want to launch Clippy.exe every hour. That way if the user closes Clippy, it will launch again in the next hour. Making sure Clippy is always running. For the Duration option we have picked 8 hours. This option was chosen because most work days are 8 hours. The check box indicates that it should terminate Clippy after 8 hours of running, if it still is running. Click OK to save these options. Next click on the Settings Tab.

Advanced Schedule Options

From the Settings Tab there is one very important step. You must check the box to Stop The Task if it runs for X hours/minutes. The value must match the value set in the Advanced Schedule Options above. For our example we are running Clippy every hour, so this option must be set to one hour. Likewise if you were running it every 5 hours or 5 minutes.
You have to do this because our software does not detect for multiple instances (by design). That is, you can run Clippy.exe more than one time and have 2 different Clippy's running. In our example, you would not want Clippy running multiple instances of itself. Setting this option to stop itself after 1 hour would make sure that there is only one Clippy running at one time. An example of this screen is below:


After you have made all of your changes to the Schedule Options, click OK and save all of your changes. You will be brought to the list of Scheduled Tasks and you should see your task in the list. An example list would look like this:

Scheduled Tasks

To start your scheduled task you must right-click on your task and choose Run. This option will start the scheduled task and keep it running for the specified time frame in the task.

Run Scheduled Task

To ensure that you Scheduled Task is running, change the view in the Scheduled Task list to Detail (right-click, view, details). Scroll to the far right in the list and look at the STATUS field, this will show you the result of the last status run. If there are any errors, you must correct them by double-clicking on the task.

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Added: Jan 20, 2005