Q: I cannot get SyncBack to work with the Windows Task Scheduler. What's wrong?
There are a number of possible reasons:
- Check to see what error message is returned from the Windows Task Scheduler.
- On Windows XP you can do this by Start -> Control Panel -> Scheduled Tasks. You can now see a list of all Scheduled Tasks on your PC. Scroll to the right and look at the Status column. This will contain the error message from Windows. If the Last Result column value is 0xffffff97 then that means the profile could not be run because it does not exist. Possible reasons for this are: the profile name is wrong, the profile name is not wrapped in double-quotes, or you have scheduled under a different username than the user that created the profile (profiles are by default user-specific). You may be able to view extra information by checking the Task Scheduler's own log, via Advanced menu > View Log. Check for an entry that states 'the most-recent entry is above this line', then look above it.
- On Windows Vista and newer - which has a radically different new Task Scheduler - go to the Control Panel, switch to Classic View (option on the left of the window), double-click Administrative Tools, then double-click Task Scheduler. On the left of the Task Scheduler window you must expand the tree to Task Scheduler (Local) -> Task Scheduler Library -> 2BrightSparks -> SyncBack (if SyncBackSE, or SyncBackPro if SyncBackPro, or SyncBackFree if SyncBackFree). Under the SyncBack/Pro node are entries for users. Click on the one that has your login username. Then click on the scheduled item and go to the History tab. It will show when the schedule was run and any error codes or error messages related to it. (This assumes the Scheduler has History enabled, which may not be the case. If not, you need to enable it via the Action menu > Enable All Tasks History. You may need to de-select any selected Task, as the Action menu is contextual, and will display individual-Task-specific commands if a Task is highlighted/selected. Having enabled the History, you will then need to let the Task/s run again (or try to) as they normally would to record the History of what happens when they try to trigger)
- Make sure you set your password for the task. You must use your Windows login password.
- Your login password is blank/empty and you have not allowed SyncBackSE/Pro to configure Windows to allow blank passwords.
- You are using the wrong username and/or password. You must use your Windows login password.
- The scheduled task may not be set-up correctly to wake the computer if it is hibernating or in standby mode.
- The scheduled task may be set not to store the password with the task (Vista and later). This will likely cause profiles which access network resources to fail with a network credential-related error. Try changing that setting if so.
- The scheduled task may be set not to run unless the user is logged in (and the failure might occurring be at a time when that user is not logged in). Try changing that setting if so.
- The scheduled task may be disabled. In all Scheduler versions this will be displayed as such in the list of profiles displayed. In XP (etc) you enable it from the Enabled checkbox inside the Task, In Vista and later you can enable it by right-clicking the Task in the list and selecting Enable.
- The scheduler may be stopped or not installed. See your Windows documentation for details on how to start or install it. For Windows XP you can start the task scheduler by: Start -> Control Panel -> Scheduled Tasks then selecting Advanced -> Start Using Task Scheduler from the main menu.
- The scheduler may be paused. For Windows XP you can resume the task scheduler by: Start -> Control Panel -> Scheduled Tasks then selecting Advanced -> Continue Task Scheduler from the main menu.
- Profiles are user specific, they are not visible to every user on the computer. This means when you create a profile under a Windows username, and logout and login as a different Windows user, then you will not see the profile created as the other user. When scheduling a profile make sure your scheduled task is being run as the user who created the profile (this is the default when new schedules are created).
- If you are a member of a domain check that the correct username is being used for the scheduled task. By default your local (machine) username may be used, but it may be that you must use your domain username (domain\username).
- The following Microsoft Knowledge Base article provides details on how to trouble shoot problems with the task scheduler: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308558
You should also make sure the user account has the necessary Windows user rights. To do this, run the Local Security Policy control panel applet (in the Administrative Tools section of the control panel). If you are using the home version of Windows then you may not have access to the Local Security Policy control panel applet (Microsoft have removed the feature from home versions of Windows).
Make sure that the user account has the following user rights:
Make sure the user account is not listed in the following user rights:
- Act as part of the operating system
- Log on as a batch job
- Log on as a service
- Deny logon as a batch job
- Deny logon as a service
Note that you are not forced to use the Windows Task Scheduler. You can use 3rd party schedulers instead of the Windows Task Scheduler, the only drawbacks being that SyncBack will not know the task is scheduled (it will still run as that is the job of the scheduler), and the schedule options (to create and deleted a schedule) will still use the Windows Task Scheduler.
There are a number of alternatives to the Windows Task Scheduler, e.g. Kirby Alarm and System Scheduler