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  1. #1
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    Scheduling jobs using system accounts (SP2)

    This really relates to a Windows 2003 Active Directory domain with Windows XP Pro PCs, but the scheduling of a BATch job could take place either on the server or on an on-all-the-time PC.

    In NT 4 domains of yore, it was common to set up <a dummy "service account" with a never-changing password> to run all the scheduled jobs that were needed to do useful things overnight, at weekends, etc, (on backup domain controllers, usually).

    Two new accounts have appeared in XP Pro (SP2, I believe), known as
    NT AUTHORITYLocalService
    and
    NT AUTHORITYNetworkService
    to add to one which I believe has been there for ages,
    NT AUTHORITYSYSTEM

    Has anyone any experience of using any of these successfully as the "Run As" accounts of Scheduled jobs? I am aiming to use one of these accounts to avoid having to set up a service account (and to specify a password) for BATch jobs which may access all PCs on the domain and "do things", like running DEFRAG C:, for example.

    I've done some Googling but not been successful in finding much that assisted. An attempt at using NetworkService on a simple BATch job produced the dreaded 0x1 "Last Result" completion code, and the entire scheduled job (bar the Security tab) now has everything greyed-out!

    Thanks!

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  2. #2
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    Re: Scheduling jobs using system accounts (SP2)

    John,

    Have you tried this? From S Page - Windows XP from A to Z :

    "Scheduled Tasks - Applying/Running tasks without a password

    For Pro: Go to Start/Administrative Tools/'Local Security Policy/Security SettingsLocal PoliciesSecurity Options
    Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only. This is enabled by default, disable it."

    Joe
    Joe

  3. #3
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    Re: Scheduling jobs using system accounts (SP2)

    There's a nifty little tool called PSExec which is a command line utility that will let you specify a text file that lists the DNS names or IPs of target computers, the logon name/password (i.e. network admin/password), and then a batch file or command that you want to copy to the machine and run or simply run from your machine.

    I haven't used scheduled jobs yet, and using a designated "dummy" account is still the Microsoft preferred method, for all repetitive tasks from the network standpoint...
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  4. #4
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    Re: Scheduling jobs using system accounts (SP2)

    Joe:
    Thanks for the pointer; I will see whether it makes any difference to the LocalService and NetworkService accounts. I observe that the registry key pointed at for XP Home is present also in XP Pro, and since I dislike messing with Local Policies I may give that a go. I have had some minor success this afternoon with using the SYSTEM account direct in Task Scheduler, rather than setting up the scheduled task via the AT scheduler, then re-editing it in Task Scheduler, which is what I was doing previously. No idea why/whether that really makes a difference!

    NTIntensity:
    I have used PSEXEC* on an (almost) daily basis since I first started doing NT 3.51 systems administration in October 1995 -- it is the scheduling of BATch files in XP and 2003 containing this and other utilities that I am trying to perform in a foolproof fashion!

    Thanks

    John

    * OK, I know - PSEXEC started in 2001 running on NT4... My memory isn't what it, err... was!
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  5. #5
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    Re: Scheduling jobs using system accounts (SP2)

    <hr>NTIntensity: <hr>
    NT was before my time... <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15> I'll be watching this thread; please post with whatever you come up with....I've got quite a bit on my plate coming up (migration to Server 2k3 and Exchange12; adding a TB file share, decommissioning an antivirus server...) <img src=/S/joy.gif border=0 alt=joy width=23 height=23>

    / <img src=/S/sarcasm.gif border=0 alt=sarcasm width=15 height=15>
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    "If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, then you will be hacked. What&#39;s more, you deserve to be hacked." -Richard Clarke

  6. #6
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    Re: Scheduling jobs using system accounts (SP2)

    What are you doing in all your spare time?? <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/duck.gif border=0 alt=duck width=23 height=23>

    Joe
    Joe

  7. #7
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    Re: Scheduling jobs using system accounts (SP2)

    <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

    Fixing everything I mess up the first time.... <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
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    "If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, then you will be hacked. What&#39;s more, you deserve to be hacked." -Richard Clarke

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