Tech Tip: Navigate the Scheduled Tasks tool

Windows 98 includes a Scheduled Tasks component that lets you run applications on a preset schedule. When some of the scheduled tasks run silently in the background—that is, without a visible interface—it may seem that the performance of your Windows computer is compromised for no apparent reason.

Follow these steps to determine if a scheduled task is causing a problem:

  1. Open the Scheduled Tasks tool by going to Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools.
  2. From the View menu, select Details.
  3. Drag the window open wide enough to check the Status column. A task in progress will show as Running.
  4. Right-click tasks that aren't responding, and select End Task.

Note: Make sure that there isn't an unintended consequence of stopping a task before it's complete.

Distribute scheduled tasks

After you've created a scheduled task, you can easily distribute it to the user community. The settings for each scheduled task are held in a separate file with a .job extension. First, create a task and test it on a test box that's configured exactly like those it will be distributed to. Then copy the task, either through a login script or manually, to the windowsroot\tasks folder of the computers on which it will run (e.g., C:\windows\tasks).

The task will appear in the Scheduled Tasks tool of each computer, named after the .job file. Ensure that the application the task starts is in the same location on the target computers as it was on the test machine; if it isn't, the task won't be able to find it.

Schedule a reminder

Besides creating and distributing tasks to the user community, you can use the Scheduled Tasks tool to create a reminder for an action you must perform on your Windows 98 computer.

Here's how to create a scheduled task that opens the application you need at a required time:

  1. Go to Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools.
  2. Double-click Add Scheduled Task to open the Scheduled Task Wizard, and click Next.
  3. From the Application list, select the appropriate program (or click Browse to find an alternative), and click Next.
  4. Give the task a description, select one of the basic schedules (the options When My Computer Starts and When I Log On aren't time-dependent), and click Next.
  5. Assign the day and time that you want the task to run, and click Next. You can also select the Advanced Properties check box, which enables you to refine the settings.
  6. Test the task by right-clicking its icon in Scheduled Tasks and selecting Run.

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