Batch file manually runs fine, does not using Task Schedulter

By The Weekly Geek ·
We have a customer who uses a ticketing software developed elsewhere. They provide their own backup which is a batch file. When you manually double-click on it, it runs fine. When I make it a scheduled task, the first part runs but not the second.
Basically, it appears to run a local backup to the hard drive then copies that backup to a mapped drive on another computer. Under Scheduled tasks, it does not copy to the mapped drive.
here is the text of the file

"@echo off
rem ------ THEATRE MANAGER POSTGRES DATABASE BACKUP SCRIPT version 2.4 ----------------------------
rem This database backup script integrates with Theatre Manager to support provide an automatic
rem backup script of the PostgreSQL database. It also DELETES an backup files that are older than xx days
rem if desired, you can specify a remote FTP site tosend the database to
rem Alter this source code as you see fit to suit your needs

rem Please note that this script assumes that it is being run off the server machine and that
rem the server has 'trust' enabled for or localhost in the pg_hba.conf file for PostgreSQL.
rem The program from
rem is assumed to be in the BoxOffice folder, where-ever the user wants it. So if you change
rem the backup path, then please move program into that folder.
rem Based on the default settings, the standard location of the files are:
rem C:\BoxOffice - the main BoxOffice data folder
rem C:\BoxOffice\Backups - the location where the database backups will be saved
rem C:\BoxOffice\BackupTM.bat - this file you are reading. It is the backup script.
rem C:\BoxOffice\ - required to be in the BoxOffice folder
rem To setup the Windows Scheduled Task to run this script every day:
rem 1) In Windows, goto Start >> Settings >> Control Panel >> Scheduled Tasks
rem 2) Double Click on Add Scheduled Task
rem 3) Follow the prompts to run the program C:\BoxOffice\BackupTM.bat
rem 4) note: you can set this to run multiple times in one day if you wish
rem If you want to run this backup script outside of a regular scheduled backup:
rem Option A) Via the windows command prompt
rem 1) In Windows, goto Start >> Run...
rem 2) Enter cmd
rem 3) Click OK
rem 4) Enter C:\BoxOffice\BackupTM.bat
rem 5) Press <ENTER> or <RETURN>
rem Option B) Via the created Windows Scheduled Task
rem 1) In Windows, goto Start >> Settings >> Control Panel >> Scheduled Tasks
rem 2) Right Mouse Click on the schedule task that you created
rem 3) Select 'Run' from the pop-up context menu
rem To edit the Windows Scheduled Task that you created:
rem 1) In Windows, goto Start >> Settings >> Control Panel >> Scheduled Tasks
rem 2) Right Mouse Click on the schedule task that you created
rem 3) Select 'Properties' from the pop-up context menu
rem ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
rem ------ CUSTOMIZE SCRIPT VARIABLES HERE ---------------------------------------------------------
rem Step #1 - Change the 'DATABASE_NAME' to be the name of the database you need to backup
rem Note: This setting is normally always changed. Set it to match exactly the PostgreSQL database name
set DATABASE_NAME=Baldknobbers
rem Step #2 - Change the 'POSTGRESQL_PATH' to be the location where PostgreSQL is installed
rem Note: This setting is normally set as C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL\9.1
rem even on 64 bit machines, this should be C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL\9.1
set POSTGRESQL_PATH=C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL\9.1
rem Step #3 - Change the 'BOXOFFICE_DIR'to be the location of the main BoxOffice folder.
rem Note: This setting is normally set as C:\BoxOffice
set BOXOFFICE_DIR=C:\BoxOffice
rem Step #4 - Change the 'BACKUP_FOLDER' to be the name of the folder where the backup files will be saved.
rem Note: This setting is normally set as Backups
rem Step #5 - Change the 'KEEP_FILES_FOR' to be the number of days that the backup files will be retained.
rem Note: This setting is normally set as 30
rem Set this to 0 if you want to keep the backup files forever
rem Step #6 Verify that the backup does a YYMMDD dump for the file name. The default is set for a windows
rem installation that uses USA date time format. If you are not using USA format, but are using a more
rem metric date, you may wish to see some alternate suggestions for determining the date. Look for the
rem 'datestr' and 'sqltime' variables.
rem Step #7 Verify the parameter for the dir /-C /N command below to get the right file size parameter
rem you may need to change it from /tokens=4 to /tokens=3
rem Step #8 indicate if you want to send information to an FTP site afterward by entering the following parameters
rem Note: if the server is left blank, then no FTP will occur
rem and make absolutely sur ethat there is no spaces after the text on the commands
rem if you supply a remote folder, it must start and end with '/'. The script does not use CD to
rem change the working directory.
rem Note: FOR PCI COMPLIANCE, you will need to ensure that the data files are sent via a VPN
rem or secure tunnel if the data file is to leave your internal lan. You will also need to ensure
rem that the offsite storage location and/or vendor is included in your PCI checklist and adheres
rem to PCI standards.
rem set FTPSERVER=yourserver
set FTPUsername=yourusername
set FTPPassword=yourpassword
rem set FTPFolder=/directory/
set FTPFolder=
rem ------ DO NOT MAKE CHANGES BELOW HERE ----------------------------------------------------------
set hours=%Time:~0,1%
if ("%hours%") == (" ") set hours=0
rem the format of the date commands below are dependant on the windows setting for dates. This seems to work
rem for dates and times formated slightly differently that the standard USA setting
rem pick one or the other. The default is the second set for USA. rem those out if you need the first setting.
set datestr=%Date:~-4,4%%Date:~-7,2%%Date:~-10,2%_%hours%%Time:~1,1%%Time:~3,2%%Time:~6,2%
set sqltime=%Date:~-4,4%-%Date:~-7,2%-%Date:~-10,2% %hours%%Time:~1,1%:%Time:~3,2%:%Time:~6,2%
rem the format of the date commands below are dependant on the windows setting for dates. This assumes standard USA setting
set datestr=%Date:~-4,4%%Date:~-10,2%%Date:~-7,2%_%hours%%Time:~1,1%%Time:~3,2%%Time:~6,2%
set sqltime=%Date:~-4,4%-%Date:~-10,2%-%Date:~-7,2% %hours%%Time:~1,1%:%Time:~3,2%:%Time:~6,2%
rem parameters are:
rem -o include OID's in the dump unique rowID's
rem -v verbose. show the files as they are being done (optional)
rem -F c dump in custom Postgres format.
rem -b include blobs in the dump. These are things like theatre maps
rem -Z 9 compression level for the dump. Do the most compression
rem -U postgres runs the command under the postgres user id
"%POSTGRESQL_PATH%\bin\pg_dump.exe" -U postgres -v -F c -Z 9 %DATABASE_NAME% > "%BACKUP_PATH%\%DATABASE_NAME%_TM_%datestr%.backup"
echo Backup completed. Compressed database is located at %BACKUP_PATH%\%DATABASE_NAME%_TM_%datestr%.backup
rem get the filesize of the backup file. The Dir Command syntax shows the file size in parameter 4.
rem the actual parameters depends if your time is set to xx:xx AM/PM or xx:xxa .If it returns the first, parm = 4, second, parm=3
rem If thats not what happens, change '4' to the right parameter *** It may be 3 ****
dir /-C /N "%BACKUP_PATH%\%DATABASE_NAME%_TM_%datestr%.backup" | find "%DATABASE_NAME%_TM_%datestr%" > temp.txt
for /F "tokens=4 delims= " %%i in (temp.txt) do set FileSize=%%i
rem file size cannot be null, so set it to zero. It will generate a 'not working right' message in TM.
if (%FileSize%) == ("") set FileSize=0
rem update the last time the backup script got this far along in the database for warning purposes
echo Setting last backup time in %DATABASE_NAME% to %datestr% and filesize to %FileSize%
"%POSTGRESQL_PATH%\bin\psql.exe" -U postgres -d %DATABASE_NAME% -c %updatecmd%
rem *** copy database to the Z: drive
copy %BACKUP_PATH%\%DATABASE_NAME%_TM_%datestr%.backup Z:
rem vaccum the database for performance
echo Vacuum analyse the database %DATABASE_NAME%
"%POSTGRESQL_PATH%\bin\psql.exe" -U postgres -d %DATABASE_NAME% -c "vacuum analyse;"

rem ----- now delete the old files using delage32 --------------------------
rem delage32 is written by horst schaeffer at
rem refer to documentation at to see the parameters of this command
rem format is generally:
rem DelAge32 filespec days [options]
rem key options are:
rem /preview - show the files htat would be deleted, but don't delete them
rem /modified -use the modified time stamp for comparison (default option)
rem /created - use the date created time stamp (warning... copying a file gives a new created date and retains the modified date)
rem /includeRO - include read only files in deletion
rem /includeH - include hidden files in deletion
rem /includeS - include syst files in deletion
rem /includeRHO - include hisyst files in deletion

if "%KEEP_FILES_FOR%" == "0" (
echo Purging of backup files is disabled.
) ELSE (
echo Purging all backups files older than %KEEP_FILES_FOR% days
"%BOXOFFICE_DIR%\delage32" "%BACKUP_PATH%\%DATABASE_NAME%_TM_*.*" %KEEP_FILES_FOR% /includeRO /includeH
"%BOXOFFICE_DIR%\delage32" "Z:\%DATABASE_NAME%_TM_*.*" %KEEP_FILES_FOR% /includeRO /includeH

rem if the FTPSERVER is filled in, then FTP the data up to the remote server after the backup is done
if ("%FTPSERVER%") == ("") goto end
rem ftp the file to the appropriate place
echo FTP file to %FTPSERVER% - sending %BACKUP_PATH%\%DATABASE_NAME%_TM_%datestr%.backup
set FTPscript=%BACKUP_PATH%\ftpscript.txt
echo %FTPUsername%>%FTPscript%
echo %FTPpassword%>>%FTPscript%
echo type binary>>%FTPscript%
echo put "%BACKUP_PATH%\%DATABASE_NAME%_TM_%datestr%.backup" "%FTPFolder%%DATABASE_NAME%_TM_%datestr%.backup">>%FTPscript%
echo quit>>%FTPscript%
ftp -s:%FTPscript% %FTPSERVER%
del "%BACKUP_PATH%\ftpscript.txt"
Set FTPUsername=***
Set FTPpassword=***
@echo on

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All Answers

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REM is a great band

by robo_dev In reply to Batch file manually runs ...

First of all, why is it setting the FTP name/password variables AFTER running the copy?

"In order to use this script please setup all the variables to match your servers setup"

thus you need to either explicitly set the variables in the batch file (or just remove the variables and put the actual values in)

The SET command puts those variables in memory and I bet the batch file fails the first time you try it, then works?? (because those variables would stay in memory until machine rebooted).

Ditto for your ftpscript ftpserver variables.

The (incorrect) batch file above will not work because environmental variables set in a CMD window are not persistent.

"added code to vacuum analyse the database" :)

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Reponse To Answer

by The Weekly Geek In reply to REM is a great band

I apologize for the delay in getting back to you.
This batch is correct, it runs manually every time. You can run it via the command prompt or by double-clicking on it.
Yes, there is a lot of REM, I did not write it but the ticket company apparently wanted to be clear (though too much REM makes it unclear).
So we are back to the issue, that it does run just fine if you manually run it but when you schedule it as a task in "Task Scheduler" (this is on Server 2008 R2 BTW) it runs partially.
I removed some of the overhead REM but left the notes to help the reader.

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Try having the scheduled task run as the user

by Slayer_ In reply to Batch file manually runs ...

I think by default it runs as the system user, maybe running as the local user would work better?

Also, I can't tell by your script, but make sure var's like backuppath don't assume a starting directory.

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Reponse To Answer

by RHulick In reply to Try having the scheduled ...

I also experience certain machines where the system "SET" variables %homedrive% & %homepath% do not populate when running a batch file from the Windows Task Scheduler, though they DO populate when running the actual batch file. If I type "SET" in the cmd window the vars are all there.
If I use %USERPROFILE% instead, it WILL work, (except on machines where the user profile name has been changed and the path doesn't reflect the username, which is why I need to use "%homedrive%" & "%homepath%")

I asssume that depending on the OS ver, and the method that the windows scheduler uses to run a file, perhaps somethimes the system itself doesn't have a %homedrive% or %homepath%. In your case, one of the env variables must not be populated when running in the task scheduler. I don't know enough about user and system variables and the way task scheduler functions internally to know what the rules are on this, but hopefully you have already found your solution.

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The core issue, I believe, is environment variables are not being SET

by robo_dev In reply to Batch file manually runs ...

I bet if you goto a cmd prompt on the box and type SET, you see the variables there....

Do this:
- Add a pause in the batch file somewhere before the actual copy part so when the scheduler kicks it off, the pause will give you 'press any key to continue'

- hit ctrl-C to terminate the batch job

- Type SET

I betcha a case of Molson your variables are not there.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to The core issue, I believe ...

I am pretty sure variables made with the set command in a dos prompt, disappear when the prompt closes, so if you run a prompt, set a variable, close it, then run another, your variable is gone.

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Another possibility

by GSG In reply to Batch file manually runs ...

I schedule a lot of batch jobs that copy data between servers. My AD account is an admin on both servers, so when I run the batch manually, it works fine, but when I schedule it, the batch file fails, which is pretty much what you described.

The scheduler was running the bat file as the local account on that server, which did not have rights to the other server. I had an account created in AD, set to never expire, with a note that I'm responsible for that account and used as tge username and password when I set the schedule. I gave read/write on the share where the files were originating and read/write for that account to the receiving share and everything worked fine after that.

Do go ahead and do what robo_dev suggests and put a pause at several spots in the bat file then schedule it to run a few minutes later. That way, if there are any error messages, you'll be able to see them and track down the problem a little easier.

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Did you verified permissions?

by alexsts In reply to Batch file manually runs ...

Since you are on Win 2008 server it is most likely that you have batch process running under user name who does not have proper permissions to access (delete) files in that specific folder.
I would suggest that you create specific user and assign for this user permission to access any involved folders /sub-folders (full access) and run batch files on the server.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Did you verified permissi ...

This is old, I don't think he cares anymore

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