TSK: Creating Tasks for Other OS Versions (Windows Vista+)


Description:  Creating Scheduled Tasks in Vista and Server 2008 has been vastly improved over Windows 2000/2003/XP. Task Scheduler overall is now more reliable, more scalable, and much easier to use than previous Windows versions. The new Task Scheduler provides significant improvements in the following areas:

  • User Interface

  • Scheduling

  • Security

  • Administration

  • Platform and Manageability

In addition to these improvements, Task Scheduler also allows for the creation of backwards-compatible Tasks that are compatible with Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows 2000.


Scoping the Issue:  There are two ways to create tasks in Windows Vista and later operating systems:

To create a new task using the Create Basic Task Wizard, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click “Task Scheduler Library” and select Create Basic Task to display the Create Basic Task Wizard, or select Create Basic Task in the Actions pane.

  2. Enter the name of the task, provide and optional description, and then click Next.

  3. On the Task Trigger page, specify when you want the task to start and then click Next. Some choices may require additional information to further define the trigger.

  4. On the Task Action page, specify an action for your task to perform and then click Next to specify action details.

  5. Options displayed on the next page depend on the action you selected on the previous page.

  6. After specifying the appropriate action details, click Finish to create the task and close the wizard.


To create a new task manually, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click “Task Scheduler Library” and select Create Task or select Create Task in the Actions pane. Either action will display the Task Properties dialog with several tabs for the different task details. The General tab defines general information about the task.

  2. In the Name text box, enter a name for the task.

  3. In the Description text box, you can enter an optional task description or leave the box entry blank.

  4. User Security options, select the appropriate options for the task:

  5. By default, the task will run under the security context of the currently logged-on user. To select a different security context, click Change User Or Group.

  6. Select either Run Only When User Is Logged On or Run Whether User Is Logged On Or Not. If you select Run Whether User Is Logged On Or Not and check the box Do Not Store Password, the task will use S4U and will not be able to access any resources outside the local computer.

  7. Select Run With Highest Privileges if the task must run with the highest privileges that the specified user account can obtain. If left uncheck, and if the user account is an administrator account, the task will run under User Account Control (UAC) with partial privileges.

  8. To hide the task from view by default, select the Hidden check box. You can still view hidden tasks by opening the View menu and selecting Show Hidden Tasks.

By default, all tasks are configured for Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008.  You can create a task that is compatible with Windows Server 2003, Windows XP or Windows 2000 by selecting the option in the drop down box


Data Gathering:  In all instances, collecting either MPS Reports with the General, Internet and Networking, Business Networks and Server Components diagnostics, or a Performance-oriented MSDT manifest must be done.  


Troubleshooting / Resolution:  If you are experiencing issues creating backwards-compatible tasks, there are several steps that you can take:

  • Review the Event Logs for errors, and address where possible

  • Attempt to create the task on the target OS and test it – if the task creation fails on the target OS, the problem is not specific to Windows Vista +


Additional Resources: