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The task scheduler service does not exist following a fresh install of 2003 Server R2 Standard Edition

Posted on 2008-10-27
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
The task scheduler service does not exist following a fresh install. Whenever I try to use the "AT" command it tells me the service is not started. The task scheduler icon in control panel has a blank title and a blank description. How can I get this working?

Ref: Please see previous question: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Microsoft/Operating_Systems/Server/2003_Server/Q_23792817.html
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Question by:Mase2k
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by:samiam41
ID: 22813213
I noticed from that question you ref that there was a suggestion regarding AV/Spyware.  Before I assume incorrectly, have you eliminated that as a possibility?

Did you get any errors during the install or see anything (warnings/errors) in event viewer when you try to run the AT command?
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by:samiam41
ID: 22813240
Also, make sure you run:  net start "task scheduler" at the command prompt.

If you have access to PSTools, download and run pslist on that server.

PSTools > http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896649.aspx
Command to run:  c:\<path to pstools>\:> psservice > services.txt

Check the services.txt file for all running services to see what is/isn't running.
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22813258
Samiam,
     Thank you for responding so quickly. This problem showed itself prior to the server touching the network following a fresh install of the OS. I have not installed any tools to check for AV/Spyware, but would be willing to if you had a suggestion.

     I unfortunately do not receive any event viewer logs when I run the AT command or double click on the phantom icon in control panel. If I try to "schedule" a backup using Windows Backup I receive the following error:

"The Task Scheduler service is not running. You canot schedule a backup task until you start the Task Scheduler using System Services Management. Do you want to start the Task Scheduler now?"

After clicking Yes I receive "The Task Scheduler service did not start".

Nothing logs in the event viewer.

Thanks again!
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Author Comment

by:Mase2k
ID: 22813272
I ran net start "task scheduler" and got the following:


C:\>net start "task scheduler"
The service name is invalid.

More help is available by typing NET HELPMSG 2185.
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by:samiam41
ID: 22813287
I know that the Task Scheduler service is dependant on the RPC service.  Is that running?
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22813309
Here is the log produced by psservice. I could not find a reference to task scheduler. Thanks!
services.txt
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22813320
Yes the RPC service is started
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22813334
On a side note...this appears to have affected Internet Explorer as well as it does not function normally. I don't know if that helps anything. Some other things I have tried is re-applying SP2, installing IE7, uninstalling IE7, repairing IE, and running sfc /scannow.
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by:samiam41
ID: 22813635
If you have access to another Windows 2003 Server, you can export the HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Schedule from it and import into this server.
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by:samiam41
ID: 22813656
Before doing so, see if that registry key is on the "bad" server.
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by:samiam41
ID: 22813664
I can post that registry file for you if you need it.  Not sure how many Windows 2003 servers you have running there.  :- )
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22813677
We have a great deal of servers running here so I will be able to grab it. Looking into it now.
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by:samiam41
ID: 22813719
Perfect.  Let me know of any updates!
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22813725
Ok so it was not there when I navigated to it on the bad server. I exported from a like server and imported it in. I am assuming that I will need to reboot the server before any result is realized. That may take a little while as its a production server.
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by:samiam41
ID: 22813747
You know, I wonder if it would take a reboot.  See if you can start the service from the command line again.
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by:samiam41
ID: 22813752
At least it wasn't on the bad server.  Maybe a good sign?
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22813761
It says the service name is invalid still. I just spoke to the director on site and he says I can have at it at 1pm EST. So I will give her a reboot then.
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22813769
I am hoping so! Would be nice to mark this resolved on my very long list of things to get fixed LOL
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by:samiam41
ID: 22813788
I know what you mean bro.  Seems like it never ends.  I am testing this out on a test server here to see what you should encounter once you do the reboot and if there is another way to get that started without requiring a reboot.  If not, I will be available this afternoon.
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22813837
Very cool. I do appreciate your help on this. Technically if this resolves...its probably going to be worth 1000 points as the previous question was never really resolved...   :)
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by:samiam41
ID: 22813856
What was the previous question?  Wasn't it ->  How can I get this working?

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by:Mase2k
ID: 22813898
Yup. I linked it in the subject but here it is: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Microsoft/Operating_Systems/Server/2003_Server/Q_23792817.html

He gave me points on it, but I don't think I deserved them as there was no resolution...
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by:samiam41
ID: 22814195
Gotcha.  If we can get this resolved, I'm sure it will be worth every bit of 2k.  

:- )
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22814536
Alright so I rebooted the server and this is what I got.

1. Service failed to start error upon bootup.
2. Event log is attached.
3. When trying to start from command line I got the following:

C:\>net start "task scheduler"
The Task Scheduler service is starting.
The Task Scheduler service could not be started.

A system error has occurred.

System error 2 has occurred.

The system cannot find the file specified.
eventlog.JPG
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by:samiam41
ID: 22814559
Good.  Progress.  Alright, let me see what "file" it's looking for.
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by:samiam41
ID: 22814574
Verify that you have this file on that server:

schtasks in the c:\windows\system32 folder
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22814661
I do see a schtasks.exe file in the C:\windows\system32 folder.
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by:samiam41
ID: 22814695
Also, check for mstask.dll in the same directory as schtasks.exe
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by:samiam41
ID: 22814750
Look through the services.msc and see if you can find the task scheduler service.  Verify it is on and has the path to executable as => C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs

You may also want to run and repost the psservice.txt file.  
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22815326
Alright. Sorry for the delay but I got called into a meeting.

1. mstask.dll is in the same directory as schtasks.exe
2. I can now find the task scheduler service under services.msc (could not before), but it is not started. The path to executable is as shown above. However, when I go to properties to view the path I get the following error: "Configuration Manager: The specified device instance handle does not correspond to a present device."

Attached is the services file from ppservice.

Thanks!
services.ver2.txt
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22815382
This article does appear to apply. There is a Legacy_Schedule on another server but not on the broken one. However, it will not let me import the key.
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22815389
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22815401
Cancel that...Once I provided permissions it went in fine. However, all this got rid of was the error in getting the properties for the service. The original error 2 still remains. Thanks!
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Accepted Solution

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samiam41 earned 500 total points
ID: 22815990
What AV do you have running?

I would use another 3rd party AV test to do a scan:
-http://www.bitdefender.com/scan8/ie.html
-http://shop.trendmicro.com/trialpay/

Then I would download and install IE7 and make sure that it installs properly.  After that, install all related service packs/hotfixes to it.  

The alternative is rebuilding the server.  You mentioned there was a problem with the server before it was even on the network which could mean that somewhere during the install sh*t happened.  I have no problem working with you on this but don't know your situation (ie. urgent issue) or time frame.

Let me know how you want to proceed.
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by:samiam41
ID: 22816027
Have you installed SP2 for your server?

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773361.aspx

I noticed this article on MS.
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by:samiam41
ID: 22816241
Before you do any of the other, make sure the mstask.dll is registered.

From Start > Run:

regsvr32 /u mstask.dll          <---Unregister
regsvr32 mstask.dll              <---Register

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by:Mase2k
ID: 22816903
Ok both of the regsvr32's said that it was not registered. Doesn't sound like mstask.dll is loaded. I did in fact SP2 the server on two occasions. I will look into the AV in the morning. Thank's for your continued help on this!
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by:samiam41
ID: 22821028
I thought about this last night.  

Rename the mstask.dll to mstask.dll.old (make sure you unregister the dll before renaming it) and schtask.exe to schtask.exe.old.  From one of your servers that does have TS (Task Scheduler) working, copy over the mstask.dll and schtask.exe to the bad server.  Register it and try running it again.  I know there is something else that needs to be done and I am testing it some more this morning but let me know how that does.
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22832493
Alright. I attempted to unregister it using regsvr32 /u mstask.dll and it gave this error:

"mstask.dll was loaded, but the DllRegisterServer entry point was not found. This file can not be registered."

I renamed it anyway, but as soon as I did it came back.

I was able to rename schtasks.exe and replace it with a known good one, but when I tried to replace mstask.dll with a known good one it said it was in use.
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22843309
Samiam,
     Any fresh ideas? I am starting to think I should just do a rebuild.
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22868472
I just wanted to bump this quick for any others opinions. I am currently building a new server with the exact same image that I used on this server to see if it causes the same issue. If it does it could be said that the image provided by Microsoft is causing the problem.
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by:samiam41
ID: 22870544
Sorry for the delay.  We are renovating our building (6 floors) and I am trying to manage the data and voice wiring while balancing system functionality.

Anyhow, if you have the time to build a new server, have at it.  Maybe even build the image using a virtual server and see what results you get.  I have been trying to think of a way to get that dll file from re-registering itself.  Once you unregister it, can you copy the new one over then?

When you say "image", did you make an image and push it back to the server or did you use a recovery/restore CD to install it?  I hear "image" a lot and want to clarify.

As for "bumping" the topic, it doesn't work quite the same way.  The best bet is to either finish the question out or delete it and start over.  I would bet that most other engineers would recommend blowing away the server and starting over if you are having these kinds of wierd errors (task scheduler not working, IE7 being installed/uninstalled a few times, etc...)  
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by:Mase2k
ID: 22870800
Samiam,
     Thanks for the response! I wasn't really sure how things worked here as its my first official question. Most of the time I just troll for the plethora of information. I am most likely going to go with the rebuild, but always try to fix things first. When I reference "image" I mean the CD image that I downloaded from Microsoft under our Volume License Agreement to install at this site. Thanks again and good luck with the renovation! I imagine that can be a bear to manage!
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by:samiam41
ID: 22870874
Glad I got a chance to work with you.  Too bad TS couldn't be fixed with any solution but it was great that you stuck with the question and updated it accordingly.

If reinstalling the OS fixes the problem, please accept the post I mentioned about 10-12 in so that others know it's better to go with a rebuild.

Comment #  22815990
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Author Closing Comment

by:Mase2k
ID: 31510326
Given the time and cost required to continue troubleshooting this we have decided to simply rebuild the server. We utilized the same image on a new server and it worked fine so we are still unsure what caused this. I am accepting this solution as it was the only solution available to us and it is what we have done. Thank you samiam!
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by:samiam41
ID: 22897387
Thanks for the points and grade.  Take care!!
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