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How Can I Use Task Scheduler to Have Reminders Pop Up on Screen?

Posted on 2012-03-16
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Last Modified: 2012-03-21
Hello,

I would like to use Task Scheduler to help several family members improve their time management.  Three family members are on constantly on their PC either for work or pleasure.  Two are running Windows 7 while the other is on XP.  In all cases I am set up as the admin on their PC and they are a Power User.

I would like to schedule several tasks that will pop up messages on their screen at set times, every day.  For example, a message would pop up at 11 pm saying it is time to wrap up homework and get ready for bed.  Ideally, the task would do the following:

1. At a minimum, allow me to format the text of the message so that it is a relatively large screen font that cannot be missed.

2. Prefer if it will display an image (say a GIF or jpeg) that I would create.  The image would take up at least 50% of their screen.

3. The image/notice must be displayed on top of all open windows/browsers.  

4. Ideally, the user would not be able to close it.  The image would display for a set time - say 10 seconds, then close itself.  If this is not possible, it is OK if the user can close the image.

5.  The task should run when they are logged in and should not require that the admin be logged in.  It is OK if it runs for everyone.

I tried creating something on my own and it did not work.  It would be great if someone could explain step by step how to do this.

Thanks!
Chip

P.S.  I am open to the idea of using a third party application to do this, if there is a good, cost-effective solution.
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Question by:MrChip2
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6 Comments
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:CSI-Windows_com
ID: 37730071
Due to a security change known as "Session 0 Isolation" the task scheduler under Windows Vista and later cannot display anything on the user's desktop.

Here is a blog article which contains more information and a script to get around the issue: http://csi-windows.com/toolkit/csi-msgq
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Ashok Dewan
ID: 37730110
You can do it from control panel-> administrator -> Task scheduler
Open it, you will a option on right side "create a task"
you will see many tabs i.e General, triggers, action, condition and settings
0
 

Author Comment

by:MrChip2
ID: 37730300
CSI-Windows_com,

Thanks for replying so quickly.  I did try to create a task myself but it never ran.  This may explain why that was the case.

I quickly glanced at the blog post and for someone like myself with limited scripting experience it looks to be very complicated.  What if I logged in as the user and created a task to appear on the user's desktop?  Can a Power User create a task for themselves and get around the Session 0 Isolation issue?

If not, is there a user-friendly third party solution? The users rarely use Outlook, so I cannot count on scheduling tasks in their calendar.
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Author Comment

by:MrChip2
ID: 37730312
neil40m,

Thanks for helping.  I tried doing this on my own - but it did not work.  Can you provide screen shots of the steps I would take.  What about the Session 0 Isolation issue CSI-Windows_com pointed out?

Thanks
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LVL 10

Accepted Solution

by:
CSI-Windows_com earned 2000 total points
ID: 37730815
If this is something you are doing on one desktop for one user, google for the many freeware alarm clocks or reminder programs.  These will start when the user logs in and should do the trick.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:MrChip2
ID: 37749257
CSI-Windows_com,

Thanks for the suggestion!  I downloaded FreeAlarmClock from CNet.  It seems to be doing the trick.  I scheduled 10 different custom alarms with messages and music.  When I have some time to kill, I may record me speaking the message as an MP3 and use that as the background music.  The first time an alert popped up my daughter ran in my room and said "Dad, my computer is telling me its dinner time!"  Maybe, I will need to add a daily reminder to clean up her room....
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