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Can't Find Scheduled Task

Posted on 2016-09-16
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Last Modified: 2016-09-19
Windows 7 Professional. When I open Task Scheduler I get the error "An error has occurred for task UpdateCheck_SID. The specified account name is not valid".

I cannot find this task to delete it. How can I find and delete it?
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Question by:LockDown32
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McKnife earned 1000 total points
ID: 41801545
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by:Michael Ortega
Michael Ortega earned 500 total points
ID: 41801547
There are lot of applications nowadays that configure scheduled tasks for updating. Perhaps check all the programs you have installed and remove some non-essentials. You can always reinstall them.

I would start with Adobe applications, Google applications, web meeting type applications, etc.

MO
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41801607
Surely there has to be a better way. The error made sense. The user that the task was set to run under was deleted hence the error. Why couldn't I find the task UpdateCheck?

I went in to the registry and found it by searching for "UpdateCheck". Deleted it. Then when I went in to Task Scheduler I got the error "UpdateCheck" no longer exists. So at that point I had to go back in to the registry and delete the folder it belonged to. A lot of work. I don't think anything was corrupt. I just couldn't find the task (other then in the registry).
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Assisted Solution

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 500 total points
ID: 41801636
Scheduled tasks are XML files stored here in W7 Pro:
c:\Windows\System32\Tasks\

You'll get an access-denied dialog on it, which will vary depending on what file manager you use. Here's what it is with Windows Explorer:

Tasks WE
Here's what it is with Total Commander:

Tasks TC
In any case, tell it to proceed, and do the same if you get the UAC prompt. There's no file extension on the tasks, but if you copy one to a temp location and give it a .TXT extension, you can open it in Notepad and see the XML code. Anyway, you should be able to easily find the UpdateCheck_SID task, as that will be the file name. Simply delete it, then do a Refresh in Task Scheduler and it should be gone. Btw, the same problem occurs if the machine name has changed since the task was created — you'll see in the XML that it contains "MachineName\UserName" references. Regards, Joe
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 41802109
The user wasn't the problem. The task was corrupt. I described how to delete it and that is the correct and only way.
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 41802142
> that is the correct and only way

Very glad to have your opinion on that, but I've had no problems deleting the XML files that are the scheduled tasks, as described in my post. It may not work in this case for the asker, but I think it's a good first step to try. If deleting the XML file doesn't fix the problem, then it's time for more aggressive methods, such as modifying the registry. Regards, Joe
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by:McKnife
ID: 41802349
Hi Joe. Yours works for xp. Since vista, registry modifications are needed as well.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 41802368
Hi McKnife,
I just did it on a W7 Pro 64-bit system and it seemed to work fine. In this case, the problem was that the machine name had changed since the task was created and when I went to disable it, I received these dialogs:

tserr1tserr2
I then deleted the file:
c:\Windows\System32\Tasks\JW\Exit Outlook and TBird

All seems well now and Task Scheduler no longer shows the task. Do you think there are lingering issues in the registry related to this now-deleted task? Cheers, Joe
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 41802655
Definitely. Deleting only the XML files can make Task Scheduler stop completely (no more Tasks executed). We had some problems with Task Scheduler due to bugs on vista that made me investigate this very thoroughly. Sometimes these error don't even show when starting scheduler, but only when browsing through task libraries subfolders.
Vista on up have a new task scheduler that uses the registry differently (at the moment, I am not even sure, if xp used the reg. at all). On xp, it was ok to just delete the xml file of the task.
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 41802659
Thanks — very interesting!
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