Batch file in Scheduled Task completes only when user is logged onto server

Christian Palacios
Christian Palacios used Ask the Experts™
Hi there,

I have a scheduled task with these properties:

User account to run the task: A Service account that has logon as batch file privileges
Run whether user is logged on or not is enabled
Run with highest privileges is enabled
Configured for Windows Server 2012 R2
Trigger: Runs hourly
Actions values:
  • Action: Start a program
  • Program/script: Powershell.exe
  • Arguments: -command "Start-Process  C:\Build.bat -Verb runas"
  • Start in: C:\SDS_IT\

Now the problem I am having is that even though I have set the task to run whether user is logged on or not, it never completes unless the user is actually logged on.  If it I log out, the task starts and it gets to about 95% done and then it just gets stuck.  I've tested this theory several times and this is always the case.  I'm confused as to why it's not working.  The service account has local administrative permissions on this VM too.  I'm using PoweShell because I want the script to run a command prompt as administrator.

Any thoughts????
Thank you in advance!
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Gerwin Jansen, EE MVETopic Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2016

So it does start when you're not logged on?

Without knowing the contents of the batch file, it very much looks like one of the last commands in the batch is using some temporary storage or some location that is not available when the batch is run when you're not logged on.

Can you post the (redact if needed) batch file so we can try and figure out what is causing the issue? If  you can't what you could to is modify the batch script so that it logs what command is being executed by putting an extra 'echo' line before that command, redirecting that to a file.

Something like:


would become:

echo command1 >> log.txt
echo command2 >> log.txt

Agreed with that, you could also amend the batch file removing echo off and add ( ) to log all commands and output to a file, e.g.

(@echo on
echo My batch file bits

) > C:\somedir\logfile.txt

Also unless I have mis-read or part of larger powershell script why are you using Powershell "Start-process" with runas to run the batch file rather than just having the scheduled task run batch file with cmd?

<Edit: sure that last sentence didn't show up before until I posted, OK you needed run-as-admin then>

Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems Administrator


Hi there,

Thanks for the suggestion Steve, I didn't think about using an output file to see what's happening.  It's working for the sections that I need to troubleshoot.  Does anyone have experience with using Git?  If not, that's OK, I'll create a new question.
Gerwin Jansen, EE MVETopic Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2016

>>  Does anyone have experience with using Git?
So it's a git command that is hanging / causing the issue?

Can you add a 'fake' command in the batch file:

git --version >> log.txt

Do you get an error? Then try adding setting the git environment variables in your script and add it to the PATH.
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015

Git commands might need a -f (force) or -y (answer "Yes") switch to remove prompting.

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