Many people have come to me asking for help with Scheduled Tasks. They claim that they schedule their tasks correctly, yet their tasks don't run at the specified time and the system provides no indication of what went wrong. After investigation, I discovered that they were either entering an incorrect username and password or neglecting to enter a username and password.

You can use at least two methods to launch Scheduled Tasks in Windows 2000. One way is to click Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Scheduled Tasks. Alternatively, you can click Start, Settings, Control Panel, Scheduled Tasks.

To start the Scheduled Task Wizard, double-click Add Scheduled Task. In the resulting screen, which provides a brief description of the Scheduled Task Wizard, click Next to bring up the screen that lets you select the Windows application you want to schedule. If you want to run an application that isn't listed, click Browse and find the executable of the application you want to schedule.

After you've chosen an application, click Next. The application name will appear as the task name on the next screen. Choose the time scenario in which you want the application to run (e.g., One time only), and click Next. Select the specific time and date to run the desired task. (During this step is a good time to check whether your system clock is correct.) Click Next. The system will present you with the message Enter the name and password of a user. The task will run as if it were started by that user. Make sure that you use the same username and password that you used when you logged on to Win2K, or the task won't run.