Enable programs at logon or logoff

Shenandoah Software's Startup & Shutdown Launcher 3.2 is a user-friendly add-on that lets you schedule programs to run when users, including the local system account, log on to or log off of their computers. The software's tools are user-profile aware, so users can schedule their favorite programs and criteria.

Startup & Shutdown Launcher arrived in the Lab on two 3.5" disks. I installed the software on a system running Windows NT Workstation 4.0 with Service Pack 4 (SP4). The program's three primary components—Launcher Manager, Startup Launcher, and Shutdown Launcher—installed automatically. After installation, I could open any of these components from the Start menu. The Cloning Tool, a fourth component that lets you reproduce identical Startup & Shutdown Launcher configurations, is available only if you purchase a Multi-user, Site, or World Wide license from the company.

I opened Launcher Manager, which presented me with a dialog box that included three tabs: Shutdown Programs, Startup Programs, and Other Startup Sources. You select either the Shutdown tab or the Startup tab after you determine when you want your program to run. The Other Startup Sources tab lets you view mandatory system files that start when NT starts.

I selected the Startup Programs tab, then clicked File, New. The Edit Program Properties dialog box, which Screen 1 shows, let me browse for the program I wanted to run and add necessary parameters. For example, if I wanted to run a backup program using a specific backup set, I had to enter the program's path in the Program field and the specific data set in the Parameters field. I wanted Notepad to start each time my system started, so I entered the path to Notepad. I clicked the Frequency tab and left the default Run the program daily on setting enabled.

I clicked Conditions to verify that my settings met my criteria. (For example, if you set the program frequency to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but you try to start the sequence on Tuesday, you'll get a criteria failure message.) Then, I clicked Run to test run Notepad. Next, I clicked the Limits tab and selected the Only run this program between check box. I typed 8:00 a.m. in the first box and 6:00 p.m. in the second box. I clicked OK, saved the changes, and restarted my system. A few seconds after I logged back on, Notepad started.

When you select the Shutdown Programs tab, you follow the same steps to schedule programs to run just before system shutdown. You can configure the software to replace NT's default shutdown dialog box with a Shutdown Launcher window. If you do so, Shutdown Launcher will run before any other programs close. You can create custom dialog boxes that appear before or after your scheduled programs run, letting you continue processing programs, skip programs, rerun programs, stop running programs, or cancel shutdown. Shutdown Launcher waits until each program performs its function before running the next program in the schedule queue. When no programs remain in the queue, NT shuts down. You can also preconfigure a timeout to kill a long-running program so one program can't prevent shutdown.

Startup & Shutdown Launcher is available in single-user or multiple-user packages. If you're worried about system security, the software conforms to existing user permissions. Startup & Shutdown Launcher is an affordable way to customize your systems' startup and shutdown.

Startup & Shutdown Launcher 3.2
Contact: Shenandoah Software * 804-730-4015
Web: http://www.shensoft.com
Price: Starts at $28 for a single-user license
System Requirements: x86 processor or better, Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 9x, 16MB of RAM, 2MB of hard disk space