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 KB: Using Task Scheduler to run BM automatically
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Ahto/Moon Software
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Estonia
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Posted - 31 May 2002 :  16:16:38  Show Profile  Visit Ahto/Moon Software's Homepage
How to set up Windows Scheduled Tasks to run Backup Magic automatically

First you must have created and saved a Backup Magic backup set file (*.bms). This topic discusses how you can set up Windows Scheduled Tasks program to run this backup set automatically on pre-defined days/times.

Please note that different instructions are provided for Windows 95/98/Me and Windows 2000/XP, so be sure you follow right instructions depending your operating system.


Windows 95/98/Me

1) Open Scheduled Tasks folder (usually under Start Menu | Programs | Accessories | System Tools, but accessible also from Windows Explorer, listed after Control Panel on left pane)

2) Double-click on Add Scheduled Task item to launch Scheduled Task Wizard

3) Click Next and select Backup Magic from the list (if you don't see Backup Magic entry in the list click Browse button, then browse BMAGIC.EXE (not BMAGICC.EXE), its default location is C:\Program Files\Backup Magic\BMagic.exe). Actually it is possible to use also the console module BMAGICC.EXE but for general use under Windows 9x we will use GUI version in this sample.

4) On next page name your task as you wish, then select how often you would like to run it (you can modify later). Then press Next.

5) On next page you can set starting time for your backup and few more settings (you can modify later). If done, press Next.

6) On final page there is check box called "Open advanced properties for this task if I press Finish" - check this and press the Finish button. (If you already pressed Finish without checking the check box, you can double-click on your newly added entry in the Scheduled Tasks window to display advanced properties).

7) Now Properties sheet of your entry is displayed. You need to change command line that will be used to run Backup Magic and specify what backup set it should use when started. Command line parameters are discussed in Backup Magic help file, topic "Command line interface".

In the Run field you see full path name to bmagic.exe. You should modify this field to look like this:

"KeepYourFullPathHere\BMagic.exe" "YourBackupSetFileWithFullPath.bms" -START -MINIMIZE

That instructs BM to load your backup set file, start without prompting and in minimized state. If you want it to close its windows when done, you can also use additional -CLOSE switch.

In real life, the Run line may look like this (all on one line):

"C:\Program Files\Backup Magic\BMagic.exe" "C:\My Documents\Backup Documents.bms" -START -MINIMIZE -CLOSE

If full path to bmagic.exe or to your bms file contain spaces you need to put them between double quotes as shown above.

Note: To check if the command line you provided is OK, you can test it by choosing Start Menu | Run and pasting it to the displayed Run prompt.

8) Press OK to save changes and close the Properties window.


Note: You can test if the new task is working by choosing Run command from it's context menu.



Windows 2000/XP

Important: Under Windows XP (not 2000) you can't set up Scheduled Tasks entry unless the user account under which it will run has password assigned. That means if you can log into your Windows without entering a password, this is true for you. This is issue of Scheduled Tasks and is discussed in Microsoft Knowledge Base article 310715, Scheduled Tasks cannot run with a blank password. Possible workaround is posted here.

1) Open Scheduled Tasks folder (usually under Start Menu | Programs | Accessories | System Tools, but accessible also from Control Panel and Windows Explorer).

2) Double-click on Add Scheduled Task item to launch Scheduled Task Wizard

3) Click Next and then click Browse button (don't choose a program from the list provided). Browse BMAGICC.EXE (not BMAGIC.EXE), its default location is C:\Program Files\Backup Magic\BMagicc.exe).

4) On next page name your task as you wish, then select how often you would like to run it (you can modify later). Then press Next.

5) On next page you can set starting time for your backup and few more settings (you can modify later). If done, press Next.

6) Now write your user account password (twice) and don't modify the provided user name. Please note your user name is automatically inserted. It is very important that you fill this page correctly, otherwise the task will not run later. You can also modify this information later. If done, press Next.

7) On final page there is check box called "Open advanced properties for this task if I press Finish" - check this and press the Finish button. (If you already pressed Finish without checking the check box, you can double-click on your newly added entry in the Scheduled Tasks window to display advanced properties).

8) Now Properties sheet of your entry is displayed. You will need to change command line that will be used to run Backup Magic and specify what backup set it should use when started. Command line parameters are discussed in Backup Magic help file, topic "Command line interface".

In the Run field you see full path name to bmagicc.exe (you provided it in step 3). You should modify this field to look like this:

"KeepYourFullPathHere\BMagicc.exe" "YourBackupSetFileWithFullPath.bms"

That instructs BM console module to load your backup set file when it starts.

In real life, the Run line may look like this (all on one line):

"C:\Program Files\Backup Magic\BMagicc.exe" "C:\My Documents\Backup Documents.bms"

If full path to bmagicc.exe or to your bms file contain spaces you need to put them between double quotes as shown above.

Note: To check if the command line you provided is OK, you can test it by choosing Start Menu | Run and pasting it to the displayed Run prompt.

Note: If either the program itself or the backup set file reside on a network file server, you'll need to refer them using full UNC path (\\server\share), not via mapped drive letters. Drive mappings may not be available if the user is not logged in.

9) Press OK to save changes and close the Properties window. You will be once again promped for password. Enter your user account password twice (you'll be prompted for password each time you'll change the task).


Note: You can test if the new task is working by choosing Run command from it's context menu.

Note: You specified your user account when you set up the task. If this user is logged in at the time the task runs, it will be run interactively, i.e. you'll see Backup Magic window (similar to when you invoke Backup Magic manually from desktop shortcut etc). But if another user is logged in, the task will run invisible (on the background) for him. That also means if the program has to ask for user input (like continue with backup prompt on startup), the user will not see this and the program may stop working because it can't continue until user has provided feedback. That means it is strongly advised to schedule BMAGICC.EXE console module, not BMAGIC.EXE GUI (graphical user interface) verison on Windows 2000/XP. The BMAGICC.EXE console module is designed to run on the background and it will not interact with the user (enable log file and check it to see if the task ran OK).

Note: In Windows 2000/XP environment you'll also need to consider mapped network drives the user under whose account the task runs can access. If the user has no access to network folders you want to copy files to, the copy process will fail. So run the task under right user account. Also, avoid using mapped drives and use full UNC paths (\\server\share) to server resources in backup set, because the drive may have not mapped when user is not logged in.


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