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scheduling system tasks


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#1
turb0

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dear fellow geeks.. it has become a real nightmare to maintain a system now a days! tasks such as defrag, anti-virus checks, software patches/updates, staying current, and others have to be run everyday.. scheduling them has become a big pain on my network. what do you guys say?
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#2
gerryf

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all my programs are set to auto update (including windows), I run antivirus check, defrag and chkdsk once a month on the first of the month

Works for me.
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#3
dsenette

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if this is a large active directory domain in a work environment you should check out the WSUS (windows server update service...or something like that)...it allows you to create a local update server...and point all the workstations to this server...you can approve and disapprove all windows updates...it's pretty handy..
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#4
turb0

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gerryf,
well.. yeah.. one can run defrag once a month.. but it doesn't seem like the best way to go about this. what if i knew that a major system update has happened.. or a large no. of new files have been added.. that would be the ideal point for scheduling a defrag. also.. running a/v scan once a month *only* might be too lax. i would prefer running it atleast once every two days at night.

dsenette,
i'm afraid i don't have the setup with active directory, so i can't do that.

the problem of scheduling still remains. how to reliably schedule for optimality, and with minimal manual intervention?
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#5
gerryf

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then schedule things more often...at night, when people are not around. I don't see what your issue is, really, other than perhaps you have the wrong tools for the job.

Perhaps the issue is what software are you using that is making this so difficult for you?

As for defrag...well, actually, the idea time would be before the major update or adding the new files, but even then, a defrag will simply take longer to work, it will not improve the level of defragmentation.

Do you know how to use the scheduling tool? Do you know if they have command line options?
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#6
dsenette

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windows defrag has these command line switches

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\dsenette\Desktop>defrag /?
Usage:
defrag <volume> [-a] [-f] [-v] [-?]
  volume  drive letter or mount point (d: or d:\vol\mountpoint)
  -a	  Analyze only
  -f	  Force defragmentation even if free space is low
  -v	  Verbose output
  -?	  Display this help text

C:\Documents and Settings\dsenette\Desktop>
which to my knowledge is the only real way to schedule a defrag as i've never gotten it to work in any other method
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#7
gerryf

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or get a 3rd party defragger with scheduling options...
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#8
gerryf

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defrag on the fly (always on defragging)

http://www.dirms.com/
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#9
turb0

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gerryf,
the "defrag on the fly" tool looks interesting! have you tried that tool? is it reliable? basically, i don't want to install something that will go bust with my office's data!

dsenette,
that is right. that is the way i schedule a defrag right now. i write a small C app that does nothing but sleep till a predefined time. then it wakes up and launches defrag and exits. however, i still have to launch it everytime i have to schedule it on a system. and if the system goes down, so does the app :whistling:

thanks for those pointers though. any other valuable ideas? my budget is not really high - so a free/cheap tool that you might have tried and works good would be really nice.
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#10
gerryf

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yes, I have tried it in version 1 and it is reliable. It (version 1) was also freeware

I have not tried version 2; the primary difference seems to be when the program defrags (version 1 would defrag a file after 90 seconds from a change, version 2 defrags only when the sustem idle is at 95 percent or more)

version 1 is still available here:
http://www.dlugosz.c...irms/index.html

version 2 is very reasonably priced at $10 for five licenses, with an evaluation available
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#11
dsenette

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dsenette,
that is right. that is the way i schedule a defrag right now. i write a small C app that does nothing but sleep till a predefined time. then it wakes up and launches defrag and exits. however, i still have to launch it everytime i have to schedule it on a system. and if the system goes down, so does the app

as a note here...you shouldn't have to write any progs for this

you would schedule defrag.exe and then put the switches you want to use in the arguments section...but it looks like you've found a good 3rd party product
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#12
turb0

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thanks gerryf and dsenette.. i'll give this a try?
btw: would you know of a method to maintain windows updates? i don't want the updates to happen automatically. because Ms sometimes pushes things down like WGA which keep reporting back to MS. am not very happy with this as i see this as a BIG potential hack!
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#13
gerryf

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You could set up your own wsus server, manually download the updates, and add them to your server, but you would need to spend some cash to do this

Automating the process...nothing comes to mind. You could use autopatcher xp, but this is a manual process, to allow you to pick and choose updates--but these are usually a month behind.
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#14
turb0

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gerryf,
how much does it cost to setup and maintain a WSUS server? is that a one time investment, or do i have to pay something every year for it?
once i have that in place, will it be possible to push down thrid party patches as well? thanks so much in advance for your help and sharing your knowledge and experience.
regards
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#15
gerryf

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the server/service is free, but it must be installed on a windows 2000 server with sql server 2000 or better.

Here's more

http://www.microsoft...loads/WSUS.mspx

It does not push down third party patches
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