Scheduler wakes, doesn't wait for task to end, then goes back to s

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Performance' started by Pete Furtado, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. Pete Furtado

    Pete Furtado Guest

    I have a task to run an executable. I have it set to run whether the user is
    logged in or not, run with the highest privileges, wake the computer to run
    this task, stop the task if it runs longer than 8 hours. It runs at 1am. The
    task wakes the computer up at 1am fine, starts the executable, then puts the
    computer back to sleep without waiting for the executable (a VS2005 SP1 C#
    program I created) to complete. When I wake the computer in the morning, the
    executable resumes.

    What is up with this? Why can't the task scheduler wait until the task it
    spawned finishes? My vista installation was an upgrade from XP Pro. But I
    created the task (several times) from scratch in Vista. I also recompiled the
    executable in Vista.

    I have also tried the task in both "Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or
    Windows 2000" mode and in "Windows Vista" mode.

    This is a huuuuuge step backward for me. I would appreciate any help anyone
    can offer for this.
    Pete Furtado, Mar 17, 2007
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  2. On Sat, 17 Mar 2007 07:10:10 -0700, Pete Furtado <Pete
    Is the PC set to "suspend" after some time of inactivity?

    If so, turn that off - as that may cut in just because there's no
    keyboard or mouse activity going on.

    Are there any settings within the Task's properties to control this
    sort of behavior?

    Saws are too hard to use.
    Be easier to use!
    cquirke (MVP Windows shell/user), Mar 20, 2007
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  3. Pete Furtado

    Pete Furtado Guest

    Thanks for the reply.

    It is set to go into standby after 2 hours. But it seems to go right back to
    sleep after spawning the task. My executable writes informational messages to
    the event log and I see it writing messages for about 30 seconds to a minute,
    then nothing. I'm assuming that is when the machine goes back into standby.

    I will double-check this tonight, though, and change the power scheme to
    just leave the machine on all night and see what happens.

    I can't find any other settings in the task's properties other than what I
    stated in my original post. If there's some "hidden" ones, I'm dying to find

    I'll update this thread tomorrow with the results.

    Thanks again.
    Pete Furtado, Mar 20, 2007
  4. Pete Furtado

    Adam Guest

    I will double-check this tonight, though, and change the power scheme to
    Hi Pete,

    Did you find a sollution to this? I'm having the same problem, although
    only with a batch file which backs up some files. It normally takes around
    15 to 20 minutes to run, but I can see from the event log that although the
    Vista machine wakes up fine, it goes back into standby after about 7 or 8
    minutes. My power settings tell the PC to go into standby after 1 hour.

    I can't see a "keep machine awake while running task" option in the task
    scheduler, which is exactly what I want.

    Adam, Mar 22, 2007
  5. Pete Furtado

    Pete Furtado Guest


    This is just unbelievable to me! You would think that with all the talk
    about power saving and global warming, the LEAST that Microsoft could do
    would be to make a task scheduler that actually allows you to leave your
    computer in standby mode and only wake up to run a job or two and then go
    back to sleep. They had it right in XP pro, before I upgraded my machine to
    Visita this stuff worked flawlessly in XP Pro.

    Unless I find an answer to this, I won't be upgrading my Media Center 2005
    box to Vista, because I have that box in standby 20 hours a day and waking
    up and recording, etc.

    Okay, now that my ranting is done, I just say that if I find anything out,
    I'll post it here. And if anyone has an answer to this, please let us know!

    Thanks. Pete
    Pete Furtado, Mar 23, 2007
  6. Pete Furtado

    Adds Guest

    Humm... It's certainly annoying.

    I haven't been able to find out anything about it, dispite spending several
    hours on Google. All I've found so far is

    Which says "Task Scheduler wakes the machine to run the tasks and allows it
    to return to standby or hibernation when the task is complete, saving energy
    while still ensuring that critical tasks run on time."

    And our systems obviosuly aren't working like that - They're returning to
    standby mode before the task completes.

    I'll keep looking, and will post back here if I find anything.

    Adds, Mar 23, 2007
  7. Pete Furtado

    Adds Guest

    I think I might have found away around this, although not ideal.

    In my batch file, I'm running powercfg first to set the PC into "High
    Performance" mode (powercfg /? will give the options). I then set it back
    to my normal power mode after the batch file has complete.

    I have to admit that I haven't given it long enough to test properly, but it
    appears to work.

    Not ideal I know, but at least it might be a work around.

    Adds, Mar 29, 2007
  8. Pete Furtado

    Pete Furtado Guest

    Interesting idea. I got so disgusted with this problem that I gave up for a

    Anyway, how has it worked for you? I will try this myself in the next couple
    of days. Thanks!
    Pete Furtado, Apr 8, 2007
  9. Pete Furtado

    clayga Guest

    I've got two Vista machines doing this as well. Using a batch file to switch
    to high performance mode where sleep is set to "never" before the task runs
    doesn't fix the problem. Both machines drop back to sleep within a minute or
    two of task start regardless of power mode. I originally ran across this
    problem with defrag and thought it might have to do with the fact that defrag
    does low-priority (background) I/O, but I've reproduced the problem with
    several different disk I/O intensive tasks that use normal priority I/O so
    that's not it (and just in case anybody is wondering: removing the -i switch
    on defrag has no affect either).

    Looks like a Vista power management bug to me. Windows has certainly had
    it's fair share of these over the years. Lets hope the bug gets fixed in SP1
    or (hopefully) sooner in an update.

    Clayton Gautier
    clayga, Jul 1, 2007
  10. Pete Furtado

    clayga Guest

    In case anyone still cares about this issue, I've come up with a work-around.
    It involves the Win32 API function SetThreadExecutionState (kernel32.dll).
    You can find the details on the web, but basically, Windows can be forced to
    stay awake while a process runs by sandwiching the process between two
    SetThreadExecutionState calls (with different arguments for the calls). The
    sandwiching can be implemented in a variety of ways - I chose to create an
    executable, named StayAwakeExec in VB 2005 Express Edition (free) that does
    the following:

    1) makes the first call to SetThreadExecutionState to block sleep
    2) spawns an executable passed in as a command line argument
    3) makes the second call to SetThreadExecutionState to allow sleep after
    the spawned executable exits

    Note that the "after the spawned executable exits" part of Step 3 is
    implemented by calling Process.WaitForExit() for the spawned executable.

    I've successfully used StayAwakeExec to spawn defrag.exe with a task that
    wakes the computer at 1AM. The computer now wakes, runs defrag to
    completion, and then goes back to sleep immediately after the defrag finishes
    (as verified by the system log file).

    I was hoping that the latest Vista performance and reliability patches
    (KB938194 and KB938979) would fix the bug, design flaw - whatever you want to
    call it - that made this workaround necessary, but alas, twas not so. I
    tested both my systems after installing these patches and Vista still falls
    asleep almost exactly 2 minutes after a scheduled task wakes the computer
    regardless of whether the task is done. My expectation (and I'm pretty sure
    most people would agree) is if you check the "Wake the computer to run this
    task" checkbox on the Conditions tab in Task Schedular, Windows should stay
    awake until the task is complete. It should be a simple matter for an MS
    developer to add to the task schedular service the sandwiching calls to
    SetThreadExecutionState to prevent sleep if "Wake the computer to run this
    task" is checked. Hopefully SP1 will have this fix.
    clayga, Aug 12, 2007
  11. Pete Furtado

    Pete Furtado Guest

    Thanks for the tip, clayga! That works most of the time on my pc. I did
    basically the same thing, i have a separate executable calling
    SetThreadExecutionState, and then I just call that first from vbscript, do
    anything else I need to do via vbscript, then kill that task and exit the

    Sorry for the late reply. I couldn't log into this site for a while for some

    I still have more problems with this stupid Vista task scheduler. Sometimes
    tasks just don't run. Yes, yes, i know all the options to wake computer to
    run this task, and run whether user is logged on or not. They just did a
    really, really bad implementation of the task scheduler in Vista. I hope they
    fix it one of these days.

    Thanks again!

    Pete Furtado
    Pete Furtado, Oct 3, 2007
  12. Pete Furtado

    Polo Guest

    Having the same problem with Vista Ultimate 32 bit, but that vb scrip
    stuff is way over my head..
    Polo, Jun 9, 2008
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