Automatically Running Program

This is a discussion on Automatically Running Program within the Windows Programming forums, part of the Platform Specific Boards category; H, I was wondering if anyone knew how to make your program run automatically, for example every Wednesday or something? ...

  1. #1
    Registered User mikeman118's Avatar
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    Automatically Running Program

    H,

    I was wondering if anyone knew how to make your program run automatically, for example every Wednesday or something? I know I could schedule a task inside Windows, and I could do that if there was no other way, but I was hoping that I could do it inside the program. Doe s anyone know of a way? Thanks.

    BTW, I also wanted to say that I'm not going to use this for a virus type thing or anything like that. I'd like it to create a backup of some files every week, and I'd like to do that without an external program. I just thought I'd clarify that because I know that asking questions like this can sometimes lead to trouble...

  2. #2
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    In short, somethign has to be running in order to tell your program to run. The most common way to do this is to have your program run at startup by puttign it into the startup folder, and write a timer function that checks the system time every minute or so. If its not whatever time you want it to run, it does nothing, if it is the right time, then it does whatever you want. This si allpretty basic windows programming.

    in your WM_CREATE case -
    Code:
    TimerId = SetTimer(hwnd , 1 , 60000 , NULL);
    then create a WM_TIMER case -
    Code:
    if(ItsTime){
         // your code goes here
         }
    There are 'fancier' ways to do this, but Im guessing you are just getting into windows programming, so Ill spare you teh information overload.
    Last edited by abachler; 10-30-2007 at 03:48 PM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    Well really operating systems are built to do that, ya know. It's the program that manages the system, therefore does it not make sense for it to be handling scheduling?

    If your logic must remain so elegantly twisted then consider a small watcher program (a service) that sits there and periodically queries the date. If the date matches what you're looking for, launch the main program.

    If you're gonna do this, can I pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasePLEASE suggest that you name the watcher program something sensible, that way it doesn't end up getting mentioned on every spyware forum in the world...

  4. #4
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    I would not recommend a beginner try to do this with a system service. A mistake in a system service can crash the OS so bad you have to reformat your hard drive and reinstall windows. A bad pointer in a user level program just causes windows to shut down the offending program, a bad pointer in a kernel mode program does whatever it wants.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  5. #5
    pwns nooblars
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    You mean D347H53RV1C3.exe isn't a good name for my watcher service?

  6. #6
    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    I would not recommend a beginner try to do this with a system service. A mistake in a system service can crash the OS so bad you have to reformat your hard drive and reinstall windows. A bad pointer in a user level program just causes windows to shut down the offending program, a bad pointer in a kernel mode program does whatever it wants.
    A service doesn't have to run in kernel mode.

  7. #7
    Madly in anger with you
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    or you can simply use the "at" command to run your program at a specific date/time. just open up the console and enter "at /?" to get it's usage instructions. note the "/every:date" argument.

    if you wanted to do this from inside your program simply use CreateProcess or ShellExecute to execute the command.
    Last edited by Bleech; 10-30-2007 at 09:50 PM.

  8. #8
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    My hat is off to you, never knew about that command before. We need a points system on this board like they have over at some other boards, like the one where my title is Legendary Pharmer

    Couple questions though, how do you see what tasks are scheduled and how do you remove them?

    Guess I need to do a refresher on my command line commands.
    Last edited by abachler; 10-31-2007 at 08:06 AM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  9. #9
    Kernel hacker
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    Control panel "scheduled tasks" will show that. You can also right-click there to add new tasks with the GUI instead of using the "at" command [if you prefer GUI].

    --
    Mats
    Compilers can produce warnings - make the compiler programmers happy: Use them!
    Please don't PM me for help - and no, I don't do help over instant messengers.

  10. #10
    Frequently Quite Prolix dwks's Avatar
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    My hat is off to you, never knew about that command before.
    It's yet another Linux command that Windows decided to adopt.

    One thing I never liked about the Windows task scheduling, however, is that the computer has to be on for the task to execute. (At least it did the last time I tried it, with Windows 98, and it probably hasn't changed since then.) So if you decide not to turn on your computer on Wednesday, the backup won't happen. That might be a problem.

    Here's one way you could fix it. Schedule your program to run on Wednesday at a given time. Write your code so that it records the last time you did a backup. Then write a program that executes on startup which checks this time -- if it was over a week ago, do a backup immediately.

    Or, depending on how you want your backups set up, you could then schedule the next backup to be exactly a week from now -- making your backups at least 7 days apart. The disadvantage of this, of course, is that a backup might happen all of a sudden when you're in the middle of something, instead of predictably on Wednesday.
    dwk

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwks View Post
    It's yet another Linux command that Windows decided to adopt.

    One thing I never liked about the Windows task scheduling, however, is that the computer has to be on for the task to execute. (At least it did the last time I tried it, with Windows 98, and it probably hasn't changed since then.) So if you decide not to turn on your computer on Wednesday, the backup won't happen. That might be a problem.
    Technically, the "at" command existed in Unix a long time before Linus wrote the first line of Linux, but yes, it's existed in Linux/Unix for a long time.

    The point about the machine having to be on will have to be, right? If you pull the power out of the wall [on a non-laptop], how would the machine be able to do something? Ok, so you may say that you could have it switch on, if the power is plugged in, but as far as I know, there's no standardized functionality to do that - there is "Wake-On-Lan" and such remote wake-up mechanisms, but as far as I know, there's no "set the system to power on at Wednesday 7th Nov 23:00" - and it would have to be "AutoLogon as user X" too.

    --
    Mats
    Compilers can produce warnings - make the compiler programmers happy: Use them!
    Please don't PM me for help - and no, I don't do help over instant messengers.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by matsp View Post
    Control panel "scheduled tasks" will show that.
    easy to do programatically...

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