A free schtasks.exe equivalent for XP Home edition

It’s funny how one stumbles upon the finer differences between XP Home and XP Professional once in a while. Every good geek knows the biggest limits to XP Home such as no ability to join a corporate network, no Remote Desktop, and no encrypted file system (EFS).  But who knew about a tiny utility that will run a Windows Scheduled Task from the command line? That would be “schtasks.exe”, and it’s not included in XP Home.

The background: I needed a Limited User in Windows to be able to do something requiring Administrative permissions.  There are a few ways to do this, but in this situation, running a scheduled task was the obvious best choice because the task was already there as an overnight maintenance job.

A quick Google search for “run scheduled task from command line” will lead you to the aforementioned schtasks tool.  Well, I could copy the file from an XP Pro workstation, but that would violate Microsoft’s copywrite.

Fortunately, more searching will turn up a reference to an old MS tool “jt.exe” from it’s Windows 2000 Resource Kit.  You can get individual tools from the W2K ResKit here: ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/reskit/win2000/. The license to JT and is much more permissive.  You’re free to use it, but at your own risk.

The “JT” syntax is not straight forward to me.  But these the two examples will probably help:

This lists all tasks: jt.exe /se

This will run (“activate”?) a task (you do not need to include the .job in the TaskName): jt.exe /sac TaskName /rj

On the XP Home Edition computer I was setting this on, the Limited User could run all the scheduled tasks, even when it couldn’t “see” the task in the list. YMMV.

One could  make this end-user friendly by wrapping a batch file around it and put an icon with a link to your script on the Desktop.

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