Use Task Scheduler to start then stop SkyDrive

There are times when I don’t want SkyDrive to be running all the time for two reasons:

  1. I don’t want it to affect my boot up time
  2. I want to minimize network traffic
    But, I do want it to start at a certain time, let it do its work, then exit out.

I found a way to do this by using a built-in Windows 8 program called Task Scheduler.  Here are the steps to do it.

1. Type “Schedule Tasks” in the Windows 8 Start Screen

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2. A window called Task Scheduler appears on the desktop.  Left-click on Create Basic Task

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3. A window called Create Task appears.  Name the task you want to create.  In this example, I called it User_Created_Sync_SkyDrive.  Any tasks I create will always start with User_Created so that it is easier for me to distinguish the tasks that I created versus the tasks that Windows has created already.  Then, enter a short description of what the task does to remind you what the task is supposed to do.

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4. Left-click on the Triggers tab, left-click on the New button…

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… and fill in the following options – see the green boxes below.

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5. Left-click on the Actions tab then left-click on the New…button

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A window called New Action pops up.  Make sure the Action is Start a program.  Then, left-click the Browse…button.

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Point to where the SkyDrive executable is located.  You should be able to find it under your user name/AppData/Local/Microsoft/SkyDrive.  Left-click on SkyDrive.exe to select the program you want to start and it should appear in the File name: textbox.  Afterwards, left-click on the Open button.

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The result should look similar to this:

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Left-click on the OK  button.

Under the Conditions tab, ensure that you have the following settings, then left-click on the OK button.

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Under the Settings tab, ensure that you have the following settings, then left-click on the OK button.

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To see your newly scheduled task, left-click on Task Scheduler (Local)

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then left-click on the Task Scheduler Library

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Finally, left-click on File followed by a left-click on Exit to finish setting up the scheduled task.

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That’s all there is to it.  Good luck.

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Fresh Paint + Surface Pro : It makes a lot of sense now

I haven’t drawn in years.  The last time I drew anything was when I was in elementary school.

When I first downloaded Fresh Paint it was unto my Desktop PC because it was one of the first few apps that seemed interesting.  But even then, I didn’t use it much.  The App was clearly built for touch and it was awkward to use on the desktop.

I revisited the program but this time, I downloaded it on my Surface Pro and used it with a stylus.

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Black headed seagull

I’m going to keep practicing and learning techniques.  I have to tell you though, this is a lot of fun.  I’m really loving the technology.

What I Use – Desktop PC

This a system that I built in 2010 and at the time used Windows 7 Ultimate.  Now that Windows 8 Pro is installed, it runs faster and is lighter on memory that I don’t see any need for me to increase it at all in the future.  I’m actually pretty proud of this system.  The one I had before this was built in 2001/2002-ish based on an AMD Athlon 64 2600.  I was tight on cash back then so my budget was to be below $500.

The main reason I built this machine was because my wife bought me StarCraft 2 and I really wanted to play it at “Ultra” settings.  I decided to splurge a bit.  Although there is a lot of new and faster technology now, this machine is all I need.  This system is used for work, playing games, as a server for all my photos and music, as the Homegroup server for backups.

Logitech G5 Mouse image  
Logitech G110 image  
Dell 2407WFP-HC image  
EVGA GeForce GTX 570 image  
GigaByte X58A-UD3R Rev 2.0 Ultra Durable 3 Motherboard image
  • Contains Intel X58/ICH10R/rev.2.0
  • Socket 1366/PCI-E2.0 x 16
  • ATX
  • 6 DDR3/8-CH HD Audio/1394
  • GbE LAN
  • 2 SATA 6 Gb/s
  • 2 USB 3.0
  • 6GB 3x2GB DDR3 Corsair Dominator image  
    Seagate Barracuda ST32000641AS 2 TB image  
    Thermaltake TR2 RX 750W Power Supply image  
    Intel Core i7 CPU 950 @ 3.06 GHz image  
    ASUS Xonar D1 Sound Card image  

    All this time, it was just a lose power connection…

    For the longest time, whenever I powered on my desktop PC, it wouldn’t boot properly… sometimes.  It would turn on, go through the BIOS stuff (i.e., check memory, recognize drives, etc.), boot to the Windows icon, then immediately turn off.  Then, after I press the power button again, it boots just fine.

    Initially I blamed a lot of things.  I blamed the computer’s age, the Operating System, the motherboard.  What about the Graphics Card and its driver?  Hard Disk finally crapping out?

    Possible solutions abounded. Do I need to build a new computer?  Should I buy a new part for this or that?  Even though a didn’t know what the nature of the problem was.

    I just built this system in 2010.  It should last me more than 10 years.

    I kept on looking at the Event Viewer.  It kept on saying ..

    Kernel Power 

    The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly.

    I suspected the power supply to be the culprit.  Maybe I didn’t provide enough power for my home-built system or it was just going bad.  This problem was starting to occur more often.  So, today, I really considered getting a new power supply – you know those expensive $100-$200 ones.

    I opened up my computer, checked the wattage (750W), and vacuumed up the dust inside the case.  The heat sink/fan on the CPU was really dusty.  I removed the power cable and reconnected it.

    Lo’ and behold, the machine boots up without any problems!  It had to be a lose power connection to the power supply.  I just saved myself $100 or $200..

    Stardock Start8 + Stardock ModernMix – a great combination

    Well, its been a while since I’ve written an article.  I’ve been so busy with work.  I’m back on my desktop today for two reasons:  StarCraft 2 and a better graphics experience.  My Surface Pro is a great, all-around tablet, laptop, and desktop computer.  Its even great as a notebook using OneNote + Stylus.  Its my go-to computer – my main computer.  However, if you want a truly engaging gaming experience, a desktop PC with an NVidia card can’t be beat.  The Surface Pro generates 1920 x 1080 while my desktop generates 1920 x 1200.  Pretty impressive for the Surface Pro.  However, I want to play with the highest “Ultra” StarCraft 2 settings and the NVidia GeForce 570 in my desktop just cranks away giving me all the beautiful effects that Blizzard programmers and artists created.

    But I”m digressing.  I really want to talk about Start 8 and ModernMix and why they are valuable to me – now that I”m using my desktop more often.  I realized that when using a desktop PC switching from Desktop to Start Screen can be visually jarring.    Every time I want to run a program, I have to go from Desktop to Start Screen to run a program only to have the program run back in the Desktop.  I’d prefer to always stay in the Desktop if I’m using my desktop PC. 

    This is where Stardock’s Start8 and ModernMix come in.

    With Start 8, I can start programs or look for files simply by pressing the Windows button and typing the program or file that I want.  The same behavior as its been in previous versions of Windows.  Then, if I want to use applications to read news, look at traffic maps, I can still use the Modern programs.

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    I wish Microsoft had built-in a Start menu and ModernMix instead of a 3rd party but it is what it is.  I’m not going to let that stop me from using the latest operating system with the latest features.  So, for all you Windows 8 users out there, give Stardock’s Start8 and ModernMix a try.  They offer a free 30-day trial period.  Trust me, both programs are a great combination.

    Compatibility troubleshooter in Windows 8

    When I used NX Client on my Windows 8 Pro 64-bit computer, I was getting the following errors and I finally found a way to fix it.  I’m posting it here hoping it would save other people the trouble of finding a solution.

    Problem:

    The error message I was getting from Reliability Monitor was this:

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    Basically, whenever I started NX Client, I would get these errors (see box in green with rows stating “NXWin.exe  Stopped working”).

    Left clicking on any of the rows, it shows this:

    Source
    NXWin.exe

    Summary
    Stopped working

    Date
    ‎8/‎2/‎2013 5:51 PM

    Status
    Report sent

    Description
    Faulting Application Path:    C:\Program Files (x86)\NX Client for Windows\bin\NXWin.exe

    Problem signature
    Problem Event Name:    APPCRASH
    Application Name:    NXWin.exe
    Application Version:    0.0.0.0
    Application Timestamp:    4fc77b52
    Fault Module Name:    HsSrv.dll
    Fault Module Version:    1.0.12.106
    Fault Module Timestamp:    4f064d85
    Exception Code:    c0000005
    Exception Offset:    0000b481
    OS Version:    6.2.9200.2.0.0.256.48
    Locale ID:    1033
    Additional Information 1:    4125
    Additional Information 2:    4125b231bd3ddf9861e263612899c963
    Additional Information 3:    a667
    Additional Information 4:    a6676e506b7760b265f7e9897a1ec304

    Extra information about the problem
    Bucket ID:    70197882306108d625b9ca84af3fdad5 (-1102094631)

    Solution:

    The solution I found was to run a built-in Windows 8 program called Compatibility Troubleshooter. This program isn’t started by simply typing the words “Compatibiilty Troubleshooter” in the Windows 8 Start Screen.  You have to find the applications executable (i.e., files with the “.exe” extension) and right-click on it.  Let me show you how this is done.  I’ll use my failing NX Client program as an example.

    First, find the application’s executable file.  For NX Client, I type “NX Client” on the Start Screen

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    Right-click on the the program and a task bar on the bottom of the screen shows up.

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    Left-click on Open File Location.  This is so that I can go the the directory where the program is located.

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    After left-clicking on Open File Location, Windows 8 starts Explorer on the Desktop and displays the directory where the program can be found.

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    Right-click on the program to show a drop-down menu, then left-click on “Troubleshoot compatibility”

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    Windows 8 will begin to figure out what the best settings are to run the program..

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    Once Windows 8 figures it out, left-click on Try recommended settings

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    Windows 8 offers you the option the try out the new settings by left-clicking on the button labeled Test the program.

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    I didn’t show a screenshot of the program actually running.  However, I know the problem went away in Reliability Monitor because normally another row of “NXWin.exe  Stopped working” would show up at the same time as I would run NX Client.  If the program wasn’t working properly, we would see an entry stating “NXWin.exe   Stopped working at today’s date on 6:06 PM”.  But since it didn’t show up, I know the problem has been fixed.

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    Now that things are working fine, left-click on Yes, save these settings for the program.

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    And last of all, left-click on Close the troubleshooter.

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    That’s it. 

    I’m really glad someone at Microsoft thought this one up and created it.  I hope you find this useful and have a good day!