Arnout's Eclectica

But I digress…

Troubleshooting a scheduled task

28 November 2008 23:59 — Reminder,Troubleshooting,Windows

Earlier today, I was trying to run a batch file as a scheduled task, using a non-admin service account. It didn't work, but the scheduled tasks interface didn't provide a lot of info to go on.

After double-checking file system permissions, and running Filemon to try and figure out where stuff was failing, I found out that the task scheduler actually creates a log file. By default it seems to live at %SystemRoot%\Tasks\SchedLgU.Txt, but that location can be changed in the registry by modifying the LogPath value at HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SchedulingAgent.

That log file contained an error message (well, several...) that quickly lead me to Microsoft Knowledgebase article KB867466. Turns out that on Windows Server 2003 member servers, non-admin users running non-interactively don't have Read or Execute permissions to cmd.exe...

After fixing the permissions, the job ran fine.

That's when I discovered that the batch file was making some assumptions w.r.t. the user's regional settings, so I switched to a VBScript instead. If I'd done that in the first place, I wouldn't have had to spend 15 minutes fighting with the task scheduler, since the permissions issue doesn't apply to cscript.exe...

Oh well.

Debugging a printer

16 November 2008 19:28 — Uncategorized

Lately, our Canon S750 printer has started showing its age (nearly 6 years, which is not bad at all). It begun with a very sudden change in B&W print quality, which was mostly taken care of by cleaning the print head.

Today it stopped functioning altogether. It took me a while to notice that the printer light was alternating between green and orange (quite subtly so, at least to my colour blind eyes), but once I noticed that, a quick Google showed that it was suffering from a full waste-ink absorber.

That's not really a user-servicable part (I do software, not hardware...), but since the printer wasn't working anyway and I wasn't going to have it repaired, I thought I'd give it a try.

So: opened up the printer, spent some time figuring out which screws to unscrew, took out the sponge, rinsed, rinsed, rinsed, and rinsed some more, and cleaned up the sticky inky sludge that had collected at the bottom of the printer.

Am now waiting for the sponge to dry, so I'm not sure yet whether I fixed the problem or wrecked the printer completely. However, the reason for this post: while cleaning up my work area afterwards, I noticed that something had fallen out of the printer:

The Fly

I'm calling her Grace...

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