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I need to schedule a "net stop" and "net start" action on Win2003 Server so our backups can run properly. I can use the windows scheduler, but that that requires me to enter login credentials. I fear the risk that the scheduler stops working if I change my password. Can I get this to run as Network Service instead?

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I don't think you can run a scheduled task as the built-in "Network Service" account, but you can definitely run it using the "System" account. In the task's "Run as" box, type "system" without the quotes, and accept a blank password when prompted. If done correctly you should see "NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM" listed in the "Run as" box when you view the task's properties.

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Running as SYSTEM is exactly what I wanted. Thank you very much. –  Simon Fredriksson Feb 11 '11 at 11:22
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Create a new service account specifically for this and set the password to not expire. Give the account only the rights needed to perform your operation.

Also depending on your backup software you can likely enable pre and post steps for backup operations and that may be a better place to do it.

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