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I'd like to have a Scheduled Task (or a script of some sort) perform an automated interactive logon at a given time on Windows Server 2003.

The reason is in this question I've asked a short while ago: I need to automate an application but have not found a way to do so without a full graphical login, as if the user was actually connected to the desktop.

I'm not looking for RunAs: what I need is to force the Server to login a particular user, as if that user was on the console or in a Remote Desktop session in Terminal Services.

Thanks for any input.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

It sounds like you are looking for something like LogonExpert. I've never used the software, but they claim to have the ability to scheduled automatic logon and logoff events. From the website:

Scheduled automatic logon and scheduled logoff

LogonExpert provides you with powerful scheduling. You can set a simple delay before every logon, or plan a logon (and logoff) for any time in the future.

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Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try it and report if it's doing what I'm looking for. – Renaud Bompuis Jul 3 '09 at 1:18
Tried it and it's exactly what I needed to schedule a full interactive logon and logoff. Thanks! – Renaud Bompuis Jul 3 '09 at 23:58

AutoIT may fit your needs

"AutoIt v3 is a freeware BASIC-like scripting language designed for automating the Windows GUI and general scripting. It uses a combination of simulated keystrokes, mouse movement and window/control manipulation in order to automate tasks in a way not possible or reliable with other languages (e.g. VBScript and SendKeys). AutoIt is also very small, self-contained and will run on all versions of Windows out-of-the-box with no annoying "runtimes" required! "

Just seen your other question and others have already suggested it.

Very Convulated, but may work?

1) Schedule script that changes the automatic logon registry keys, and supplies special username and password

2) Script then reboots the computer (quite time for terminal server? 3am)

3) When computer boots back up autologon should work

4) Special user has a logon script that runs AutoIT, runs your automation stuff, then changes the automatic logon keys back to what they should be an logs off.

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