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This question already has an answer here:

How do i configure a scheduled task to run as NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService in Windows Server 2003?

Background

Even though the account is known as NetworkService, the full name is NT AUTHORITY\Network Service.

On Windows Server 2008 R2, when choosing the account to run the task as, you must specify:

  • NETWORK SERVICE (with a space)

That will then resolve to NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService (no space):

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Note: You cannot try to specify NetworkService

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Nor can you specify NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService.

In summary:

  • NETWORK SERVICE valid
  • NetworkService invalid
  • NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService invalid

The same is true on Windows 7. You must specify NETWORK SERVICE if you wish for a scheduled task to run as NetworkService (aka NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService)

What about Windows Server 2003?

In Windows Server 2003 it doesn't work:

enter image description here

i know that any password given for the Network Service (or Local Service) accounts are ignored, as the accounts have no password:

Note that this account does not have a password, so any password information that you provide in this call is ignored.

But i cannot specify that account:

enter image description here

  • NETWORK SERVICE invalid
  • NetworkService invalid
  • NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService invalid

NetworkService security

The NetworkService account, like LocalService, are limited rights accounts. The only difference between them is that:

  • NetworkService presents machine credentials (e.g. VADER$) when accessing the network
  • LocalService presents anonymous credentials when accessing the network

My question works just as well if i want to have a scheduled task run as LocalService (aka NT AUTHORITY\LocalService). i just happened to choose NetworkService when asking this question.

See the question:

How to grant network access to LocalSystem account?

How do i configure a scheduled task to run as NT AUTHORITY\Network Service in Windows Server 2003?

Bonus Reading

merged by Chris S Sep 23 '13 at 17:40

This question was merged with Is it possible for a Scheduled Task to run as NETWORK SERVICE? because it is an exact duplicate of that question.