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All of my scheduled task images are corrupted or tampered with?

    Question

  • I recently went into my Task Scheduler to check things out. As soon as I entered the Task Scheduler I was greeted with multiple messages saying "The task image is corrupted or been tampered with"! Each one referred to a different task name, and I counted 34 of them as I clicked OK on each one. I don't know if that is all of my tasks, or some subset of them, as I haven't really looked at the Task Scheduler until now.

    So I researched this message, and found a couple of other Microsoft forum entries about this, but I don't think either are relevant to me.  The first one was a message on Windows Vista, and I'm running Windows 7. Also the solution in this one was to delete a couple of tasks, and re-add them. I don't think I should be deleting 34 tasks!

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/itprovistadesktopui/thread/d24a6af9-4c42-4507-9562-fdf466c9d707

    Another article was about Windows Server 2008 and they too experienced a corruption on all tasks. However, the solution was to remove some patch, which I'm pretty sure is not relevant on Windows 7:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserversecurity/thread/20922803-5afc-43f1-91a3-394aeb9d6d19

    Now, I have recently added SP1 to my Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, about 1 week ago. I don't know if one of the patches installed with SP1 could have done it, and I have nothing to compare it against, as I hadn't looked at Task Scheduler until recently. So I wouldn't know if the problem existed prior to the SP1 or not.  Any ideas what's going on here?


    Yousuf Khan

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011 9:09 PM

Answers

  • Each message should have a timestamp which you could compare against the SP1 install date.  Having said that, SP1 has been remarkably clean in my experience, and many if not most posts regarding "SP1 broke my XXXX" seem to be something completely different. 

    Other than that, I've got nothing for you, hope it works out and a definative cause is found, nothing worse then an unjustified, unexplained "scrogging" of important functionality.

    DAS


    It looks like the SP1 install was most likely responsible for this issue. All of the tasks that have had this problem have a timestamp of Mar 24th, 2011 11:18PM, which is the day I had installed the SP1. It would be interesting to see if other people had the same issue after installing their SP1, but they don't know about it yet. As it turns out, not all of my tasks were corrupted, but at least a good 40% of them were. The final count, there were 33 corrupt tasks, but more than 40 others which were not affected. I assume that the tasks that were affected were tasks that Windows itself installs during a fresh install.

    Doing a search on one of the patches mentioned that cause this issue, it sent me to the following Microsoft Support Article:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2305420#top

    This article has a section showing you how to fix up the problem created by this patch, under the section "Known Issues". It involves re-importing the tasks one-by-one, so it's a bit tedious, especially if you are reimporting over 30 of them. But it works perfectly, I've already reimported 10 of them.


    Yousuf Khan
    • Marked as answer by yjkhan Friday, April 01, 2011 11:28 PM
    Friday, April 01, 2011 11:28 PM

All replies

  • First run CHKDSK to make sure there is no disk errors

    Then I suggest making a new scheduled task and see if that is working.

    Scan you system for malware, Microsoft Security Essentials is my favorite, see my IT site for links


    Okay, no problems with disk errors. I did create a little trivial message display task, and it worked properly. System is malware-free.

    Yousuf Khan
    Wednesday, March 30, 2011 3:17 AM
  • Guess you will need to recreate them all over.

    I push MSE as its free for XP up with no expiry

     

    If you manage to get eveyrthing worrking properly, you might want to clone the disk so if there is a problem you can copy it back

     

    see my it white papers

    The problem is I don't know what all of these tasks were doing. They were all created by Windows or various apps, and the only reason I found out that they were corrupt was because I went in to inspect them. Can I read the actions in these task images directly with a text reader or something, to recreate them?


    Yousuf Khan
    Wednesday, March 30, 2011 4:54 AM
  • Each message should have a timestamp which you could compare against the SP1 install date.  Having said that, SP1 has been remarkably clean in my experience, and many if not most posts regarding "SP1 broke my XXXX" seem to be something completely different. 

    Other than that, I've got nothing for you, hope it works out and a definative cause is found, nothing worse then an unjustified, unexplained "scrogging" of important functionality.

    DAS

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011 1:55 PM
  • Each message should have a timestamp which you could compare against the SP1 install date.  Having said that, SP1 has been remarkably clean in my experience, and many if not most posts regarding "SP1 broke my XXXX" seem to be something completely different. 

    Other than that, I've got nothing for you, hope it works out and a definative cause is found, nothing worse then an unjustified, unexplained "scrogging" of important functionality.

    DAS


    It looks like the SP1 install was most likely responsible for this issue. All of the tasks that have had this problem have a timestamp of Mar 24th, 2011 11:18PM, which is the day I had installed the SP1. It would be interesting to see if other people had the same issue after installing their SP1, but they don't know about it yet. As it turns out, not all of my tasks were corrupted, but at least a good 40% of them were. The final count, there were 33 corrupt tasks, but more than 40 others which were not affected. I assume that the tasks that were affected were tasks that Windows itself installs during a fresh install.

    Doing a search on one of the patches mentioned that cause this issue, it sent me to the following Microsoft Support Article:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2305420#top

    This article has a section showing you how to fix up the problem created by this patch, under the section "Known Issues". It involves re-importing the tasks one-by-one, so it's a bit tedious, especially if you are reimporting over 30 of them. But it works perfectly, I've already reimported 10 of them.


    Yousuf Khan
    • Marked as answer by yjkhan Friday, April 01, 2011 11:28 PM
    Friday, April 01, 2011 11:28 PM
  • I hope that truly works for you, each mention in the article is for Vista and/or Server 2008.  I'd be a lot more comfortable if it specifically mentioned Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.

    Did you have any issues of any kind during the install of SP1 that caused you to restart due to a hang or anything?  SP1 was a super smooth install for myself and everyone I know, and I went the extra mile and created images (Acronis) for them just to make sure I would have a way back in case it went wrong. 

    My brother was one of the folks caught by the infamous HP screwup which caused endless reboot loops with XP SP3 installation on AMD based machines.  (HP used the same production image for AMD & Intel based machines, a terrible violation of accepted practice).  Anyway, he was justifiably terrified of installing Win7 SP1, but he did an image, installed SP1 without issue, and hasn't had issue one since.

    I guess the takeaway from this is I don't consider a system complete unless you have a full image to restore from in case things go wrong.  Yes, I know Acronis costs money and it does "hurt" to pay more money after buying an already too expensive upgrade (or full retail) from Microsoft, but my time is worth money to me, I don't want to spend hours or days "fixing" something, wondering from that point forward it the method I adopted was going to come back and bite me.

    Best of luck with it,

    DAS

    Saturday, April 02, 2011 2:12 PM
  • I hope that truly works for you, each mention in the article is for Vista and/or Server 2008. I'd be a lot more comfortable if it specifically mentioned Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.

    Yeah, it did work, I finished fixing up the 33 errors one-by-one in about 2 hours last night (not including breaks). I created a little spreadsheet with the name of the task image and its associated registry GUID, and once you get used to it, it eventually became a cut'n'paste exercise.

    Ignore the patches referred to in the article, the workaround section procedure for getting the task images working again is quite generic. In fact, Microsoft should release that procedure in a separate article, it's useful on its own.

    Did you have any issues of any kind during the install of SP1 that caused you to restart due to a hang or anything? SP1 was a super smooth install for myself and everyone I know, and I went the extra mile and created images (Acronis) for them just to make sure I would have a way back in case it went wrong.

    Ho boy, did I!? Wow, I could write a book with chapters on all of the problems I had. Along the way, I learned the value of keeping your system partition as small as possible, keeping as little personal data as possible, because that makes it easier to backup and restore later. My boot drive used to be a 1TB single partition, with over 800GB filled at one time! So even if you have a huge boot drive, partition it separately for the system and data; since it's critical to backup your system partition often, so keep it small. With a huge amount of data to backup, you also don't feel like backing up as often, since it's always a struggle to find enough space to accommodate it: you might find yourself only doing a backup once every 3 to 6 months, rather than weekly. Eventually, while I was struggling to install the SP1 on this system, I was doing images once or twice a day! Along the way, I managed to repartition the system partition down to 1/5th of its original size. Now I got a weekly automated procedure setup for imaging using Macrium Reflect.

    Anyways, I still couldn't get the SP1 standalone to install on this system after all of this effort, until I finally did an In-Place Restore Upgrade to the system. Basically this is simply reinstalling from the original Windows 7 CD, thus removing all patches applied up until this point. This procedure lets you keep your existing programs installed and unchanged. After this, the SP1 standalone installation worked properly. The system is actually now surprisingly responsive, after removing all of the old patches. These old patches still exist but they have been installed fresh through the SP1 standalone. It literally boots up in half the time now.

    My brother was one of the folks caught by the infamous HP screwup which caused endless reboot loops with XP SP3 installation on AMD based machines. (HP used the same production image for AMD & Intel based machines, a terrible violation of accepted practice). Anyway, he was justifiably terrified of installing Win7 SP1, but he did an image, installed SP1 without issue, and hasn't had issue one since.
    I had a similar issue early on during this nightmare install. When I first installed the SP1 standalone, it would do an initial patch application procedure, and then reboot the computer to finish off the remaining patch applications. You'd see it counting through something like 300,000 procedures, but somewhere around the 100,000th patch it would get stuck! You reboot, and all it would do is restart the patch application procedure from the beginning again! It would always get stuck in the exact same place endlessly, so I had to restore from an image. Fortunately this computer also has Linux installed on it, so I was able to keep researching the problem while the Windows was down.

    Yousuf Khan
    Saturday, April 02, 2011 4:02 PM
  • Each message should have a timestamp which you could compare against the SP1 install date.  Having said that, SP1 has been remarkably clean in my experience, and many if not most posts regarding "SP1 broke my XXXX" seem to be something completely different. 

    Other than that, I've got nothing for you, hope it works out and a definative cause is found, nothing worse then an unjustified, unexplained "scrogging" of important functionality.

    DAS


    It looks like the SP1 install was most likely responsible for this issue. All of the tasks that have had this problem have a timestamp of Mar 24th, 2011 11:18PM, which is the day I had installed the SP1. It would be interesting to see if other people had the same issue after installing their SP1, but they don't know about it yet. As it turns out, not all of my tasks were corrupted, but at least a good 40% of them were. The final count, there were 33 corrupt tasks, but more than 40 others which were not affected. I assume that the tasks that were affected were tasks that Windows itself installs during a fresh install.

    Doing a search on one of the patches mentioned that cause this issue, it sent me to the following Microsoft Support Article:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2305420#top

    This article has a section showing you how to fix up the problem created by this patch, under the section "Known Issues". It involves re-importing the tasks one-by-one, so it's a bit tedious, especially if you are reimporting over 30 of them. But it works perfectly, I've already reimported 10 of them.


    Yousuf Khan


    I can attest that Win 7 SP1 is the fault. Why is this happening??

    I dont like this fix either at it takes a lot of effort and I am not comfortable hacking the registry.  Even so, I have no idea which task is corrupted. I must have 50-60 tasks or so.


    i know for a fact SP1 is at fault here because I got fed up and reinstalled Win 7 and everything was fine. I also couldnt see anything in Event Viewer under my main profile but any other profile is fine with Admin Priv. I even tried to change the name of my profile, changing from adminstrator to standard and back again. nothing helped.

    I plan to open up a separtate thread on MMC and the snap-in issues I am getting, unless someone can point me to the right direction here?

     



    Saturday, May 07, 2011 11:25 PM
  • I can attest that Win 7 SP1 is the fault. Why is this happening??

    I dont like this fix either at it takes a lot of effort and I am not comfortable hacking the registry.  Even so, I have no idea which task is corrupted. I must have 50-60 tasks or so.


    i know for a fact SP1 is at fault here because I got fed up and reinstalled Win 7 and everything was fine. I also couldnt see anything in Event Viewer under my main profile but any other profile is fine with Admin Priv. I even tried to change the name of my profile, changing from adminstrator to standard and back again. nothing helped.

    I plan to open up a separtate thread on MMC and the snap-in issues I am getting, unless someone can point me to the right direction here?

    I have no answer for why this happened at all, either. The only thing I know for sure is that SP1 was responsible because that's what the timestamps showed. I noticed this week that Microsoft released at least a couple of patches to do with fixing up severe problems people were having during the installation of SP1, and I could see that I ran into both of those problems on my installation. However, I didn't have these patches available when I most needed them, so I found an alternative way of installing the SP1. I think Microsoft may not have thoroughly tested everything when they released this service pack, since it was a really large SP (1GB).

    Regarding how to go about fixing these tasks up, I can only give you my way. I created a little spreadsheet with a list of all of the tasknames and their GUID values inside the registry. Then  inside Regedit, I bookmarked the base locations of the registry hierarchy where I would need to come back to after each deletion, for example:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Schedule\TaskCache\Tree

    This way I would be able to remove all instances of the GUID, as described in the technote. The tasks would then get recreated under a new GUID. It's hard, and tedious, but if you organize yourself and get into a rhythm, then you can get it done really quickly. It only took me about 1.5 hours, as I recall.


    Yousuf Khan
    Saturday, May 14, 2011 8:39 PM
  • Hi,

    I upgraded Vista (Dell OEM) to Windows 7SP1 (Dell OEM) and then ran Windows updates, on august 31th. The upgrade went fine and the system has been running fine for a couple of weeks. No problem in particular with scheduled tasks.

    Then,  all of a sudden, no new update installed, I have a bunch of corrupted tasks. two of mine and some buit-in such as :

    • TMM
    • WSHReset
    • Reminders
    • GatherWiredInfo
    • GatherWirelessInfo

    Nothing to worry about apparently, but I had to manually fix them.

    I tried to revert to the system to the oldest restore point. No chance, tasks still corrupt.

    How on hell can a task become "corrupt" out of the blue ? My (RAID 1) disk is OK and I didn't temper with those tasks.

    The exact same thing occurred on another upgraded system (and is then likely to occur on all our upgraded system)

    Flabbergasting, really.



    • Edited by lolix2 Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:27 PM
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:21 PM