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Macro Stalls In The Night


Les Hazlett
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Hi,

 

I serched this sight for hibernate, sleep, and lock-computer and didn't find anyone else with my problem. I have a number of macros that are timer initiated that run without issue. When I try to run one at 6:00 AM before I get to work, it never runs. I wrote a simple logging macro that records the time of day in a file when it runs. It is set to run every 5 minutes.

 

At 5:00 Pm I left my XP Pro machine running but locking the computer using the Cntrl/Alt/Del Windows Security screen. This morning I discovered that the macro ran every 5 minutes until 1:10 AM and then not again until I got to work and unlocked the computer. Then it started to run again.

 

My Power Options - Properties

Monitor turn off: 2 hours

Hard disk turn off: Never

System standby: Never

Hibernation: Not enabled

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks,

 

Les

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Taking the test macro first, are you sure you have it set to run every 5 minute indefinitely? ie check the "Play indefinitely" checkbox if you are using the "Other" scheduling option. If you are creating the 5 minutes as a loop within the macro, is a counter reaching its limit?

 

The 6am macro, there could be a number of reasons why it does not run.

 

1. Any other timed macro starting or already running at 6am will prevent the start.

 

2. Other events (only you know what your pc is connected to) may interfere with timing.

 

3. If the macro is screen-dependent, as far as I am aware it will not work - the screen is locked. With any screen-dependent application, you have to ensure the applicable window is on top, or is forced on top at the start of the macro. Non-screen-dependent macros, say a simple file transfer or changing audio volume, should run. I never lock my screen so someone please correct me if I am wrong.

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Noggin, thanks for the reply.

 

....have it set to run every 5 minute indefinitely? It was!

 

1. Any other timed macro starting or already running at 6am..... Nothing was running when the Six AM macro first failed to run. Now the 5 minute log could be running but doesn't between 1:13 AM (today) and when I unlock my machine.

 

2. Other events (only you know what your pc is connected to) may interfere with timing. I really suspected this - so last night I had my 5 minute logger log to both a file on a file server and one in my computer. Neither logfile was updated after 1:13AM. So it isn't the network. Still puzzled.

 

3. If the macro is screen-dependent, as far as I am aware it will not work I need to know more about this. Not sure what determines if a macro is screen dependent. The tasks I want to run execute other applications that show on the screen when they run. I will set up a test to try this in the early evening - before my machine takes a siesta at 1:1x AM.

 

Thanks,

Les

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Noggin,

 

I tried to run a macro that runs another application while the computer is locked. You were oh so right. The macro aborts when it tries to open the application and wait for it's window title.

 

I definitely need a different strategy for running jobs on the off shift. If I can't run the macros that I need with the computer locked, I must find a way to keep it unlocked. Alternatives I can think of:

 

1. Keep the machine physically protected.

2. Run the macro on another machine that has no sensitive data.

3. Run the macro from a new user account that has no access to the sensitive data.

 

I would still like to learn why the machine stalls at 1:10 AM. I will run the 5 minute logging macro during the night tonight without locking the machine to see if it still happens.

 

Any thoughts,

 

Les

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Hi Les,

 

Sorry for the delay in responding. I've been away for 5 days and it appears everyone else was snoozing.

 

Re: Screen-dependent. My own terminology - any macro that needs to see and manipulate a window or the desktop, or any other user interface. When creating a macro it should be fairly clear if you access a window. If the window is not visible due to a screensaver or otherwise locked out, the macro must remove the obstruction to give access. There are limits to what ME can do. The alternatives you suggested may be all you can do.

 

Re: Logging macro. You did not say how the macro works. I would be inclined to have a one-liner that just writes the date and time to a text file. I would initially try one that is started by the scheduler but if that failed as yours did, I would make one that has an internal 5 min loop, is manually started at 5pm and runs until manually stopped in the morning. It may be worth making another macro from scratch to avoid any "errors" in the one you have been using.

 

If the macro has been hanging for hours on end, the problem is not a short event. Even defragmenting the pc is not going to take that long. You could check schedule events on the pc (programs/accessories/system tools/scheduled tasks) but other programs may run with their own schedules.

 

The setting in Options/Preferences/Miscellaneous/Clear Error Messages will determine if ME waits if it hangs. If errors are not cleared you should see a message in the morning. I normally set mine to clear in 10 secs to ensure ME continues. If I had a problem I may set to not clear so I can see if ME had an error.

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