I came across a situation where a vendor wanted logs files from a server at around 2am in the morning to troubleshoot why an application wasn’t sending a specific email at that time. Problem was, I wasn’t planning on being up at that early in the morning to grab log files and I didn’t know exactly what time it was supposed to send it. The time was usually around 1:30am but sometimes, when it worked, I’ve seen it sent at 4:30am.
So the plan was to come up with a simple batch file to handle the copying of the logs at every hour between 11PM and 5AM to my local Win 7 desktop,
This required a few things:
- A batch file that would a) make a directory based on the current time b) copy the files into that directory
- A task to run the batch file, triggered at every hour between 11pm and 5am.
- Access to the server where the logs are kept
My batch file consisted of the following:
SET HOUR= %time:~-11,2%
CALL :TRIM %HOUR%
COPY \\servername\logs\email.log logs\servername\%datestmp%_%timestmp%\ @echo off
The above batch file first gets the date and time, formats it, and creates a directory with the date/time as part of the directory name. So if the date and time was 6/09/15 and the time was 2am, the directory would be called “20150609_2_00”
Then it takes the email.log file from the \\servername\logs\ folder and copies it to a local folder on my machine called logs\servername\20150609_2_00\, which would be relative to where the batch file is run from.
I named the above batch file copylogs.bat and saved it on my local desktop under the C:\temp folder.
I ran the batch file to make sure it works and instead it failed! The reason being, the batch file ran under my desktop login account. I have a separate admin login for the server. So I mapped to the server using my admin login first. With that connection being made, I reran the batch file, and sure enough, it worked.
Next up was creating the tasks to run the batch at certain intervals…
1. Start by Creating a Basic Task:
2. Give the task a name:
3. Set your trigger. In my case I’m setting to “One time” and will give it a specific time to start (probably about 20 minutes into the future so that I can test to see if it will run properly). Later, I will schedule it to run at particular times throughout the night.
4. Set your action. In My case I’m starting a program (my batch file):
5. Here’s where things start to get tricky.
Since it’s a batch file, the Program/script I’m running is cmd (command prompt). The Additional arguments will be:
/k start “” “c:\temp\copylogs.bat”
And it’s starting in c:\temp (no quotes).
6. After saving the task, one last thing I had to do was go back, edit it, and Change User or Group, so that it ran under my server admin account, and Run whether I was logged in or not, saving my password.
After I finished, and tested it successfully, I went back and edited the task, adding more Triggers:
That’s it! Hopefully someone else will find this useful.