Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 121562 - Last Review: February 20, 2007 - Revision: 3.2

This article was previously published under Q121562
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The Windows NT 3.5 AT command does not load applications interactively even though the System Account Allow Service to Interact with Desktop check box is selected for the Scheduler service. The AT command does load the application in the background, but you are not able to see or interact with the application in any way.


To load applications interactively with the AT command, use the /INTERACTIVE parameter. For example, to run Notepad at 12:30pm, type the following at the command line in Command Prompt:

   at 12:30:00 /interactive notepad.exe


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT Workstation and Windows NT Server version 3.5. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.

Steps to Reproduce Problem

  1. From the Services portion of Control Panel, choose Schedule. The Service dialog box appears for the Windows NT Scheduler service.
  2. Select Allow Service to Interact with Desktop and choose OK.
  3. Choose Start (make sure the status says Started).
  4. Exit Control Panel.
  5. Start Command Prompt and type the following (you may want to change the time):

    at 12:30:00 notepad.exe
  6. Once the time you entered has passed, type AT at the command prompt to see if the AT buffer is empty and the task was completed. Notepad is not visible on the desktop.
  7. Load Process Viewer (from the Windows NT Resource Kit). You should see Notepad running in the process window. However, you will not be able to close out the background application using Process Viewer. You must shutdown Windows NT and restart to clear the application from memory.

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
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