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Re: st: Auto-run program on the hour, every hour

From   "Sergiy Radyakin" <>
Subject   Re: st: Auto-run program on the hour, every hour
Date   Wed, 11 Jun 2008 20:33:15 -0400


I am not quite sure that I could follow this thread very carefully,
but if the Stata is properly associated with the do-files, then one
can just:


without caring where Stata actually is. What -start- will do, is
actually looking through the registry, finding that .do is associated
with Stata, looking through the registry again to find where Stata is
and how to tell it to open a .do file, and finally launching Stata
(with the word "do"). Here is what help start says:

   "If Command Extensions are enabled, external command invocation
    through the command line or the START command changes as follows:
    non-executable files may be invoked through their file association just
    by typing the name of the file as a command.  (e.g.  WORD.DOC would
    launch the application associated with the .DOC file extension).
    See the ASSOC and FTYPE commands for how to create these
    associations from within a command script."

Which means that you can just have a reference to a do file in your
batch to launch it:

 (but then you can't pause execution, that's where you need -start- )

Stata expects it's first parameter to be a command,
so "wsestata.exe" MUST result in an error:

(199) unrecognized command: invalid command name

That's why the others suggested having the command -do- in your command line.

So we are finally coming to the real question: why does your batch
file actually work ?

What happens in fact is that -start- treats it's first string (quoted)
parameter as a window title (which for our discussion means it is
ignored), and you can write with the same success:

start /w "Radyakin" "C:\Documents and

and it should work too, even though I obviously have nothing to do
with the configuration of your PC :).

A more obvious test is to write:
start "Window title"

which is dramatically different from:
start window title

So the quotes are not just to counteract the spaces in the paths. They
actually change the meaning of the arguments that -start- parses.

Why would that be important? One day you might be surprised to find
that if you change the path in your batch file to, say, StataMP, but
StataSE will still be running as if it was in charge. Or if another
program reassignes .do-files to itself, your batch may stop working.

A more robust way would be to call the executable with the word do and
the full filename of the do file:

start /w "Window title does not matter" "C:\Directory
name\wsestata.exe" do "D:\My Data\"

Hope this helps.

Best regards,
  Sergiy Radyakin

On 6/11/08, Dan Weitzenfeld <> wrote:
> Hi All,
> Thanks much for your help.  I finally got it to work.  Your advice was
> spot-on; it was Windows that was giving me problems.
> For posterity, this is how I finally got it to work on my Windows XP computer:
> 1)  Create .bat file.  (Jeph's no-bat method may work as well, this is
> just the way I was successful).
> My .bat file was:
> Start/w "C:\Program Files\Stata10/wsestata.exe"  "C:\Documents and
> Settings\Dan\Desktop\STATA/"
> [note that I needed quotes around both filepaths, and did not need the
> word do in between them]
> You can test that your .bat file works by double clicking on it - it
> should open stata and run your do file.
> 2) Go to Start->Accessories->System Tools -> Scheduled Tasks and
> double click Add Scheduled Task.
> 3) Point the wizard toward your .bat file; set up timing etc.
> 4) Deal with these two key (no pun intended, statisticians) Windows quirks:
>       -You must have a password set for your account, and you must
> enter it in during the Scheduled Task wizard setup.  If your account
> does not have a password, you need to add one for the task to work.
>       -If, after addressing the password issue, you still get the
> characteristically cryptic error "0x80070005: Access is denied",  go
> to, click the Hotfix link at
> the top of the page, and download the patch.
> Thanks again for your help, folks.
> -Dan
> On Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 6:52 AM, Jeph Herrin <> wrote:
> > The .bat file should work, but I think you can skip that
> > step as long as your command is of the form:
> >
> >  C:\Stata10\wstata.exe do
> >
> > Note the "do". It's also easier to tinker with the scheduled tasks
> > if you go to File->New to create the task rather than use the
> > wizard.
> >
> > hth,
> > Jeph
> >
> >
> > Dan Weitzenfeld wrote:
> >>
> >> This is helpful.  My OS is Windows XP.  I'm trying to tinker with the
> >> properties of the scheduled task  to get it to work... right now all
> >> it does is pass the name of the do-file to stata in quotes, and Stata
> >> responds by saying that it's not a valid command.  Does anyone know of
> >> a way around this?
> >>
> >> On Sat, Jun 7, 2008 at 7:01 PM, Jeph Herrin <> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> I think you want the OS to do this, not Stata. You
> >>> don't say what your OS is, in Linux see -at-, in
> >>> XP use the scheduler (Start->Accessories->System Tools
> >>> -> Scheduled Tasks on my setup, but yours may vary).
> >>>
> >>> I don't know about a Mac, though I assume OS X has a
> >>> command line version of -at-.
> >>>
> >>> hope this helps,
> >>> Jeph
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> Dan Weitzenfeld wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> Hi All,
> >>>> Is there a way to have a do-file or program run at a given clock-time
> >>>> every day, automatically?
> >>>> I can think of a kluge, whereby the program is infinitely looping, and
> >>>> if c(current_time) fits the desired criteria, the process runs.
> >>>> I'm wondering if there is a more sane way to achieve this result?
> >>>> Thanks in advance,
> >>>> Dan
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