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KA-Lite server does not start on boot after option selected post installation #106

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EdDixon opened this Issue Jul 22, 2015 · 32 comments

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EdDixon commented Jul 22, 2015

OS : XP
Browser : Chrome
Version : 0.14 Development Installer

After installation during which the option to start on boot was not selected, enabling the option after installation does not have the expected affect of having the server start after a reboot of the system. The screen shot after rebooting shows the browser on 120.0.0.1:8008 after waiting and refreshing for several minutes, also no python processes have started.
2015-07-22_8-41-56

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EdDixon Jul 22, 2015

Also confirmed on XP that during installation selecting the option to start the server on system startup still fails as well. Retitled the issue to include both use cases.

EdDixon commented Jul 22, 2015

Also confirmed on XP that during installation selecting the option to start the server on system startup still fails as well. Retitled the issue to include both use cases.

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MCGallaspy Jul 22, 2015

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So neither selecting the run-at-boot option during installation or after installation works on Windows XP? Do you experience this issue on other versions of Windows?

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MCGallaspy commented Jul 22, 2015

So neither selecting the run-at-boot option during installation or after installation works on Windows XP? Do you experience this issue on other versions of Windows?

@MCGallaspy MCGallaspy added the bug label Jul 22, 2015

@MCGallaspy MCGallaspy self-assigned this Jul 22, 2015

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EdDixon Oct 14, 2015

@mike some how I think this one got lost in the mix :) best that I can recall it affected all windows versions but keep at least one brain surgery in mind since then :) it does still exist on XP in 0.15.0 will check the others soon!

EdDixon commented Oct 14, 2015

@mike some how I think this one got lost in the mix :) best that I can recall it affected all windows versions but keep at least one brain surgery in mind since then :) it does still exist on XP in 0.15.0 will check the others soon!

@MCGallaspy MCGallaspy added this to the 0.16.0 milestone Oct 14, 2015

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Okay, I'll take a stab at it.

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MCGallaspy commented Oct 14, 2015

Okay, I'll take a stab at it.

@MCGallaspy MCGallaspy added ready in progress and removed ready labels Dec 8, 2015

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MCGallaspy Dec 11, 2015

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I was not able to replicate this on Windows 7 using 0.15.1 -- @radinamatic can we work together to try this out? @EdDixon thanks for your original report.

Some additional notes to myself after investigating this a bit:

  • The scheduled task runs as the SYSTEM user -- and so creates a .kalite directory in the systemprofile dir. Could be a problem if the user e.g. runs KA Lite as themselves first, then restarts and the scheduled task runs KA Lite as SYSTEM. It could make it appear that data was lost, when in fact two different .kalite directories have been created.
  • In KA Lite 0.15.x, the user is prompted to restart the computer after installation, but currently for 0.16.x the user is no longer prompted to restart.
  • One approach would be to set a KALITE_USER, like what @benjaoming does on linux -- but then we must support moving data for users who are upgrading. Where the user's .kalite directory is depends on whether they're using the optional start-at-boot feature. Also as pointed out above, it's possible for the user to have two or more .kalite dirs if they run KA Lite as different users and/or using the start-at-boot feature.
  • The location of relevant data is also different depending on whether the user is running 0.12.x, 0.13.x, or 0.14.x :( -- it's a complicated upgrade scenario.
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MCGallaspy commented Dec 11, 2015

I was not able to replicate this on Windows 7 using 0.15.1 -- @radinamatic can we work together to try this out? @EdDixon thanks for your original report.

Some additional notes to myself after investigating this a bit:

  • The scheduled task runs as the SYSTEM user -- and so creates a .kalite directory in the systemprofile dir. Could be a problem if the user e.g. runs KA Lite as themselves first, then restarts and the scheduled task runs KA Lite as SYSTEM. It could make it appear that data was lost, when in fact two different .kalite directories have been created.
  • In KA Lite 0.15.x, the user is prompted to restart the computer after installation, but currently for 0.16.x the user is no longer prompted to restart.
  • One approach would be to set a KALITE_USER, like what @benjaoming does on linux -- but then we must support moving data for users who are upgrading. Where the user's .kalite directory is depends on whether they're using the optional start-at-boot feature. Also as pointed out above, it's possible for the user to have two or more .kalite dirs if they run KA Lite as different users and/or using the start-at-boot feature.
  • The location of relevant data is also different depending on whether the user is running 0.12.x, 0.13.x, or 0.14.x :( -- it's a complicated upgrade scenario.
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One approach would be to set a KALITE_USER, like what @benjaoming does on linux

Just to clarify this, it's not an env var: It works by putting the username of the default ka lite user in /etc/ka-lite/userrname.

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benjaoming commented Dec 12, 2015

One approach would be to set a KALITE_USER, like what @benjaoming does on linux

Just to clarify this, it's not an env var: It works by putting the username of the default ka lite user in /etc/ka-lite/userrname.

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@radinamatic can you verify that the "Start at boot" option doesn't work on Windows XP for 0.16.x, and also see if it fails to work on other versions of Windows? You can grab an installer from our build server (ask in hipchat). It may be that the process is slow-running, which could make it appear that it didn't work. Check to see if there is the characteristic python process (owned by SYSTEM in this case).

Secondly, if it indeed doesn't work we should try to establish why -- ping me and I'll help with that.

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MCGallaspy commented Dec 15, 2015

@radinamatic can you verify that the "Start at boot" option doesn't work on Windows XP for 0.16.x, and also see if it fails to work on other versions of Windows? You can grab an installer from our build server (ask in hipchat). It may be that the process is slow-running, which could make it appear that it didn't work. Check to see if there is the characteristic python process (owned by SYSTEM in this case).

Secondly, if it indeed doesn't work we should try to establish why -- ping me and I'll help with that.

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Confirmed on Windows 7 - "Start at boot" option doesn't work despite being selected during the installation. No python processes whatsoever.

Only one error message during the installation, which, however apparently manages to finish:

secret_key

Two error messages appear when I try to start KA Lite from the desktop shortcut:
config
option

Both errors alerts appear twice (1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd), but after that KA Lite starts, and I'm able to start the server correctly.

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radinamatic commented Dec 16, 2015

Confirmed on Windows 7 - "Start at boot" option doesn't work despite being selected during the installation. No python processes whatsoever.

Only one error message during the installation, which, however apparently manages to finish:

secret_key

Two error messages appear when I try to start KA Lite from the desktop shortcut:
config
option

Both errors alerts appear twice (1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd), but after that KA Lite starts, and I'm able to start the server correctly.

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radinamatic Dec 16, 2015

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Modern.IE image on VirtualBox:

"Start at boot" fails on XP too. Same as for W7, no python processes at all after restart.
Will do W8 next.

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radinamatic commented Dec 16, 2015

Modern.IE image on VirtualBox:

"Start at boot" fails on XP too. Same as for W7, no python processes at all after restart.
Will do W8 next.

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radinamatic Dec 16, 2015

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All of the above from installer in Bamboo build # 81.

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radinamatic commented Dec 16, 2015

All of the above from installer in Bamboo build # 81.

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(One of my own machines with XP - not VirtualBox)

Another 0.16 installation on Win XP fails to setup the start on boot, but this time there is a visible error message:

boot

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radinamatic commented Dec 16, 2015

(One of my own machines with XP - not VirtualBox)

Another 0.16 installation on Win XP fails to setup the start on boot, but this time there is a visible error message:

boot

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However, once the installation finished and I tried to activate "Start at boot" - it was not possible.

boot2

In fact, the only option that can be activated from the pic above is the third one ("Auto-start server when KA Lite is run). The first two options are completely unresponsive - can't be activated.

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radinamatic commented Dec 16, 2015

However, once the installation finished and I tried to activate "Start at boot" - it was not possible.

boot2

In fact, the only option that can be activated from the pic above is the third one ("Auto-start server when KA Lite is run). The first two options are completely unresponsive - can't be activated.

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Second test on W7 (clean VM) fails also, with the same "Failed to create config file/option" alerts.

Server runs OK, creates admin, etc...

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radinamatic commented Dec 16, 2015

Second test on W7 (clean VM) fails also, with the same "Failed to create config file/option" alerts.

Server runs OK, creates admin, etc...

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Same fail with W8 (clean VM).
"Failed to create config file/option" alerts from above present too, but server runs OK after closing those, so it's possible to create admin, login, etc...

So far, this has been confirmed on Win XP/7/8.
How do you suggest we proceed in solving this, @MCGallaspy?

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radinamatic commented Dec 17, 2015

Same fail with W8 (clean VM).
"Failed to create config file/option" alerts from above present too, but server runs OK after closing those, so it's possible to create admin, login, etc...

So far, this has been confirmed on Win XP/7/8.
How do you suggest we proceed in solving this, @MCGallaspy?

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As the last resort I activated the other two options: "Run KA Lite when the user logs in" and "Auto-start server when KA Lite is run" (the second one was already active, but not working after previous restarts), and restarted the machine.

The first one worked - KA Lite run at startup, but the third one did not - no Python processes can be seen in the Task Manager.

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radinamatic commented Dec 17, 2015

As the last resort I activated the other two options: "Run KA Lite when the user logs in" and "Auto-start server when KA Lite is run" (the second one was already active, but not working after previous restarts), and restarted the machine.

The first one worked - KA Lite run at startup, but the third one did not - no Python processes can be seen in the Task Manager.

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A few comments, and a basic outline of how I would approach this. @radinamatic you can attempt further debugging if you want, otherwise I'll get to it when I have the opportunity.

  1. The error you mention in this comment is entirely new to me: #106 (comment)
    Let's open a new issue for that.
  2. The installer attempts to create a scheduled task to start KA Lite, using a script included in the ka-lite repo: https://github.com/learningequality/ka-lite/blob/0.16.x/scripts/add_systemstart_task.bat
    If the scheduled task isn't being created, we should try to determine why.
  3. If the scheduled task is successfully created, but KA Lite doesn't start, we have to determine why. You can view the scheduled task through built-in Windows tools, and check whether it ran "succesfully" (which doesn't mean that KA Lite started successfully, since that starts in a new process, but rather that the script ended without errors). There are two possibilities:
    1. The script failed to run -- this has happened in the past, but I don't think that's the case here. You can view whether the script failed to run using the scheduled task viewer. If it did fail, we determine the error by running the script by hand and observing the output.
    2. Second possibility is that the script succeeds, but the KA Lite process fails to start the server. A little more tricky to debug. We can alter the script command and/or redirect KA Lite output to try to determine why it fails to start.
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MCGallaspy commented Dec 17, 2015

A few comments, and a basic outline of how I would approach this. @radinamatic you can attempt further debugging if you want, otherwise I'll get to it when I have the opportunity.

  1. The error you mention in this comment is entirely new to me: #106 (comment)
    Let's open a new issue for that.
  2. The installer attempts to create a scheduled task to start KA Lite, using a script included in the ka-lite repo: https://github.com/learningequality/ka-lite/blob/0.16.x/scripts/add_systemstart_task.bat
    If the scheduled task isn't being created, we should try to determine why.
  3. If the scheduled task is successfully created, but KA Lite doesn't start, we have to determine why. You can view the scheduled task through built-in Windows tools, and check whether it ran "succesfully" (which doesn't mean that KA Lite started successfully, since that starts in a new process, but rather that the script ended without errors). There are two possibilities:
    1. The script failed to run -- this has happened in the past, but I don't think that's the case here. You can view whether the script failed to run using the scheduled task viewer. If it did fail, we determine the error by running the script by hand and observing the output.
    2. Second possibility is that the script succeeds, but the KA Lite process fails to start the server. A little more tricky to debug. We can alter the script command and/or redirect KA Lite output to try to determine why it fails to start.
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The script failed to run -- this has happened in the past, but I don't think that's the case here. You can view whether the script failed to run using the scheduled task viewer. If it did fail, we determine the error by running the script by hand and observing the output.

It's this. The included script in the ka-lite repo is out of date.

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MCGallaspy commented Dec 17, 2015

The script failed to run -- this has happened in the past, but I don't think that's the case here. You can view whether the script failed to run using the scheduled task viewer. If it did fail, we determine the error by running the script by hand and observing the output.

It's this. The included script in the ka-lite repo is out of date.

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#320 opened for the Error reading secret key file [Errno 21]

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radinamatic commented Dec 17, 2015

#320 opened for the Error reading secret key file [Errno 21]

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Or were the "Failed to create config file/option" alerts the ones you wanted a separate issue opened? @MCGallaspy

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radinamatic commented Dec 17, 2015

Or were the "Failed to create config file/option" alerts the ones you wanted a separate issue opened? @MCGallaspy

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With installer # 87, scheduled task is created, and it did not fail (reports as "Success"), however KA Lite process does not start at system restart... :(

So it may be the time for option 3.ii?

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radinamatic commented Dec 18, 2015

With installer # 87, scheduled task is created, and it did not fail (reports as "Success"), however KA Lite process does not start at system restart... :(

So it may be the time for option 3.ii?

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I'm picking up this in the meantime @MCGallaspy, trying to check if start on boot is not selected during the installation, weather it can be properly setup from KA Lite options.

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radinamatic commented Dec 30, 2015

I'm picking up this in the meantime @MCGallaspy, trying to check if start on boot is not selected during the installation, weather it can be properly setup from KA Lite options.

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We should add a sentence specifying that the startup options can be changed from KA Lite.exe options. I suggest these changes in the startup options installer window:

Choose one of the following options for server startup:

- Run the server at **W**indows startup
- Run the server when this user logs in
- Do not run server at Windows startup

You can change this anytime from the KA Lite Options in the Taskbar notification area.

(Windows capital letter in the first option)

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radinamatic commented Dec 30, 2015

We should add a sentence specifying that the startup options can be changed from KA Lite.exe options. I suggest these changes in the startup options installer window:

Choose one of the following options for server startup:

- Run the server at **W**indows startup
- Run the server when this user logs in
- Do not run server at Windows startup

You can change this anytime from the KA Lite Options in the Taskbar notification area.

(Windows capital letter in the first option)

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Did you change something with KA Lite.exe default options? It starts the server automatically when opening from the desktop shortcut?

ie9 - win7 ready for ka lite running - oracle vm virtualbox_138

It seems that now all 3 KA Lite options are activated by default, even though I selected not to run server at startup.

ie9 - win7 ready for ka lite running - oracle vm virtualbox_139

I would say that running desktop shortcut in this case should only open KA Lite in the Taskbar notification area, not run the server automaticaly.

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radinamatic commented Dec 30, 2015

Did you change something with KA Lite.exe default options? It starts the server automatically when opening from the desktop shortcut?

ie9 - win7 ready for ka lite running - oracle vm virtualbox_138

It seems that now all 3 KA Lite options are activated by default, even though I selected not to run server at startup.

ie9 - win7 ready for ka lite running - oracle vm virtualbox_139

I would say that running desktop shortcut in this case should only open KA Lite in the Taskbar notification area, not run the server automaticaly.

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Even if I uncheck all 3 options and exit KA Lite, when I start it through the desktop shortcut, it starts again with all 3 options activated.

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radinamatic commented Dec 30, 2015

Even if I uncheck all 3 options and exit KA Lite, when I start it through the desktop shortcut, it starts again with all 3 options activated.

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Another suggestion would be to reflect the options from the installer in the options inside KA Lite in the Taskbar notification area, to try to minimize confusion between "server" and "KA Lite":

  • Run the server when the user logs in
  • Run the server at system startup
  • Auto-start server when KA Lite is run
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radinamatic commented Dec 30, 2015

Another suggestion would be to reflect the options from the installer in the options inside KA Lite in the Taskbar notification area, to try to minimize confusion between "server" and "KA Lite":

  • Run the server when the user logs in
  • Run the server at system startup
  • Auto-start server when KA Lite is run
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elvistek Apr 3, 2016

I have installed ka lite v 0.15.1 on a raspberry pi and gone through the process as expressed in http://ka-lite.readthedocs.org/en/0.15.x/installguide/install_all.html#raspberry-pi but teh server will not start when the pi is booted. What can the problem be?

I had some problems during installation but running kalite manage setup fully completed the installation and i can connect other devices to the server but i have to run the server manually after start up. Any help? as automatic startup of server will be my ideal situation for deployment.

Here are screen shots of the process with the error in image = unknown-1
unknown-1
unknown-2
unknown-3
unknown-4
unknown-5

elvistek commented Apr 3, 2016

I have installed ka lite v 0.15.1 on a raspberry pi and gone through the process as expressed in http://ka-lite.readthedocs.org/en/0.15.x/installguide/install_all.html#raspberry-pi but teh server will not start when the pi is booted. What can the problem be?

I had some problems during installation but running kalite manage setup fully completed the installation and i can connect other devices to the server but i have to run the server manually after start up. Any help? as automatic startup of server will be my ideal situation for deployment.

Here are screen shots of the process with the error in image = unknown-1
unknown-1
unknown-2
unknown-3
unknown-4
unknown-5

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@elvistek I hope you've solved your problem in the meantime.. but this thread is for a Windows issue :)

You should run this command sudo echo "pi" > /etc/ka-lite/username and try running the server again, as the command line output says, you have configured your system to use some user account "tekdgyg" as the default user for KA Lite, I suspect that's your issue...

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benjaoming commented Aug 2, 2016

@elvistek I hope you've solved your problem in the meantime.. but this thread is for a Windows issue :)

You should run this command sudo echo "pi" > /etc/ka-lite/username and try running the server again, as the command line output says, you have configured your system to use some user account "tekdgyg" as the default user for KA Lite, I suspect that's your issue...

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@EdDixon has hinted that some of the very very old bat scripts might have worked and some sort of regression has been introduced when moving functionality into the installer:

For example selecting the start on boot option will work with newer WIndows systems but fails on XP as the server will not start with that option selected when the machine first boots WIndows XP. This example does not affect WIndows 7 or higher operating systems.

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benjaoming commented Aug 2, 2016

@EdDixon has hinted that some of the very very old bat scripts might have worked and some sort of regression has been introduced when moving functionality into the installer:

For example selecting the start on boot option will work with newer WIndows systems but fails on XP as the server will not start with that option selected when the machine first boots WIndows XP. This example does not affect WIndows 7 or higher operating systems.

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Also #322 (comment) :

I'm disabling the start at boot option from the task tray program on XP. Shortly I'll remove the option from the installer.

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benjaoming commented Aug 2, 2016

Also #322 (comment) :

I'm disabling the start at boot option from the task tray program on XP. Shortly I'll remove the option from the installer.

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Wow, this issue was a nightmare to debug back then... 👿

I can't test in XP anymore, but in Win 7 it's possible to make KA Lite run on startup, though with a convoluted workaround. For some reason I never understood, all three options in the task tray contextual menu start by being activated by default upon install, and even if the user unchecks them, they are going to be there upon reboot. However, even though they all are checked, KA Lite does not start on boot (or when user logs in)! Annoying... 😒

The only way to make it run on boot is to:

  1. Uncheck the Run KA Lite at system startup option.
  2. Confirm the deletion of the scheduled task in the cmd.exe window.
  3. Immediately re-check the Run KA Lite at system startup option.
  4. Confirm the creation of the scheduled task in the cmd.exe window by inputting the current user password.
  5. Reboot and enjoy KA Lite running on system start!

This does not apply on KA Lite.exe task tray program that you will still have to start manually from the desktop shortcut. All this works with the current (0.16.7) release, I just re-tested it.

My money is on some weird Windows user permission issue...

@arceduardvincent @amodia

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radinamatic commented Aug 5, 2016

Wow, this issue was a nightmare to debug back then... 👿

I can't test in XP anymore, but in Win 7 it's possible to make KA Lite run on startup, though with a convoluted workaround. For some reason I never understood, all three options in the task tray contextual menu start by being activated by default upon install, and even if the user unchecks them, they are going to be there upon reboot. However, even though they all are checked, KA Lite does not start on boot (or when user logs in)! Annoying... 😒

The only way to make it run on boot is to:

  1. Uncheck the Run KA Lite at system startup option.
  2. Confirm the deletion of the scheduled task in the cmd.exe window.
  3. Immediately re-check the Run KA Lite at system startup option.
  4. Confirm the creation of the scheduled task in the cmd.exe window by inputting the current user password.
  5. Reboot and enjoy KA Lite running on system start!

This does not apply on KA Lite.exe task tray program that you will still have to start manually from the desktop shortcut. All this works with the current (0.16.7) release, I just re-tested it.

My money is on some weird Windows user permission issue...

@arceduardvincent @amodia

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@mrpau-dev following up on Radina's more thorough input on this issue, would you be able to make improvements to this? Maybe in by prioritizing in this order: Windows 10, 8, 7.

We could even skip XP since at this point running KA Lite on XP may already require some kind of DIY/technical skill :)

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benjaoming commented Nov 17, 2016

@mrpau-dev following up on Radina's more thorough input on this issue, would you be able to make improvements to this? Maybe in by prioritizing in this order: Windows 10, 8, 7.

We could even skip XP since at this point running KA Lite on XP may already require some kind of DIY/technical skill :)

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I would much rather see the balloon notifications enabled again in XP, then the start-on-boot option (since there is a workaround for it).

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radinamatic commented Nov 17, 2016

I would much rather see the balloon notifications enabled again in XP, then the start-on-boot option (since there is a workaround for it).

@benjaoming benjaoming modified the milestones: 0.16.x, 0.17.0, 0.17.2 Jun 6, 2017

@benjaoming benjaoming added Windows and removed has PR labels Jun 6, 2017

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