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A Reader Asks:

I would like to schedule MediaFire backups on Windows 8.1 Pro, 64-bit. My version of MediaFire is the latest build (1.4.29.10845).

I contacted MediaFire regarding this issue, but unfortunately they said they had no official way to schedule a backup or a sync.

To clarify, I want to be able to schedule a backup/sync to start at a certain time at night, then pause in the morning. I have ~150 to 200 gigabytes of data to upload and I’d rather schedule it than let it continuously run.

Kannon’s Reply:

It’s possible! And it won’t even require that you install any software other than the cloud storage client. The method outlined here works for all cloud storage applications, although it requires slight adaptation in order to work with other cloud storage services. It just takes a little bit of thought. But anyway, because you asked about MediaFire, the steps outlined in this guide will focus exclusively on their cloud client. For those curious, MediaFire offers around 1 terabyte of cloud storage Get 1TB Of Cloud Storage With MediaFire For $2.50 A Month Get 1TB Of Cloud Storage With MediaFire For $2.50 A Month The regular price for 1TB of MediaFire storage is normally $5, but for a "limited time", you can sign up for the 1TB plan for $2.50. Your move Google! Read More capacity for $2.50 a month. It also offers 50GB storage on Android Mediafire Launches App For Android, Offers 50 GB Of Free Storage [Updates] Mediafire Launches App For Android, Offers 50 GB Of Free Storage [Updates] Online space for backup, storage, and collaboration is no longer available at a premium. Blame it on competitive offerings. Mediafire offers 50GB of free storage and their new Android app could be the portal for... Read More  for free.

There’s some debate over the best cloud storage app. I favor Mega (formerly MegaUpload), but MediaFire offers a solid alternative. They’re both banned by PayPal 5 Popular Services & Companies Blocked By PayPal 5 Popular Services & Companies Blocked By PayPal The PayPal versus BitTorrent battle always plays out in my mind like a Wild West showdown: "We don't want your kind in our town," PayPal says as he raises his gun. Women scream, men hide,... Read More , by the way.

Like most cloud storage solutions, the desktop client for MediaFire automatically begins backing up your data right after the program launches, while the client runs in the background. Like most cloud backup applications, you can manually configure the software to run at certain times of day, rather than all day. To do this, you will need two software components: The MediaFire desktop client and the Windows Tasks Scheduler, which comes preinstalled.

This method works for almost all cloud clients out there, like Dropbox (our guide to Dropbox The Unofficial Guide To Dropbox The Unofficial Guide To Dropbox There's more to Dropbox than you might think: you can use it for file sharing, backing up your data, syncing files between computers and even remotely control your computer. Read More ) or Sugarsync. However, Windows Task Scheduler will not kill tasks. It’s best used for running what’s called batch files, which can kill tasks. Lets go ahead and get started with creating a kill script.

Step One: Creating a Kill Script

Unfortunately, the Windows Task Scheduler cannot kill applications–it can only launch them. Fortunately, creating a kill-script is super easy. First, create a blank .txt document on your desktop, by right-clicking and selecting New from the context menu. Then choose Text Document. Feel free to name this file as desired. Then open the text document with a text editing program like Notepad or Sublime Text 2 Try Out Sublime Text 2 For Your Cross-Platform Code Editing Needs Try Out Sublime Text 2 For Your Cross-Platform Code Editing Needs Sublime Text 2 is a cross-platform code editor I only recently heard about, and I have to say I'm really impressed despite the beta label. You can download the full app without paying a penny... Read More .

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Insert the following line into the text file:

TASKKILL /F /IM "mf_watch.exe"

It’ll look like this:

naming the kill switch file

Then save the text file with .bat appended onto the end of the file name. If you don’t know how this is done, select Save as from the file menu and then select save. The file will then become what’s called a “batch” file Dip Your Toes in Batch File Programming for Windows Dip Your Toes in Batch File Programming for Windows Why do you let simple, repetitive tasks bore you? If you can't delegate, innovate! With Windows you can create simple little programs, called batch files, that will take care of these tiresome tasks. Read More . Simply double-clicking on the file will kill MediaFire’s cloud storage application.

save the file as killswitch bat

I normally place items like this on my desktop, for ease of access, but you can just as easily place these items into your documents folder. I do not suggest placing the file in your Programs folder, as this may result in unintended consequences. Name it something interesting (like kill switch.bat), then place it in a memorable, accessible location. If you ever move or delete this file, you will lose the ability to schedule uploads.

When you’ve placed it in a safe, and memorable, location, make sure to right-click on the file, go to Properties, and then select the Details tab. Then make note of the folder path, along with the file name.

properties tab in windows explorer

Step Two: Setting Up Windows Task Scheduler

Windows Task Scheduler can initiate certain tasks at specific times of day or night. In this step, you will schedule two separate tasks: The first task will flip MediaFire’s cloud client on. The second task will kill the service.

Schedule MediaFire to Run

First, go to the Windows Search bar and type in Schedule Tasks. Then select Schedule tasks. This opens the Task Scheduler).

windows task scheduler

Once the Task Scheduler opens, select Create a Basic Task from the Action tab. Simply provide a name and description (it doesn’t matter what you name it or how it’s described). Then click on Next > at the bottom of the screen.

create basic tasks action

Second, choose a time that you’d like to start the MediaFire client as the Trigger. Once launched, the program will start backing up your files. Then choose Next >.

task scheduler frequency

You will then need to input what the task will do after triggering. In this case, it will run the MediaFire desktop client’s executable file (mf_watch.exe). To save you some time, it’s called mf_watch.exe, which is located in your User directory, in the location listed in the screenshot below. To input the mf_watch.exe file, select Browse and then navigate to the executable for the cloud client. Finally, choose Next >.

schedule mediafire client as a task

Then click through the final menu (and then click on Finish) and you’re finished with this step.

Kill the MediaFire Service

Repeat the steps used in creating a scheduled backup. First, execute the Task Scheduler and create a Basic Task. The difference is that when you select a time (under Trigger), choose when you’d like MediaFire to stop backing up your data.

Also, you will choose the location of where you stored the batch file, instead of locating the MediaFire application as you did in the previous step.

You will want to check the box for Open the properties dialog for this task when I click Finish, which allows you to run the script with administrator permissions. Without this step, chances are the MediaFire program will continue to run in the background.

properties dialog task scheduler

The Properties dialog will pop up after you click on Finish. Make sure that you select Run whether user is logged in or not and check the box for Run with highest privileges.

task scheduler properties dialog

Final Steps

Three final steps worth of consideration: Turn off sleep and hibernate on your Windows machine. Here’s how to turn off sleep and hibernate Windows 7 Power Options and Sleep Modes Explained Windows 7 Power Options and Sleep Modes Explained When Windows 7 launched, one of Microsoft's selling points was that it was designed to help your battery last longer. One of the main features users will actually notice is that the screen dims before... Read More on your computer.

Also, you should configure Mediafire so that it does not start on boot. First open up the MediaFire application. Then go to the Settings menu (which is located in the upper-right side of the MediaFire client). Select Preferences…

mediafire preferences menu

Then deselect Launch MediaFire on system startup.

launch mediafire on system start

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