January 29, 2013

New - Automate Creating SharePoint, Insight and FTP Network Location Shortcuts

A while back I had posted a script for automating the creation of SharePoint and Insight Network Location shortcuts.  Recently I had someone request the ability to also include FTP addresses into the script.  So without any further to-do, here is an updated version of the script that allows the automated creation of http, https, and ftp addresses for Network Locations shortcuts.

You can download the script directly from GitHub.

Or simply copy and paste the code below into a text file and save it with a .vbs file extension.
' CreateNetworkLocations
' Copyright (C) 2013, David C. Merritt, david.c.merritt@siemens.com
' This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
' it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
' the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
' (at your option) any later version.
' This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
' but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
' GNU General Public License for more details.
' You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
' along with this program.  If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
' ---------------------------------------------------------------------
' A script to automate the creation of Network Location shortcuts on
' on Windows 7 clients, including http, https and ftp addresses.
' This script is particularly useful for IT administrators needing a
' way to automate the creation of required Network Location shortcuts
' i.e. user logon scripts, etc.
' To use - edit, add and remove the array members ShortcutNames and
' ShortcutPaths.  Adjust the array counter accordingly to match the
' number of network locations to be created.
' This is a simple script and does minimal error checking. It should be
' fleshed out to best suit your specific needs and environment.
' ---------------------------------------------------------------------
' 28/01/2013  merritt  initial release

' ---------------------------------------------------------------------
' edit, add and remove your network locations below here
' ---------------------------------------------------------------------
dim ShortcutNames(3), ShortcutPaths(3)
ShortcutNames(0) = "hsvnt416z06 - PreReleased"
ShortcutPaths(0) = "http://hsvnt416z06/Pre/PreDL"
ShortcutNames(1) = "hsvnt416z01 - PreReleased"
ShortcutPaths(1) = "http://hsvnt416z01:16133/Pre"
ShortcutNames(2) = "SSL hsvnt416z01 - PreReleased"
ShortcutPaths(2) = "https://hsvnt416z01.net.plm.eds.com/Pre/PreDL"
ShortcutNames(3) = "GTAC FTP"
ShortcutPaths(3) = "ftp://ftp.ugs.com"

' ---------------------------------------------------------------------
' edit, add and remove your network locations above here
' ---------------------------------------------------------------------

' create network place shortcut for each location specified
intCounter = 0
For Each strShortcutName In ShortcutNames
    CreateNetworkPlace strShortcutName, ShortcutPaths(intCounter)
     intCounter = intCounter + 1
wscript.echo "Network place shortcuts created"

' the subroutine that does all the work
Sub CreateNetworkPlace(strShortcutName, strShortcutPath)
    ' where neccessary change our shortcut path to the Win 7 webdav format
    If InStr(UCase(strShortcutPath), UCase("https")) = 0 Then
        If InStr(UCase(strShortcutPath), UCase("ftp")) = 0 Then
            ' http addresses
            strShortcutMod = Replace(strShortcutPath, "http://", "\\")
            strShortcutMod = Replace(strShortcutMod, "/", "\DavWWWRoot\", 1, 1)      
            strShortcutMod = Replace(strShortcutMod, "/", "\")
            strShortcutMod = Replace(strShortcutMod, ":", "@")     
            ' ftp addresses
            strShortcutMod = strShortcutPath
        End If
        ' https addresses
        strShortcutMod = Replace(strShortcutPath, "https://", "\\")
        strShortcutMod = Replace(strShortcutMod, "/", "@SSL\DavWWWRoot\", 1, 1)
        strShortcutMod = Replace(strShortcutMod, "/", "\")
        strShortcutMod = Replace(strShortcutMod, ":", "@")
   End If
    ' determine on the OS where to create the network place shortcut
    Const NETHOOD = &H13&
    Set objWSHShell = CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")
    Set objShell = CreateObject("Shell.Application")
    Set objFolder = objShell.Namespace(NETHOOD)
    Set objFolderItem = objFolder.Self
    strNetHood = objFolderItem.Path

    ' create the network place shortcut folder
    Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
    strShortcutFolder = strNetHood & "\" & strShortcutName
    If objFSO.FolderExists(strShortcutFolder) Then
        wscript.echo strShortcutFolder & " already exists"
        Set objFolder = objFSO.CreateFolder(strShortcutFolder)
        ' create the Desktop.ini file under the network place shortcut folder
        strDesktopIni = strShortcutFolder & "\Desktop.ini"
        If Not objFSO.FileExists(strDesktopIni) Then
            set fText = objFSO.OpenTextFile(strDesktopIni, 2, True)
            fText.WriteLine "[.ShellClassInfo]"
            fText.WriteLine "CLSID2={0AFACED1-E828-11D1-9187-B532F1E9575D}"
            fText.WriteLine "Flags=2"
        End If

        ' set Desktop.ini with file attributes system & hidden
        Set fFile = objFSO.GetFile(strDesktopIni)
        fFile.Attributes = 6

        ' set network place shortcut folder as read-only
        Set fFolder = objFSO.GetFolder(strShortcutFolder)
        fFolder.Attributes = 1

        ' create the shortcut file target.lnk under the network place shortcut folder
        Set objShortcut = objWSHShell.CreateShortcut(strShortcutFolder & "\target.lnk")
        objShortcut.TargetPath = strShortcutMod
        objShortcut.Description = strShortcutPath
    End If
End Sub
To be honest I’ve only tested this new script with FTP addresses as the code for the SharePoint addresses hasn’t changed.  However if I inadvertently broke something please let me know and I will get it updated.

P.S. I’m also now hosting any of my code, including this script, out on GitHub.  Hopefully the GitHub method will be more suitable all around.  If not, please let me know and I will attempt to adjust accordingly.  Thanks.


  1. Head comment in WindowsTweaks / Registry / cmd_prompt_auto_complete.reg on gitHub contain strings from CreateNetworkLocation

    1. Wow! You are absolutely correct and I was aware of this. To be honest I didn't expect anyone to be poking around on the GitHub yet. I posted the cmd_prompt_auto_complete.reg while still in the process of editing it. In future I'll make sure the code is in better shape before committing now I know people are looking ;-)

      Thanks for reading and for your feedback. Much appreciated!

    2. I'm read your blog ;-)

  2. Hi David,
    Have you ever noticed, when you create an http network location manually in windows, that it will change the targetpath to a webDav url (as you do) but if you select the newly created network location folder, you will see in the status bar "Link target: http:....". Using your method it will display the webdav url. With powershell I was not able to see where this http info was coming from. However I was able to find the info in the target.lnk file. I found out that this info can make some applications behave differently when access the folder. If you do not have this "Link target" info with an http address, some software will show a webdav folder view when locating a file to open (older apps), other will open the sharepoint library view page (Like office 2010). Any idea on how to update this Link target property?

    1. Yes I have noticed that depending on the software, and as you stated it appears to be older applications, the software will treat the url path as a webDAV style link.

      I have found that setting the webclient service to be always on (automatic followed by a reboot) will sometime have an impact on this behaviour with older applications.