Thursday, July 28, 2011

The last VBScript you will ever need?

One of the first things people notice when writing their very first PowerShell scripts is that clicking the script file won’t run it, but instead open up Notepad. Which is nice, if you want to open up Notepad to read the script.
But I’m guessing that’s not why you clicked it.

There are of course several different ways to launch a PowerShell script. One is to run powershell.exe and specify the script as one of the arguments. This is useful if you want to run the script from a batch file, a shortcut, a scheduled task or wherever else you can specify a program to run.

I figured it would be neat to make the PowerShell script “clickable” by creating a shortcut to it and tell it to be run by powershell.exe. But doing this by hand is tedious work! (And as we all know, tedious work is the very reason you started scripting in the first place.)

Enter: VBScript

It’s easy to create a shortcut using VBScript, and it’s piece of cake to drag and drop a file onto another. –Which is something VBScript gladly accepts, taking the dropped file’s path as an argument to pass to the script. Knowing this, we can put two and two together, and write a script which allows you to drop a .ps1 file onto it, and then have it create a shortcut for us!

Now, this is a very straight forward script, which takes one file and creates a shortcut to it, adding the necessary parameters. It can be modified to allow you to drop several files onto it, or to run powershell.exe with additional parameters (such as setting execution policy).

Option Explicit

If WScript.Arguments.Count = 0 Then
    WScript.Echo "Drag and drop a .ps1 file onto the script."
End If

Dim strPowerShellScriptFullPath : strPowerShellScriptFullPath = WScript.Arguments.Item(0)
Dim objFSO : Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

If Not objFSO.FileExists(strPowerShellScriptFullPath) Then
End If
If Not LCase(objFSO.GetExtensionName(strPowerShellScriptFullPath)) = "ps1" Then
End If

Dim strPowerShellScriptPath : strPowerShellScriptPath = Left(strPowerShellScriptFullPath, InStrRev(strPowerShellScriptFullPath, "\"))
Dim strPowerShellScript : strPowerShellScript = Mid(strPowerShellScriptFullPath, InStrRev(strPowerShellScriptFullPath, "\"))
Dim objShell : Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Dim objShortCut : Set objShortCut = objShell.CreateShortcut(strPowerShellScriptPath & strPowerShellScript & " - Shortcut.lnk")

objShortCut.TargetPath = "%SystemRoot%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe"
objShortCut.Arguments = "-NoExit -File """ & strPowerShellScriptFullPath & """"
objShortCut.WorkingDirectory = "%HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%"
objShortCut.IconLocation = "%SystemRoot%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe, 0"
objShortCut.Description = "Run PowerShell script"

I named my script “Create PowerShell Shortcut.vbs”.
And as always, there’s a very real risk of lines wrapping where they shouldn’t. If anything other than a .ps1 file is dropped onto it, nothing will happen (not even a message, in the above example).

When a ps1 file is dropped onto it, the script will create a shortcut to powershell.exe and assign the ps1 file path as an argument. The shortcut will be created in the same location as the ps1 file was dragged from. The VBScript and ps1 file does not have to be in the same location.

(It can of course also be run from the command line, as long as you pass a proper path, but that sort of defeats the purpose of it, now doesn’t it..)

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