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Self Installing VB Scripts

18/07/2009

I like using VB Scripts and the Windows Script Host to resolve issues as it has proved quick and flexible for most tasks.  One thing I have found problematic on occasion is the installation of the scripts on a user’s PC.  It takes time to do if it is not being deployed using logon scripts, group policy, etc.  To this end I decided to write a function to allow a script to install itself.   The script below is primarily made up from three functions/routines.

Starting from the bottom, the BuildFolderPath() function just takes a file path and adds a backslash to the end if it needs one.

The next function is a little more interesting.  ScriptPath() returns the folder in which the script is being run from.  Note that if it is being run from a shortcut it is the target folder.  This script works by removing the name of the script from the full file path of the script file.

The last chunk of code is the sub routine InstallScript() and does the majority of the work so to speak.  This checks to see if the script is in the correct location.  If it is not it asks the user for permission to copy it from the current location to the one against which it checked.  This does of course rely on the user having appropriate file permissions to copy the script there in the first place, but if we need anything more then some sort of executable or direct access by an administrator is always going to be best otherwise you’ll be handing out administrator passwords verbally or in plain text in script files.  Once installed (or if the user chose not to install) there is a bit of feedback to the user and the script ends.  If the script is running from the right location, no further action is taken and the script continues.

Option Explicit

Const INSTALL_TO = "%UserProfile%\SendTo"

InstallScript INSTALL_TO

Msgbox "The script is being run from the right place..."

'This routine checks if the script is in the right folder location and if it
'isn't it will give the user the option of copying the script to the right location
Sub InstallScript(p_strInstallTo)
 Dim strInstallToFolder
 Dim objShell, objFSO

 'Set the installation folder
 Set objShell = CreateObject( "WScript.Shell" )
 strInstallToFolder = BuildFolderPath(objShell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings(p_strInstallTo))

 If Not strInstallToFolder = ScriptPath Then
 'Copy the script to the correct folder if the user agrees
 If Msgbox ("This script is not being run from the expected location." & vbCrLf & _
 "Would you like to install it to " & strInstallToFolder & " now?", _
 vbYesNo + vbQuestion, "Install Script") = vbYes Then

 Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
 objFSO.CopyFile WScript.ScriptFullName, strInstallToFolder & WScript.ScriptName

 MsgBox "The script has been installed/updated.", vbOkOnly & vbInformation, "Install Complete"
 Else
 MsgBox "The script has not been installed and will not run.", vbOkOnly + vbExclamation, "Install Cancelled"
 End If

 'Finish the script at this point
 WScript.Quit
 End If

End Sub

'This function returns the path which the script is running from
Function ScriptPath()
 ScriptPath = Replace(WScript.ScriptFullName, WScript.ScriptName, "")
End Function

'This function just adds a trailing backslash if there isn't one
Function BuildFolderPath(p_strPath)
 If Right(p_strPath,1) = "\" Then
 BuildFolderPath = p_strPath
 Else
 BuildFolderPath = p_strPath & "\"
 End If
End Function

An interesting thing to note is that I’ve passed folder paths through the ExpandEnvironmentStrings() function.  This converts any environment variables in the string and allows them to be converted to their full path.  If you want to know more about environment variables I’d recommend a few minutes browsing this page on environment variables in Windows XP.

So all you have to do is decide on a folder where you want the script run from and then pop these functions into your script.  Personally I like to create shortcuts for scripts too (e.g. in the user’s send to folder, start menu or the desktop).  I’ll be posting a little later on how to add that to your toolbox – particularly useful for installations like this.

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One comment

  1. […] IT The micro-blog for Reboot IT « Self Installing VB Scripts Shortcuts with VB Script 18/07/2009 Sometimes I need to create shortcuts with VB Script […]



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