Currently working on a Windows 7 deployment project and I have a requirement to place an RDP icon on a specific users desktop, lets call this user 'Guest'. The image itself will be completely vanilla and all user accounts will be created using commands in the Unattend file. The 'Guest' account will not be a local admin and so it will not be the account used for autologon during the application of the unattend file. As a result of this, the 'Guest' profile will not have been created so I'm unable to simply place the icon at C:\Users\Guest\Desktop. Is there a way to place an icon on this specific users desktop prior to logging in with it?

I know there are ways around this i.e. include this account in the base image and log in with it in order to create the profile but I'd like to keep the base image as vanilla as possible.

Any ideas or pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

  • I haven't tried the experiment: Does the desktop directory not get created until the first login? – Nicole Hamilton Dec 17 '12 at 22:53
  • As far as I'm aware, the desktop directory isn't created until first login. Makes sense I guess. – JHamill Jan 8 '13 at 17:23

If it is OK for every user to have the shortcut on their desktop, you could just add it to C:\Users\Public\Public Desktop.

  • I should have been more clear in my initial question, so apologies for that. At the time I required specific icons to be created on specific user desktops - the problem was that these accounts had not yet been logged into and therefore the profile was not created. Your solution would have been absolutely perfect if it was suitable for all users to have the icons. I ended up doing something quite untidy. I logged into each account prior to capturing the image and then using a script to put the required icons on each users desktop. Thanks for your response. – JHamill Jan 8 '13 at 17:21

I believe you can add files/folders to the "c:\Users\Default" folder and they will then propagate to new users' folders when the account is initialized at first login.

In order to see this folder you will need to open the Folder Options dialog from Explorer and under the View tab check the "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" radio button.


Quick answer: If you want to automate this without having to login to the accounts first, it can be done, but it has to be called from either the answer file or an MDT task sequence.

If you're trying to keep your image as lean and clean as possible, I HIGHLY recomend using MDT, because you can keep a vanilla image and do almost anything after the image is applied to the disk.

Using MDT you could call a VB script to copy files from a server to the public desktop.

I'd recomend using a line like this in a VBScript

objFSO.CopyFile "\\Server\RDP.lnk", "C:\Users\Public\Desktop\RDP.lnk"

Another option would be to use something similar to this in the specialize pass of the answer file to preemptively create the folder.

WISM Screenshot

Then, one could use a second step like this to copy the file from somehwere on a network maybe and then load it to the specific folder.

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