5 Useful VB Windows Scripts to Automate Your Computer Use

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Whether you’re an IT analyst or a regular computer user, there are a lot of tasks you may need to do frequently on your PC. VB Scripts are scaled down Visual Basic programs that serve as Windows scripts that can do anything from pull up important information about your computer hardware, to stopping and starting services or resetting your network card.

It’s possible to learn how to do all of those individual things the normal way, or do them using batch files. But VB scripts are better than batch scripts because they’re more flexible. If you store the following scripts in a common place that’s quick to get to when you need it, you can accomplish these tasks in a fraction of the time. You just double-click the script, answer a prompt, and the task is done.

Take a look at the following VB Windows scripts and if you see any you’d like to use, just copy and paste the script into Notepad or other coding notes tool and save it as a WSF file.

Prepare Your Windows Scripts

Each of the scripts detailed below will run with just a double click so long as you’ve named the file with the .WSF extension, and you’ve also enclosed the code at the beginning with:


This ensures that Windows will recognize the language your script is written in, and process it properly.

1. Use Windows Scripts for Computer Information

Windows offers something called WMI, or Windows Management Instrumentation, which provides your script with an interface to access components of the operating system. You can actually run queries against WMI to get current live information about your system. Microsoft offers a full list of all of the categories of queries you can make against the system.

We’ve covered how to use VBA to pull computer information into Excel, but you can do this same thing using a simple VB script outside of Excel.

In this example we’re going to query the system for processor information (family, manufacturer, and number of cores), battery information (description and status), and logical disk information (name, free space remaining, and overall size). Then we’ll output all of this information to a CSV file for easy viewing.

The first step is to set up the FileSystemObject you’ll use to output to the CSV file, and create the file:

Set oFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
sFile1 = "MyComputerInfo.csv"
Set oFile1 = oFSO.CreateTextFile(sFile1, 1)

The next step is to set up the WMI query and execute it:

strQuery = "SELECT Family,Manufacturer,NumberOfCores FROM Win32_Processor"
Set colResults = GetObject("winmgmts://./root/cimv2").ExecQuery( strQuery )

Finally, sort through the results and output the information to the CSV file. If you want to be fancy, preface this with a couple of lines to help make your output file look better:

oFile1.WriteLine "Processor Information"
oFile1.WriteLine "------"
For Each objResult In colResults
strResults = "Family:," CStr(objResult.Family)
oFile1.WriteLine strResults
strResults = "Manufacturer:," CStr(objResult.Manufacturer)
oFile1.WriteLine strResults
strResults = "Number of Cores:," CStr(objResult.NumberOfCores)
oFile1.WriteLine strResults
Next

If you run your code now, this is what your output will look like:

windows script computer information

For the next two sections of your code, you’re just going to repeat and change the query to look for the additional information. Here’s the battery info query:

oFile1.WriteLine ""
strQuery = "SELECT Description,Status FROM Win32_Battery"
Set colResults = GetObject("winmgmts://./root/cimv2").ExecQuery( strQuery )
oFile1.WriteLine "Battery Information"
oFile1.WriteLine "------"
For Each objResult In colResults
strResults = "Status:," CStr(objResult.Description)
oFile1.WriteLine strResults
strResults = "Description:," CStr(objResult.Status)
oFile1.WriteLine strResults
Next

And here’s the next section for the logical disk query:

oFile1.WriteLine ""
strQuery = "Select Name, FreeSpace, Size from Win32_LogicalDisk"
Set colResults = GetObject("winmgmts://./root/cimv2").ExecQuery( strQuery )
oFile1.WriteLine "Disk Information"
oFile1.WriteLine "------"
'Identify the Logical Disk Space
For Each objResult In colResults
strResults = "Name:," CStr(objResult.Name)
oFile1.WriteLine strResults
strResults = "Free Space:," CStr(objResult.FreeSpace)
oFile1.WriteLine strResults
strResults = "Disk Size:," CStr(objResult.Size)
oFile1.WriteLine strResults
Next

Finally, remember to close out the code by closing the file and setting the objects to “Nothing”:

oFile1.Close
Set oFile1 = Nothing
set colResults = Nothing
strResults = ""

Put all that code into your new .WSF file, run it, and here’s what your output will look like:

Just swap up the queries above for any other computer devices or software you want to get information about, and you can get a full system report any time you like with just a click of the mouse.

2. Stop and Start Services

There will be times when certain services have issues, and require just a quick restart to get running properly again. This is especially true in IT when you’re forced to run server software that is sometimes a little bit buggy.

If you want to shave a minute or so off of the service restart process, just store the following script some place convenient. It’ll prompt you to type in the name of the service you want to restart, and then it’ll do exactly that.

Since stopping and starting services requires administrative privileges, you need to place the following code at the start of your script to give your script elevated privileges:

If Not WScript.Arguments.Named.Exists("elevate") Then
CreateObject("Shell.Application").ShellExecute WScript.FullName _
, """" & WScript.ScriptFullName & """ /elevate", "", "runas", 1
WScript.Quit
End If

Once this is done, add the rest of the code to run the input box for user input, launch the command window, and send it the “net stop” and “net start commands”:

Set cmdShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
strServiceName=Inputbox("Inter Service to Stop","Input Required")
cmdShell.Run "cmd.exe"
WScript.Sleep 1000
cmdShell.SendKeys "net stop " strServiceName
cmdShell.SendKeys "{Enter}"
WScript.Sleep 1000
cmdShell.SendKeys "net start " strServiceName
cmdShell.SendKeys "{Enter}"
WScript.Sleep 1000
cmdShell.SendKeys "Exit"
cmdShell.SendKeys "{Enter}"

That’s all there is to it. No need to hunt around for the services tool. Just run this script and stop and start any service in seconds.

3. Change Registry Settings, Default Admin Password

With the following script, we’re going to kill two birds with one stone. This script will show you how to edit the registry with a VB script. It’ll also give you a script that’ll let you set the default Windows username and password by editing those registry settings.

Here’s how it works. First, since editing the registry requires admin rights, you’ll need to set up elevated privileges for your script:

If Not WScript.Arguments.Named.Exists("elevate") Then
CreateObject("Shell.Application").ShellExecute WScript.FullName _
, """" & WScript.ScriptFullName & """ /elevate", "", "runas", 1
WScript.Quit
End If

First run two input boxes to ask the user what user name and password to use:

strUserName=Inputbox("Enter the default User Name","Input Required")
strPassword=Inputbox("Enter the default Password","Input Required")

Next, set up the shell object, and write those values to the appropriate registry keys:

Set wshShell = CreateObject( "WScript.Shell" )
wshShell.RegWrite "HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogonDefaultUserName", strUserName, "REG_SZ"
wshShell.RegWrite "HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogonDefaultPassword", strPassword, "REG_SZ"
Set wshShell = Nothing

And that’s all there is to it. The “RegWrite” method lets you write any value to any registry key using a VB Windows script. All you have to know is the appropriate path.

Run the script and answer the prompts.

The values you enter will get inserted right into the registry settings you’ve set up in the script.

Play around with the script and tweak it to your liking. You can edit any registry keys you like, so be creative!

4. Reset Your Network Connection

Resetting your network connection using VB scripting is something we’ve covered before here at MakeUseOf. The following version of this is actually scaled down and much simpler to implement. Instead of prompting for individual network cards, it resets all of your active connections which would hopefully resolve any network issues you may be having.

As with other scripts that need admin rights, you’ll need to add the section at the start for elevated privileges. Copy that code from the script above.

Next, create the WMI object and query it for a list of enabled network adapters on your system:

strComputer = "."
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\" & strComputer & "rootCIMV2")
Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery( _
"SELECT * FROM Win32_NetworkAdapter Where NetEnabled = 'True'")

Finally, loop through all of the enabled adapters and reset them:

For Each objItem in colItems
objItem.Disable
WScript.Sleep 1000
objItem.Enable
Next

This will reset all of your active network adapters, which is often the fastest way to resolve annoying network issues. Keep this script handy and try it first any time you have a slow network or other weird network problems.

5. Ping Devices or Websites

I’ve saved my favorite VB windows script for last. This is one that I actually set up as a scheduled task on my home computer and have it run several times a day just to check if my website is active. I have the script email me if the site is down. You can use this same script to monitor important servers or computers on your network and email yourself any time your script can’t ping the device.

First, set up the script for the target you want to ping, create the shell object, and then run the ping command.

strTarget = "topsecretwriters.com"
Set WshShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Ping = WshShell.Run("ping -n 1 " & strTarget, 0, True)

Use a Select Case statement to run through the Ping results and respond accordingly. If results come back as zero, then you know the site (or server) is online and you don’t have to do anything. If it returns a “1” then the ping failed and you need to do something. In my case, I send an email using the Windows CDO object:

Select Case Ping
Case 0
Case 1
Set objMessage = CreateObject("CDO.Message")
Set objConfig = CreateObject("CDO.Configuration")
objConfig.Load -1
Set Flds = objConfig.Fields
With Flds
.Item ("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpusessl") = True
.Item ("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpauthenticate")=1
.Item ("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/sendusername")="[email protected]"
.Item ("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/sendpassword")="xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
.Item ("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserver")="smtp.gmail.com"
.Item ("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/sendusing")=2
.Item ("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserverport")=465
.Update
End With
With objMessage
Set .Configuration = objConfig
.Subject = "Your site is offline"
.From = "[email protected]"
.To = "[email protected]"
.TextBody = "Hey, your website is offline."
.Send
End With
End Select

Once the script runs and can’t ping the device or website, you get an instant message.

It’s quick and easy, and every efficient!

Using VB Windows Scripts to Control Your Computer

These are just a few examples of some of the cool things you can do with VB scripting to streamline your computer use. There are lots of other things you can do like automated backups with VB and Synctoy, automating telnet commands, or even open and control application windows.

What are some of the things you’ve automated on your computer with a Windows script? Do you write yours using VB, or use some other tool like PowerShell?

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