With Windows Server 2003, you don't have the luxury of the in-built Group Policy tools that give you a nice GUI to create and deploy shortcuts. You have to use VBScript to add the shortcuts.
Here's one I've used before -
' AddDesktopShortcut - adds a desktop shortcut if one does not exist.
' first argument = URL or path to desktop application
' second argument = Name of the shortcut
' third argument = path to the icon to use; this must include the icon index as well, e.g.
' "C:\windows\system32\shell32.dll,15". Pass an empty string, i.e. "" to
' use the default icon instead.
' repeat these lines for as many shortcuts as you want.
AddDesktopShortcut "http://www.google.com", "Google", ""
AddDesktopShortcut "http://www.bing.com", "Bing", "C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll,13"
Sub AddDesktopShortcut (ByVal path, ByVal name, ByVal iconPath)
Dim objFSO, objShell, strDesktop, objLink, strLinkPath
Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
strDesktop = objShell.SpecialFolders("Desktop")
strLinkPath = strDesktop & "\" & name & ".lnk"
If Not objFSO.FileExists(strLinkPath) Then
' shortcut doesn't exist, create it
Set objLink = objShell.CreateShortcut(strLinkPath)
objLink.Description = name
If Len(iconPath) > 0 Then
objLink.IconLocation = iconPath
' change this line to change the default icon
objLink.IconLocation = "C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll,14"
objLink.TargetPath = path
' clean up
Set objLink = Nothing
Set objShell = Nothing
Set objFSO = Nothing
Modify the script to add the shortcuts you need; the script above adds two shortcuts to the user's desktops, one for Google and one for Bing.
Once you've modified the script, on your server, fire up the Group Policy Management tool (Start -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Group Policy Management). You can either use an existing group policy, or create a new one just for this purpose. Unless you have heaps of Group Policy objects already, it is probably easier to create a new one.
Find the organisational unit (OU) or domain in the tree which contain the users/computers that you want the shortcuts to be added for, right-click and select "Create a new GPO in this domain and Link it here..." (paraphrased - I don't have a Win2003 server box in front of me at the moment).
Name that GPO, right-click and select Edit. Then go to User Configuration -> Policies -> Windows Settings -> Scripts -> Logon in the tree. Right-click on that, click Properties. From there, click the Show Files button, and copy the script file into there. Then back in the Logon Properties dialog, click Add, and enter in/browse to the script file. Click OK, close the Group Policy Management Editor window, and you should be right.
You can use the Group Policy Modelling tool to see where that GPO will be applied (if you've just followed the instructions here, it'll be applied to all users in the OU/domain you selected - you can use security groups or link it to other OUs to be more specific); or use the Group Policy Results tool to see where it has been applied.