Active Directory shortcut failing to create

Background: I am making a GPO with desktop shortcuts for users. The GPO has a few links to websites like our help desk that it places. It also has a shortcut to a network location for a file share.

The Issue: The shortcuts that go to URLs apply just fine. The one that goes to the network location doesn't work. The offending one is, as far as I can tell, configured entirely correctly.

Here you can see the configuration:

The shortcut path is \\SERVER. Using the same configuration, I was able to make it work with \\SERVER\SUBFOLDER, but can't get it to work with the top level.

On the client computer I see this error:

What I've Tried: When I research this issue I found a lot of people saying it an issue with the security context so I tried checking/unchecking the Security Context settings in the common tab for the shortcut and running a gpupdate /force. I also found people saying that it might not like the name of the server, but that can't be it because it resolves subfolders.

What I Want: I want to be able to map this shortcut directly to \\SERVER directly with group policy. I can't map it to a subfolder and deploy it because of the way the server is configured for files. I know that I could deploy it with a login script that just places a shortcut on the desktop, but I'd like to keep everything vanilla group policy.

• My guess is that it's because \\server isn't technically a UNC path for which a file system object shortcut can be created. A UNC path must contain at least two path components, such as \\server\share. - msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc227007.aspx – joeqwerty Nov 9 '18 at 19:18
• @joeqwerty That would make sense. Is there a way to make it work anyway or will I need to take a different approach? – hairydresden Nov 9 '18 at 19:19
• If \\server isn't a valid UNC path then I don't see how you can make it work. – joeqwerty Nov 9 '18 at 19:20
• The problem is that GPP can't create the shortcut because it isn't valid, but there's nothing stopping you from manually creating the shortcut and then copying the shortcut to the client machines with GPP. – joeqwerty Nov 9 '18 at 19:25
• I think that's what I'll do. I'll make a login script that copies a shortcut from a network location. Thanks! – hairydresden Nov 9 '18 at 19:27

My guess is that it's because \\server isn't technically a UNC path for which a file system object shortcut can be created. A UNC path must contain at least two path components, such as \\server\share.
If \\server isn't a valid UNC path then I don't see how you can make it work as is, but there's nothing stopping you from manually creating the shortcut and then copying the shortcut to the client machines with GPP.