Category: developers journal

This file came from another computer…. Well doh!

Author: seven July 16, 2008

The other day I wanted to copy xhtml templates, images and javascript files from my colleagues computer (xp) to my own (xp) to make a new repository for a project we were working on.

Nothing unusual here except the fact I was forbidden by his xp to copy any .js file with error similar to permissions problem. I walked to his computer and checked permissions and everything was ok with them. But, rightclicking one of .js files brought interesting message: "This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer".

Right of the message you can see a big Unblock button, which actually doesn't do anything. After "unblocking" I was still unable to copy them. This situation occurs only if you have XP SP2+ and use IE to download files because IE tags the file with an additional "NTFS Stream" of information.

There are few possible hacks how to disable this annoyance slash security feature:

  1. unblock the file, then copy it to FAT32 partition, and then move it back to NTFS.
  2. Disable NTFS Streams with SysInternals Streams utility (mega haxor)
  3. User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Attachment Manager. Enable: Do not preserve zone information in file attachments (only works for new files)
  4. Just stop using IE! :)
CEO/CTO at Nivas®
Neven Jacmenović has been passionately involved with computers since late 80s, the age of Atari and Commodore Amiga. As one of internet industry pioneers in Croatia, since 90s, he has been involved in making of many award winning, innovative and successful online project. He is experienced full stack web developer, analyst and system engineer. In his spare time, Neven is transforming retro-futuristic passion into various golang, Adobe Flash and JavaScript/WebGL projects.

    11 thoughts on “This file came from another computer…. Well doh!”

  • Hiya,

    I’m a bit of a dork when it comes to Run and Command Line. I have this same issue with the “This file came from another computer……” I run Vista Home Premium, 64 bit. I don’t seem to be able to access this “GPEDIT.MSC” upper or lower case Run can not find this. I can’t even figure out how to get Streams running to do the -d command to get this issue resolved. I work in the 3d industry and download zip and exe all the time. This is a royal PITA. MS is loosing more respect daily from me for this mess they call Vista.

    I appreciate your help as no one else seems to be able to get this totally resolved. Hope you can help out.

    Thanks much

    Richard ;-)~

  • Yo Richard, I’ve doublechecked “gpedit.msc” on vista, and ir works as it should. :(

  • I’m using Firefox 3 and observing the same behavior with some files, so just using IE isn’t necessarily going to solve it…

  • ^^^ I meant “just not using IE”

  • I had the same problem, any program I downloaded was being blocked and or I had to right click to unblock

    here is the solution,

    Originally posted by zebez:
    run gpedit.msc
    Goto: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows
    Components > Attachment Manager
    Enable: Do not preserve zone information in file attachments

    Will only take effect on new files.

  • GPEDIT.MSC is on machines with Vista Home Premium, BUT it cannot be run with this version of windows!

  • i thought this block thing was what ruined an app i installed. i unblocked and yet it still doesn’t work(but thats the programmer’s fault i think) i never noticed this until i downloaded using ie. my download manager usually takes every file i attempt to download except those it can’t read properly so i use ie as my backup. so i suggest using a download manager, they don’t add that ntsf stream

  • Pizza de Oveja
    Pizza de Oveja
    April 22, 2010 at 10:01

    Hi I have the same problem, but to me it happens with windows XP serv pack III all latest patches installed and with the files I get from a p2p program.
    So I think it is clearly not a matter of the internet explorer you use or windows.
    Also it must be something added on the NTFS of the disk because the files continue being blocked after reinstall or with windows 7.

    I’ve noticed thou that this bloking, that did not happen to me before, but suddenly after a concrete date, all files downloaded from the p2p program started getting the blocking thing, so my guess is that there has been a windows update that added this security stuff, as I’ve not done any other update or installed any program save updating avast antivirus to ver 5.

    I will try downloading with the antivir deactivated to see if the problem is the new avast version.

    does GPEDIT.MSC exists for windows XP?

  • Pizza de Oveja
    Pizza de Oveja
    April 22, 2010 at 16:12

    Ok here it what did work:

    I copied streams.exe to the folder I use for downloading files.
    I run command prompt and type the units letter:


    cd incoming (the subfolder)

    and as the command didnt work(no streams found in this folder) I finally remember the good old days of DOS and it finally did work…
    streams -d *.*

    that deleted all the blockings in that folder. Cool!
    But still all my newly downloaded files will get blocked and
    gpedit.msc wont work in windows XP home edition, as apparently that is and util of the pro version only. I found some online solution I will try and post here if it works.

  • I tried the moving from NTFS to FAT32 back to NTFS and it eliminated the issue on W7 and S2K8 R2.

    I will repost on my blog as this was especially useful. :)

  • SysTools Unblocker is a free tool to unblock file in batch & resolve error “This File came from another computer” for any file type.

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