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Windows 7: How do I delete zone identifier files?

15 Feb 2014   #1

Win 7 Home Premium 64
How do I delete zone identifier files?

Win 7 x64 OS. I did a data recovery to restore thousands of deleted files on my external hard drive. After the files were successfully restored, I also had thousands of 1kb "zone.identifier" files for each of the restored files. I've tried deleting the zone.identifier files but get an "Item Not found" error window, which says "This is no longer located in E:\. Verify the item's location and try again." So... how do I remove or delete these files?

I've attached pictures of
1) an example of the file & it's zone.identifier copy
2) the error message I get when I try to delete
3) the properties of the zone.identifier files (personal ID blacked out)

Attached Images
How do I delete zone identifier files?-1.png How do I delete zone identifier files?-2.png How do I delete zone identifier files?-3.png How do I delete zone identifier files?-4.png How do I delete zone identifier files?-5.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2014   #2

Win 7 Home Premium 64

Tried rebooting. Unwanted zone.identifier files remain.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2014   #3

Win 7 Home Premium 64

1) My Computer
2) Right click on external HD
3) Properties
4) Tools
5) Error-checking - check now - Automatically fix file system errors
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Feb 2014   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
Removing Zone Identifier

I know that you marked this as solved but here's some extra info.

The Attachment Manager in Windows protects you against unsafe attachments and downloads by identifying the file type and the respective security settings. Based on the Zone Information, if it identifies an attachment that might be unsafe, it prevents you from opening the file, or it warns you before you open the file.

The Zone.Identifier is an alternative data stream (ADS) stored by Windows in files downloaded from the Internet, email attachments or saved on your disk and you get a security warning when these files are used.

If you really want to remove alternate data streams (ADS) you could just use something like the free:

ADS (Alternate Data Streams) Scanner

How do I delete zone identifier files?-ads-scanner-2.jpg

Personally I prefer to use UVK. Link not provided as some features are no longer free in the current version.

How do I delete zone identifier files?-ads-scanner-1.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2014   #5

Win 7 Home Premium 64

Appreciate the additional information. Cheers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2015   #6

Windows 7 32 bit

This is an old thread but I just wanted to say thanks to the OP for posting your solution - so many people do figure out posted problems and often don't post the fix, or sometimes they just say they fixed it and don't provide the solution! And thank's for the additional info as well.

I'm still cleaning up a bunch of these files after a HDD crash and recovery. I had most of my stuff backed up but enough of it wasn't so recovery was needed. What happened was my User account became corrupt and all the files ended up in the root of the C drive in the "Found" folders. And yes, after reading this it does hold true that all the files with the additional ZI files were download from the net. I transferred everything to an external drive and reinstalled Windows. I had to set permissions on the external, but I've been just deleting this files as I come across them.

One question, if this topic does find it's way back into current topics - where were these files before my system went haywire - were they part of the main file(s) that I downloaded?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2016   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x86

run the following command then reboot your pc:

netsh branchcache reset
netsh http delete cache
netsh http delete timeout timeouttype=headerwaittimeout
netsh http delete timeout timeouttype=idleconnectiontimeout
netsh http flush
netsh int ip reset c:\log.txt
netsh interface httpstunnel reset
netsh interface ipv4 reset
netsh interface ipv6 reset
netsh interface reset all
netsh nap reset
netsh routing reset
netsh rpc reset
netsh winhttp reset
netsh winhttp reset proxy
netsh winhttp reset tracing
netsh winsock reset
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How do I delete zone identifier files?

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