Trying to run setup.exe file for downloaded game, getting error "Windows found that this file is potentially harmful."

I downloaded a game program from the internet (a game I have successfully installed on all previous versions of Windows dating back to about 1995!), and the files appeared to download okay.  However when I try to run the setup.exe application file, I get this message:

   Windows Security Warning

   Windows found that this file is potentially harmful.
   To help protect your computer, Windows has blocked access to this file.

   Name:   Setup.exe

   How does this help protect my computer?  ( <-- that line hyperlinked)

                           OK     (  <-- button to hit)


So, the message doesn't give me any info on why it's blocking it or options to allow it.  Also, the hyperlink goes to the Windows Help and Support program, but tells me the topic isn't found.

Just got Windows 7 yesterday so still very new to it and without the error message giving me some option other than hitting "OK", not even sure which program is actually blocking the file or how to stop it from blocking it.

Hope I gave you enough information, if not please let me know what else you need to know.

Thanks!  Marianne

 
Question Info

Last updated June 3, 2018 Views 22,910 Applies to:

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Since this is a very old game, it may not be compatible with Windows 7. Try running it in Compatibility Mode. See Win7's Help & Support for instructions.
MS-MVP - Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!
Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!

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Thanks for that reply, tried it but it didn't work so figured it was such an old game, I'd just forget about it.

However, since then, I am getting the same error message, just with a different .exe file name, when I try to download the driver for my printer and when I try to download Limewire.

So it seems Windows isn't letting me download any executable application files.

Can anyone at Microsoft tell me what this problem is about?

Thanks, Marianne

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It's baffling that even an MVP can't answer your question properly, and ridiculous that another MVP thought it was enough to be marked as the answer.  I know I'm probably a bit late, but here's the answer anyway.
Anything you download from the internet is automatically marked as such by windows.  Microsoft clearly think everyone are idiots and that they'll make security decisions for you, so if you attempt to extract a zip containing a .exe file in it, it will tell you that it has been blocked.  To get round this, right click on the zip, click "Properties", then click "Unblock", and it will forget it came from the internet and let you extract the file.  

Gordon

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Gordon, your answer is very helpful!

I have a similar problem that requires a different solution, as I cannot download files. I've attempted to download executable files (like Google's Chrome browser) as well as zipped files that contain nothing but Word and PDF documents. In every case (and just starting out of the blue today), it says "Windows found that this file is potentially harmful" and stops the download (or perhaps it allows the download, but prevents it from being saved to the hard drive).

Any thoughts from you (or anyone else) are much appreciated.

ojleblanc

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Gordon,

 

Many thanks for this, I knew it was something to do with downloading zips from internet. I am also equally gobsmacked that a "MVP" couldnt answer what must be a very common question. Thanks for your time, it saved me having to write 100s of lines of code again.

 

Cheers

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Brilliant! It worked. Thanks.

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Gordon

My reply to your post is also much later than the original question, but I just started having the same problem with zipped email attachments. I have been running W7 since it was released and never had the problem until now. I just started using Live Mail as my mail client that might be the difference, but I don't know.

Thank you for your post - it solved my problem.

Also, I had the same observation as you regarding the unresponsive "approved solution" post.

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Thanks! this worked for me

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Gordon, brilliant!  Cheers, mate!

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What's baffling is it's over a year later and the "help" option on the error still yields nothing and the response above is still marked as "Answer." What arrogance...

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