Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a nightly job on Windows Server 2003 that automatically updates itself by downloading its .exe from Amazon S3. I've noticed that when it performs the download and tries to run the newly downloaded .exe, it is immediately kicked back to the command line without actually running anything.

I can verify this by sticking the new version of the code directly on the server and watching it execute successfully, then uploading it to the "update" server, running the bootstrapper then running the .exe and observing it fail to execute.

I can only assume that this is due to Windows protecting me from running code from outside its trusted zone. How does a fella go about configuring it to allow code from this particular external location to execute?


share|improve this question

Windows tracks whether or not a file has been downloaded from the internet (or expanded from a zip file, even) by use of file streams. There is a stream associated with the .exe which effectively says "I came from".

If you want to disable it for that file, and since it is a batch job anyway, you can delete the stream using


share|improve this answer

Maybe by adding your S3 URL to your Trusted Zone?

share|improve this answer

Try this: go to the newly downloaded file, right-click and bring up the properties, check if there's a button 'Unblock'. If you download an executable, you need to specifically permit it to to run. I'm not sure how to do this in script, so this won't fix your problem but may get you a bit closer.

share|improve this answer

If you want to disable zone checking set the environment variable SEE_MASK_NOZONECHECKS=1, but don't. Run your executable via this script instead:

set oShell= CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")

set oEnv = oShell.Environment("PROCESS")


oShell.Run "c:\myexecutablepath\myexecutable.exe",0,True

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.