Ubuntu – What are these files like Zone.Identifier:$DATA and how to prevent them

ext4mountshared-foldersvirtualboxwindows

I have an ext4 drive which is available to my windows XP VirtualBox as a shared folder. When working with files across ubuntu and windows I sometimes see these autogenerated files with Zone.Identifier:$DATA appended to the name. For example, if I have the file

scite-2.29.msi

Then I will get a small annoying file like

scite-2.29.msi:Zone.Identifier:$DATA

The contents of the file:

[ZoneTransfer]
ZoneId=3

They seem to be created any time I write a file to the ext4 drive from within my windows virtual machine. I seem to be able to safely delete them without any obvious consequences.

What are these files for, and if they're useless how can I prevent them from being generated in the first place?

Best Answer

I found the place to disable them, at least in WinXP. Run gpedit.msc and then configure as below:

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