Go Premium for a chance to win a PS4. Enter to Win


Clicking Show Desktop button triggers "File Download - Security Warning"

Posted on 2006-06-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-03-03
When I click on the Show Desktop icon on the task bar in Windows XP, instead of showing or refreshing the desktop, I get a dialogue box with File Download - Security warning, asking me if I want to Run or Save the file Show Desktop.scf. If I run Registry Mechanic, it deletes the .SCF file association. In that case clicking on the Show Desktop Icon opens an Windows Explorer window showing the contents of the .SCF file, instead of just running the command. The contents of the Show Desktop.scf file is:


I tried unsuccessfully to do a System Restore back to before this started happening. I also get weird behavior when I click on the Software Updates button in HP Director. A small Notepad window opens displaying the HTML script for the software update.
Question by:Blue_Jay
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • +1
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 16981708
try running sfc /scannow from the run box; or a repair install :   http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm      
you can also check for malware : run ALL these, updated :

     adaware :      http://www.lavasoftusa.com/
     Spybot :        http://www.download.com/3000-8022-10122137.html
http://housecall.trendmicro.com/                                                               online scan for trojans
http://www.spychecker.com/program/hijackthis.html                                   download
http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php?langselect=english                                check the log

Expert Comment

ID: 16981997
Hi Blue_Jay,

open notepad, and paste following lines


save it as "show desktop.scf" and see if it's working or still showing file download - security warning?


Author Comment

ID: 16984421
Nobus - I ran an sfc the other day and it didn't help. I'm hoping to solve this without doing a repair install. I have Service Pack 2 installed, but the original Win XP Pro disk is pre-SP1. I would probably have to do a lot of Windows Updates to get back to where I am now. I have run Adaware, Spybot, HijackThis, and Sunbelt CounterSpy. No adware or spyware found.

Imnajam - I have recreated the Show Desktop.scf file many times, without success at resolving the issue.

Modern healthcare requires a modern cloud. View this brief video to understand how the Concerto Cloud for Healthcare can help your organization.

LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 16984562
if the problem is recent, try a system restore to a previous date
LVL 34

Accepted Solution

sramesh2k earned 2000 total points
ID: 16984800
Hi Blue_Jay,

Download FileExtInfo.exe from the following site:

FileExtInfo - View the association settings for a file type easily:

Generate a report for .SCF file type, and post the entire information here. I'll study the settings.

Author Comment

ID: 16986994
Nobus - I tried System Restore a while ago, it didn't help.

SRamesh2K - Great suggestion. Hope you can find what's wrong. Here's the results of the FileExtInfo scan:


@="Windows Explorer Command"














I'm increasing the Point Value to 500 for this problem.

Author Comment

ID: 16989218
Ramesh - I found it! Thanks to your suggestion, I ran FileExtInfo on my Windows XP Pro laptop and compared the results to the desktop. The last three keys were not there, but Show Desktop was working fine. So I deleted the whole [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.SCF] key from the desktop and that solved the problem.

Thanks for your help. Once again you've led me to the solution!
LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 16989708
You're welcome Blue_Jay.

Featured Post

Concerto Cloud for Software Providers & ISVs

Can Concerto Cloud Services help you focus on evolving your application offerings, while delivering the best cloud experience to your customers? From DevOps to revenue models and customer support, the answer is yes!

Learn how Concerto can help you.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Ok I have been working on this for some time having learned and gained certification in XenDesktop 4 along came version 5 which was released last month. Since then I have been working to deploy XenDesktop 5 in a small environment with only 2 virt…
Sometimes people don't understand why download speed shows differently for Windows than Linux.Specially, this article covers and shows the solution for throughput difference for Windows than a Linux machine. For this, I arranged a test scenario.I…
This video shows how to quickly and easily deploy an email signature for all users in Office 365 and prevent it from being added to replies and forwards. (the resulting signature is applied on the server level in Exchange Online) The email signat…
Two types of users will appreciate AOMEI Backupper Pro: 1 - Those with PCIe drives (and haven't found cloning software that works on them). 2 - Those who want a fast clone of their boot drive (no re-boots needed) and it can clone your drive wh…
Suggested Courses

876 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question