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Installing MVPS Hosts File in Windows 7

by Harv / November 2, 2009 7:04 AM PST

I extracted the files in hosts.zip into a folder in Documents. When I open the 'host' file there's a big list of files. Is there anything else I must do to activate the MVPS hosts application?

Next question---how do I edit the hosts file? I used to use a hosts editor, HostsXpert, but that was when WinXP was my OS. Now, with a 64-bit pc operating on Windows 7, installing new programs and applications has become more complicated.

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Windows 7 Is Much Like Vista
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / November 2, 2009 7:19 AM PST

The file location is the same as in Vista or XP. C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc

And you'll need to rename the file so it has not file extension.. Simply "HOSTS".

Remember to disable the "DNS Client" service before sliding the new, larger HOSTS file into place.

And to edit it, you'll need to tinker with the file permissions per the link below:

How To Edit A HOSTS File In Vista/Windows 7

Hope this helps.


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Perhaps Silly Question, Grif! On a
by tobeach / November 2, 2009 1:55 PM PST

64 bit OS, shouldn't it be "\system64\drivers\etc" ? Or is only the machine 64 bit not the windows 7 a 64 bit version? Just curious since I haven't dealt with 64 bit systems yet. Thanks! Sandy:D

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It's in Windows \SysWOW64\drivers\etc.
by Donna Buenaventura / November 2, 2009 3:12 PM PST
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(NT) Yep..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / November 3, 2009 6:27 AM PST
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I'm at a loss with Microsoft 7 :-(
by Harv / November 3, 2009 5:27 PM PST

I typed C:\Windows\SysWOW64\drivers\etc. in the 'Search programs and files'
box, but nothing happened. Why is the 64-bit system and Microsoft 7 so difficult to work with? SIGH! Next time I'm buying a Mac computer. Anyway, the MVPS host file is already labelled HOST without my having to change the name of the file.

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Harv, Press the...
by Donna Buenaventura / November 3, 2009 6:18 PM PST

Windows logo in your keyboard and R key at the same time then paste C:\Windows\SysWOW64\drivers\etc
Hit enter in keyboard.

Or turn off the search desktop feature so you will use again the Run command found in earlier edition of Windows. To turn off the search function in that area, follow the guide in http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/25343-windows-search-turn-off.html

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I get an error message "Windows can't find...
by Harv / November 4, 2009 4:10 AM PST
In reply to: Harv, Press the...

I typed 'etc' with and without a period following your directions and could not get to the site. So, I thought I could get there by clicking on Computer>OS>Windows>SysWOW64>drivers>etc, but I only got as far as 'drivers'. There was no 'etc'. What next?

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Harv, is all system files shown?
by Donna Buenaventura / November 4, 2009 9:51 PM PST

Can you please check if system and hidden files and folders are hidden or displayed in your Folder Options?

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Yes, I have a check mark against " file, folders and drives"
by Harv / November 5, 2009 4:17 AM PST

and there's still no 'etc' file. Sad

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I Think You Need To Do This..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / November 5, 2009 5:01 AM PST
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All files, folders and drives allowed to be viewed.
by Harv / November 5, 2009 6:15 AM PST

But, when I click on 'drivers' in the Windows 'sysWOW64' file, there is no 'etc' file.

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hhmm how come no etc folder? :(
by Donna Buenaventura / November 5, 2009 6:27 AM PST

Can you please try to do any of the following to see if it will create the etc folder for you:

Reset Hosts file in Windows: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972034
Harv, download the fixit solution in Microsoft article then run it. When done, open the folder again (C:\SysWOW64\drivers) then see if there's etc folder with the default HOSTS file.

Download the tool, let it download a hosts file:
Hostsman: http://www.abelhadigital.com/
HostsXpert: http://www.funkytoad.com/index.php?option=com_content&id=13

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I think the hosts file was installed, because the ads on
by Harv / November 8, 2009 7:47 AM PST
In reply to: Harv, Press the...

this forum were being blocked and now they are showing after the fix. I still don't see 'etc' in the drivers folder. In the meantime, I disabled the DNS Client as griff advised.

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Glad to hear the hosts file is working
by Donna Buenaventura / November 9, 2009 1:54 AM PST

I'm really curious though why you can't view etc directory. May I ask what antivirus you have? Thanks, Harv.

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I was looking in the wrong directory all along. :-(
by Harv / November 9, 2009 6:38 AM PST

The 'etc' folder is in C:\windows\sysWOW32\drivers\etc not in
C:\windows\sysWOW64\drivers\etc. I think someone mentioned that the folder was in 'sysWOW64, which I now know isn't the case. The hosts file is working fine again now that the latest update of the MVPS hosts file has been installed to the correct folder. However, I was unable to modify the file once it was installed there, even though I followed the directions about running Notepad as administrator, etc. I had to make changes to the MVPS hosts file before installing it into the 'etc' folder.

Donna, my antivirus is avast! version 4.8 Home Edition - Free Antivirus.

I want to thank you and everyone else for helping me through the whole process. Happy

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Doh! Sorry for that Harv :D
by Donna Buenaventura / November 9, 2009 10:08 AM PST

Looks they need to fix their article!
They wrote in the article: Note If you are using 64 bit version of Windows, type %systemroot% \SysWOW64\drivers\etc.

They need to change to SysWOW32 Grin

Thanks for finding that out, Harv! Good work Happy

Ruling out AV now Grin

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I had no choice and was getting really desperate. LOL
by Harv / November 9, 2009 11:15 AM PST

I had a feeling something was wrong, when I performed the 'fixit' you supplied me. So, as a last resort, I decided to turn my attention to the 'sysWOW32' folder, and voila, there it (etc) was! Happy
Thanks again for supporting me through the process.

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disable the "DNS Client" service
by lou_g / November 7, 2009 4:31 AM PST

Reference your comment: disable the "DNS Client" service. As I've used the MVPS host file for years, I changed it earlier today using notepad. I was just glancing through search items in Google and found your response. So my question is, being as I just changed it in Win 7, but didn't know about the DNS Client thing, does that mean the Host file won't work? If not, how do I fix it? Thanks!

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The HOSTS File Will Work But...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / November 7, 2009 7:14 AM PST

...if you leave "DNS Client" enabled, your computer performance will slow to a crawl.. Basically, the DNS Client service would need to verify/identify EVERY listing in the HOSTS file.. Disable the DNS Client and things will speed up immensely.

Hope this helps.


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Where is the DNS client? Can't find anything since switching
by Harv / November 8, 2009 4:33 AM PST

to Win7. Also, I think the hosts file is already active, as I see ads substituted with "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage" on the pages of CNET Forum and the other parts of webpages are displaying okay.

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I found the info thru Goggle.
by Harv / November 8, 2009 6:13 AM PST

Changed 'Startup Type' to Disabled and 'Service Status' to Stopped.

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disable the "DNS Client" service
by lou_g / November 8, 2009 6:29 AM PST

Thank you. How do I do it in Win 7? By the way, I am also using OpenDNS. Does that affect anything?

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lou_g, here's where I found the info.
by Harv / November 8, 2009 7:23 AM PST
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Same As In XP Or Vista
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / November 8, 2009 11:32 AM PST

Click on the Start button, then type: services.msc, then press the "Enter" key.. When the Services window loads, scroll to the "DNS Client" service and double click on it.. When the Properties window loads, click on the "Stop" button, then change the "Startup Type" to "Disabled" or "Manual", then click on "apply", then OK.

Hope this helps.


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