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Internet access

by emel / February 25, 2005 3:14 PM PST

Running MS XP Home on 5 PCs on home network. All have Office 03 and current Norton AntiVirus and Firewall installed. One computer can not access internet via '' but works with 'IP' address. Example: results in 'cannot find server' message...but entering works just fine.
? Where is the 'alias lookup' file that converts '' entries to the 99.999.999.99 IP adress? And how do I correct the problem?

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Domain Name Server
by patio_nl / February 25, 2005 7:15 PM PST
In reply to: Internet access

The DNS of your ISP does the trick converting names to TCP/IP numeric addresses. Apparently you have entered the Domain Name Server's address in the otherr computers, but not in the one with problem. Check either of the other 4 computer setups and make the fifth identical.
It's also possible that your router supports only 4 clients.

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With that problem on a single computer it is...
by Edward ODaniel / February 25, 2005 10:56 PM PST
In reply to: Internet access

generally caused by the problem computer having a HOSTS file that misdirects. The working HOSTS file has no extension and on Windows NT based systems can be located at %WinDir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

There may also be a HOSTS.SAM which is a SAMple hosts file but with the extension is not used.

You may have to adjust your viewing options for Windows Explorer to not hide hidden or system files to find it.

The same problem can also occur if you have assigned static addresses.

Compare the problem machine's network settings with those of another computer that is not having access problems.

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by emel / February 26, 2005 8:00 AM PST

I have compared the network settings and everything seems to be correct in the machine that is not finding the servers/websites (except when I type in the 999.999.99.99 type address). I am also not using a static address. The HOST file on my old laptop that works is dated Aug 2001, but the HOST file that is on the machine that is not working is dated yesterday. This makes me think that it is being changed when perhaps it shouldn't be. I've run several virus/spyware/malware programs; and I think it is clean now. Should I try to copy the HOST file from my laptop and copy it to the computer that is not working?
Thanks again for your help.

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Re: HOSTS file
by Kees Bakker / February 26, 2005 9:42 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks...

You can have a look inside the HOSTS file with Notepad. In fact you can even edit and save it (take care to select "all files", not "text files", or it will become hosts.txt). The entries are very easy to understand also: each non-comment line contains an ip-address and a url. If you type the url, IE (in all programs using the internet) uses that IP-address and doesn't go and search on the Internet.

A good use of hosts is to block sites you don't want to visit, such as advertising and spyware sites. They should be redirected to (localhost). Hosts files with a lot of such sites can be downloaded here and there. If you're interested in that, post for more info.

In the meantime, it doesn't hurt at all to see what happens if you rename hosts to something else (say: hosts.old). Copying it from another machine can certainly be a good idea, if you want to block or reassign the same sites on both machines.

Hope this helps.


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HOST files...
by emel / February 27, 2005 12:18 AM PST
In reply to: Re: HOSTS file

The HOSTS files on all of my computers (working and not) look the same. LocalHost is the only thing in them. Interestingly, only the non-working computer has a localhost file...not the working computers. When I open the HOST files in WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC with Notepad, they all have:
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
Am I looking at the right file?

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before calling it off for hosts file try this
by gopinath_sastra / February 28, 2005 6:50 AM PST
In reply to: HOST files...

open command prompt and type ping
if you get a reply then make sure dns service and dhcp service is started automatic in services.msc(in run)
then try to browse the webpages in windows explorer
also check the status in safe mode with networking
in etc folder you can delete hosts and lmhosts and whichever you see as hosts and if you restart hosts file will be generated automatically

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