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General discussion

My hosts files are not working

by PudgyOne / August 22, 2006 1:48 AM PDT

My hosts files are not working.

Dell Inspiron B130 Notebook
Windows XP

I downloaded the hosts files from


I installed then into the folder

[Important Notice - 2K/XP Users]
In most cases a large HOSTS file (over 135 kb) tends to slow down the machine. This only occurs
in W2000 and XP. Windows 98 and Windows ME are not affected.

To resolve this issue (manually) open the "Services Editor"

Start | Run (type) "services.msc" (no quotes)
Scroll down to "DNS Client", Right-click and select: Properties
Click the drop-down arrow for "Startup type"
Select: Manual, click Apply/Ok and restart.

If I do this procedure, I cannot clear out my dns cache. I had to skip this.

When I scan using AVG Free, I also get a message saying reading error, error.

It does not work and I would like to get it working, just like it did on my old system. I feel unprotected without it.

Any suggestion would be appreciated.


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by Marianna Schmudlach / August 22, 2006 1:57 AM PDT
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Rick, Disabling The 'DNS Client' Service Is A Must...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / August 22, 2006 4:04 AM PDT

...on every Windows 2000 or XP computer where I run a HOSTS file.. If you don't, then the computer tries to identify EVERY site in the HOSTS file. The larger the HOSTS file, the slower the computer runs. I tend to use the HpGuru HOSTS file which is extremely large.. Simply stated, the computer slows to a crawl unless the "DNS Client" service is set to "Manual" or "Disable".

Remember also, although you haven't stated in your above question,,you don't install the "HOSTS.zip" file in the "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC" folder as you've described.. Instead, you unzip the .zip file, rename the HOSTS file so it has no file extension (HOSTS), THEN place it in the appropriate location. ARe you doing that???

Just a question...Why do you need to clear your DNS cache? I've almost NEVER had to perform such a procedure except in unusual circumstances and even then, it was only necessary occasionally.. It certainly wouldn't prevent me from disabling the "DNS Client" service. Quickling enabling, then disabling the service allows quick changes to be made. And remember, if the DNS Client service is disabled, then there isn't a stored cache to flush.. It shouldn't be a problem.

Hope this helps.


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Marianna and Grif
by PudgyOne / August 22, 2006 7:39 AM PDT

Marianna and Grif

I tried to disable the DNS Clien as you suggested. When I do this, my Dell Inspiron B130 will NOT connect to the Netgear Router. I alway have to repair it. I then and still get the message to clear out the DNS Cache but... it connects

The hosts file still does not work. I have to tear apart the dryer tomorrow, so It will be a day or two until I get a chance to try the help file at the URL Marianna gave me. It's got to be something simple I'm missing. I always used a hosts file with Windows ME but this has got me stumped. I double clicked on the mpvs, then copied the hosts file to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC

I want to use this to keep the children away from myspace.com and one or two other websites. Maybe there is another way to keep them away.

I'll try to get back to you on Thursday.



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downloading or extracting the HOSTS file
by Marianna Schmudlach / August 22, 2006 8:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Marianna and Grif
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Rick, What Do You Mean By???
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / August 22, 2006 9:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Marianna and Grif

...."my Dell Inspiron B130 will NOT connect to the Netgear Router"? Is it a wired or wireless connection? Have you also tried temporarily disabling the firewall to see if that makes a difference?

Could it be a browser problem?? It could be a blocked website in your HOSTS file?

What happens if you disable "DNS Client" and DISABLE the HOSTS file??.. First, temporarily disable the HOSTS file by opening the folder, then renaming the HOSTS file to "HOSTS.txt". Next, disable "DNS Client" as suggested before. Close your browser, then open it again. If it now connects correctly, then it's not a DNS Client service issue but instead your browser's homepage may be included in the HOSTS file.

If that doesn't fix the issue, I would try running the WinsockXPfix tool from the link below:


I've currently got 30 or 40 machines which all use a HOSTS file, have "DNS Client" set to "Manual", and they connect to various routers or switches. They all have no problem connecting to the internet but of course, most of them use a wired connection.

Hope this helps.


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Here's the story
by PudgyOne / August 23, 2006 1:23 AM PDT

Here's the story.

I am currently using a Dell Inspiron B130 Notebook (Windows XP, SP2). I use it wireless using Intel PROSet Wireless. It connects with a Netgear WGR614 v6 Wireless Router. The Netgear router is connected to a Westell 6100 modem/router for Verizon DSL. The Westell moden/router has an ip of so I had to change the ip of the Netgear Wireless Router to If I change the DNS Client to Manual or Disable, I do NOT connect. I have to repair it with the Wireless Network Connection Program. When it's complete, it say it could not clear the DNS Cache, please check with the person that set up your program. If I leave the DSN Client on Automatic, I can connect most of the time, however if I need to go to CMD and type ipconfig /flushdns it will work. If on manual or disable I cannot use that command.

Phone line >>> Westell 6100 >>> Netgear WGR614 v6 >>> Wireless and Wired

I just wanted to block a few websites like myspace.com and a few others that get by that I find with the spyware removal tools.

I tried the WinsockXPfix tool and tried to back up the registry first. Got error message for all 7 items. I then clicked repair and it repaired it, I heard a ding. Then it prompted me to restart my computer, which I did. It would not connect. It couldn't find an ip address for me at all. I tried ipconfig /release and it told me it was already released. I then tried ipconfig /renew and it would not work. I had to use system restore to get things back to normal.


Can I just use the hosts file and just make it smaller to suit my needs?

If I can use a smaller Hosts file, do I still need to change the DSN Client to Manual or disable or can I leave it on automatic?

Depending on what your answers are, I will then have to make a decision on that.

I can block these websites on the Netgear router but...my wife doesn't want me to (and it also blocks the other computer that's wired to the Netgear Router). I am trying to keep this to the older computer. I end up with browser helpers and for the first time, I have found something using C W Shredder. I do NOT want this on the Notebook. I even went as far as entering them into the restricted sites, but it seems to let you there. I even entered the into Mozilla Firefox and I can still go there. I have to do this in such a way that the Notebook is protected from going to myspace.com and so it can block the few other websites. I don't care if it goes on the old desktop and gets tons of spyware, I do not have them networked, just sharing the internet connnection.

What is the next step to try? I will back up the computer with System Restore before I try the next thing.



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Router to Router Can Be The Issue..And...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / August 23, 2006 7:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Here's the story

...I've never done it that way...You may have two or three router NAT's or firewalls running at the same time. The Netgear router has both a NAT and a SPI firewall. The Westell modem also has a NAT firewall...And maybe you've also got an onboard computer firewall as well. Not a good thing...Generally, it's a lot cleaner if you simply use a gateway type of wireless router/modem combination. (In your situation, it might be cheaper to simply buy a wireless access point to replace the Netgear router.) There aren't as many IP address issues that way. I use Verizon DSL also but use their Versalink router/modem gateway from the link below. It has both wired and wireless connections.:


Did you clone the MAC address from the Netgear to the Westell modem? Many routers don't do that automatically and it should allow you to connect smoothly.

Something is definitely rotten in Denmark if you can't make a registry backup??

Yes, you can use the HOSTS file and reduce the number of items listed so it fits your needs.. The smaller the HOSTS file, then less slow down you will experience if you don't disable "DSN Client".

Hope this helps.


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When we first got
by PudgyOne / August 23, 2006 12:34 PM PDT

When we first got Verizon DSL, we only had a desktop. They sent us a Westell 6100 modem, so we thought. Afetr six months, I got the Dell Inspiron B130 (about 2 months ago). I ordered it with a Dell Photo AIO Printer with a Dell Wireless Printer Adapter 3300. I also got a Netgear WGR614 v6 Wireless Router.

The first Netgear router needed changed. I found out that the ip for the Westell 6100 modem(I now find out it is a modem/router) was the same as my Netgear router. The tech person from Netgear-support told me to login to the Netgaer router and change the ip to but when I clicked apply I noticed that the router was saving the settings for I could not reset the router to factory settings and could not login to it. Netgear confirmed that the router was defective and I had to return it. I was shipped another Netgear router and then was told to call their tech support person. The person walked me throught the process of changing the ip to After I used it for a day or two, I found out how to change the name of the router, password and enabled the Network authication of WPA-Personal and date encription of TKIP using the IntelPROSet/Wireless program. The only trouble started slighly when I tried to add the hosts file. I connect great and have a connection of 54.0 Mbps. I do have the SSID visable, not sure if that's safe or not but since the password is a nice long one, I just hope that R Proffitt doesn't come over with him program to get online. Someone else has a router that is called default, in the neighborhood. It is not secure and it's a very fast connection. Haven't seen it for a while now. This is how this all came along. I can live with a smallers hosts file, if I need to. I don't thing some of the websites are known to other family members.

I forgot, we did NOT change anything on the Westell modem/router. The Westell 6100 modem/router does not have the firewall enabled. All the changes were made on the Netgear Router. The Netgear router is set to block only one site at this time, which is limewire.com. It blocks limewire on both computers. I could not find any firewall settings on the Netgear router. The Netgear gets the internet ip address Dynamically from the ISP. It also gets the DNS Address automatically from the ISP. And under Mac address is says use default address. The Westell 6100 remains unchanged with an ip of

I was reading another post in the wireless section. Someone told another member that they could turn off the SSID broadcast and still connect. This would make the Netgear router invisible to the neighbors and I could still connect? Is that ture and would you recommend it?

Thanks for all you help with this subject.


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Disabling SSID Broadcase Can Have Issues...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / August 24, 2006 5:13 AM PDT
In reply to: When we first got

Although disabling the SSID name works fine on most setups and it does prevent the network name from showing up on random/routine wireless scans, it can make some types of connections difficult.. (There IS sniffing software that will allow serious scanners, hackers, etc. to find the network name anyway) So, if you're already having wireless connection problems, I would refrain from taking any steps which might make the connection more difficult.

Still, on all my wireless networks, I disable the SSID. Just my approach.

Hope this helps.


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I Would Do The Firewall Differently
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / August 24, 2006 6:20 AM PDT
In reply to: When we first got

Since the primary protection against the internet should occur at the closest router to the ourside world, I would enable the firewall on the Westell modem/router and DISABLE all the firewall abilities of the wireless router... That option should also allow the Netgear to better communicate with the Westell.

Hope this helps.


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(NT) (NT) Thank You!
by PudgyOne / August 24, 2006 10:12 AM PDT
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