General discussion

Windows Messenger Hosts File


I havn't been able to sign into Messenger since yesterday after my computer updated.. After troubleshooting it says "Your hosts file contains MSN related entries which may interfere with name resolution. Would you like Windows Live Messenger to clean up your hosts file. Yes Or No." After clicking "Yes" it doesnt seem to work.

ANY help would be greatly appreciated, im going insane!

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Reply to: Windows Messenger Hosts File
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Re: Messenger and hosts file

So tell us about your hosts file:
1. Size
2. Date of last update
3. What MSN related entries are there
4. Attributes (read-only?)

In XP it's C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts (that's all, there might be a hosts.sam also, but that's just a demo sample).

If it's related to the security updates indeed, millions of people might be affected. As long as that didn't happen, it might be unrelated.


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Host file

# Copyright (c) 1993-1999 Microsoft Corp.
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
# For example:
# # source server
# # x client host

#BLOCK Genuine Advantage - iNGEn/AJ

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Re: hosts file

This says it's the SAMPLE hosts file (read the comments!) hosts.sam
What we are looking for is the REAL hosts file hosts (not hosts.sam or hosts.txt or hosts.whatever).

Please go into Control Panel>Folder Options>View and set it to "NOT hide extensions of known filetypes". Then you'll see mp3's in My Computer as .mp3 and pictures as .jpg. Now tell again if this is hosts or hosts.sam and if you HAVE a hosts
If you don't the message from messenger is obviously incorrect. Then it might be time for a search across the net to see if others have this problem.


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you need to remove a line

jsut remove the below line

and do a complete virus scan on yr computer, good luck!

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Probably, you're right.

But Microsoft would never block Genuine Advantage itself during a security update, I'm rather sure.

So the situation might be that for some reason the OP blocked it himself manually (or ran some program to block it, or has a pirate OS that blocks it in this way) and didn't remember.
Then this new Microsoft update checks and gives an error message.

Then his choice might be: (1) not running Messenger or (2) not blocking Genuine Advantage or (3) find out what of this weeks 15 updates is involved and uninstall that.

Wel'll see how this develops.


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Kees, did what you said and it comes up exactly the same.

Mark, I removed the line but after going back into the file it's still there

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Re: removing the line

Remove the line, save the file and make it read-only in its right-click properties. Then it will NEVER return without you allowing it by clearing the read-only attribute!

By the way, do you happen to know what iNGEn/AJ means? That seems like an explanation of who or what added the line.


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And ...

there's something SPECIAL you need to do in Notepad to edit and save a file without .txt extension. If you don't choose filetype "All filetypes" it's saved as hosts.txt. And the original is the unchanged original.

Yes, to do this operation successfully, you need a somewhat more than basic knowledge of Windows.


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Absolutley no idea what INGEn/AJ means

After making it Read-only after i save it just says access is denied

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Re: hosts file.

"It says access denied". What is it, and when does it say that?

As there is no need for a hosts file at all, remove that read-only attribute and rename or delete the file so it won't interfere with Messenger.


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Don't know if this helps but i can sign in using the orignal windows messenger

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As I mentioned as a possibility above ...

the check was added in the latest version of Messenger by the latest update. An older version might still work indeed.

Now it's up to you to clean up.


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Any chance say MSN 9.0 would work? i tried installing it but it wants me to uninstall WLM which isnt in ADD/REMOVE.

Blood pressure sky HIGH

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