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Tom AZ

I need a little HOSTS file help

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I am currently using the MVPS Hosts file. On a website my wife visits, "some" activity is regularly blocked or restricted. I know it's the HOSTS file, because when I disable it, everything works just fine.

 

She can pretty well navigate around the site with no problems. However, when she tries adding an item to the shopping cart and/or attempts to check out, that's when the trouble begins. Obviously, it not the whole site that's blocked ? just some activity on the site.

 

So... how in the world do you begin to identify the offending entry/IP address in order to either delete it or whitelist it? I'm not really sure how to go about this.

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I would suggest turning on HostsServer and enabling the log. Then try visiting the site again and check the log. That will show you all the hosts that were just blocked, then you can narrow down the "false positive." Note that HostsServer works for all browsers except Opera for some reason.

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I would suggest turning on HostsServer and enabling the log.

 

Yes, and that's built into HostsMan (freeware). After enabling it you can find out which site it is, then in HostsMan insert to not add the site to the HOSTS file, then when it updates it will never add in the excluded/whitelist site ever again.

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Thanks for the help - exactly what I needed to know.

 

Do either of you load HostMan or HostsServer when Windows starts and run them active, or do you just launch them when you have a "special need"? Part of my reason for asking is that I'm not sure how resource intensive they are.

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Do either of you load HostMan or HostsServer when Windows starts and run them active, or do you just launch them when you have a "special need"? Part of my reason for asking is that I'm not sure how resource intensive they are.

Because I use Opera, I don't keep HostsServer running. I also never keep HostsMan running to save on system resources (I have no need for auto update checking). On my secondary (XP) machine, I use Iron more than Chrome so I do keep HostsServer running there, and it uses about 6MB of RAM and essentially no CPU.

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After enabling it you can find out which site it is, then in HostsMan insert to not add the site to the HOSTS file, then when it updates it will never add in the excluded/whitelist site ever again.

Exactly, how do you do this with HostsMan?

 

Also, once you identify an unwanted HOSTS entry(s) using the log file, do you delete the entry(s), disable it, or something else?????

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Exactly, how do you do this with HostsMan?

 

Also, once you identify an unwanted HOSTS entry(s) using the log file, do you delete the entry(s), disable it, or something else?????

Once you've identified the problem host, in HostsMan go to Hosts -> Exclusion List and add it there. That should be all that's necessary. HostsMan will continue to recognize that excluded site even after hosts file updates.

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Part of my reason for asking is that I'm not sure how resource intensive they are.

The amount of RAM they use is small

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HostMan has the option to "Optimize" the "hosts" file. I'm not exactly sure what this does, but is it something that should be done?

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It formats the HOSTS file very differently than say what the MVPS.org HOSTS File comes in as standard. Instead of the normal one entry per line it removes all comments and puts a bunch of sites in a role. I don't have it installed at the moment to look but it's something like this:

127.0.0.1  somereallybadsite01.com, somereallybadsite02.com, somereallybadsite03.com
127.0.0.1  anotherreallybadsite01.com, anotherreallybadsite02.com, anotherreallybadsite03.com

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Very interesting. Do you advise using it or not?

I do. The only disadvantage is you cannot disable individual domains since there are multiple listed per line. It sounds like you want to do that, so you may not want to use the optimization.

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It's a major pain if you manually add in sites on your own, so you'd have to start doing all your adding in via HostsMan. For me it wasn't because I keep my HOSTS file that I add in junk to block on a completely different disk drive then install into Windows from there, that also makes it immune to any form of manipulation/deletion/hijacking, etc.

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Thanks again, guys, for giving me some insight on this.

 

One other question, Andavari, in everyday real life, what's the likelihood of your hosts file being hijacked? I could easily lock mine with with my firewall, but I've never done that.

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How do you lock/block your hosts file to keep it from being tampered with or hijacked, and at the same time keep HostsMan active and functional? I can protect my hosts file with my firewall, but it also blocks HostsMan from accessing it and functioning properly.

 

Also, I asked this is the previous post, but never received a reply: In HostMan, what does "resolve host name" do and when should it be used?

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How do you lock/block your hosts file to keep it from being tampered with or hijacked, and at the same time keep HostsMan active and functional? I can protect my hosts file with my firewall, but it also blocks HostsMan from accessing it and functioning properly.

WinPatrol can detect malicious changes to your hosts file.

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