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azagahl

HOSTS problems on XP SP1

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I tried using a hosts file which maps a bunch of bad hosts (e.g. malware sites, porn, etc.) to 127.0.0.1 to block my PC from accessing these or sending packets to them.

However it seems to cause intermittent instability on XP. For example, pings to valid hosts (e.g. www.google.com) take a long time to succeed, or do not succeed at all; at other times they work instantly. Changing the hosts file (adding or removing) causes the behavior to get better or worse, but its unpredictable - sometimes adding hosts cures the problem temporarily, which makes no sense.

Blowing away the file cures the problems instantly. Also if I ping a numerical address it always works fine. My DNS server isn't listed but I still have random problems with pinging it.

I didn't have any problems whatsoever on 98 SE so I am wondering if there are known problems with the HOSTS file functioning properly on XP? Or could this just be a problem specific to this particular PC? Any ideas?

My hosts file has about 80,000 entries and is 2.4 MB. Does XP have some kind of limit?

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80,000 entries is a lot of entries. :blink:

Why haven't you installed SP2?

I have never had that kind of problem with a hosts file but I have never had one that large.

Have you checked for spyware/virus?

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My hosts file has about 80,000 entries and is 2.4 MB.

That's the problem right there, HOSTS is just a text file that gets searched before a DNS query is sent out. Look through it yourself for a unique entry and see how long it takes you.

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It's a 3 GHz P4, XP, with 1 GB RAM. So a 2.5 MB file should not bring it to its knees!

I also use Athlon 3400 1 GB RAM 98 SE with the same file and its extremely fast and responsive - no slowdowns whatsoever.

Maybe the XP PC is misconfigured somehow? I tried cutting the file in half but the random problems and slow downs persisted.

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@azagahl:

Try disabling the DNS Client service. I've had many problems with it together with HOSTS file on various computers (mostly slow booting).

GL

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Your hosts file is way too big.

I have a large one and it's only 16000 entries.

I don't know how your network is set up but

I had to change all my hosts entries to redirect

to 0.0.0.0 instead of 127.0.0.0 because of the way

localhost wants to be 127.0.0.1. It was causing some

problems.

Purge your dns cache if possible.

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