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  1. #1
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    Huge Host File - help! (IE6)

    Hi All
    In trying to diagnose my very slow Explorer problem (done all the ad aware, Spy bot things) ran HijackThis and discovered that I seem to have loads of domains in my hosts file. Is there a rogue something or other adding these? I certainly haven't done anything to add them all as didn't even know what a host file was until now. Can I safely delete the host file and what if it carries on adding my visited websites to the new one?

    Thanks loungers in advance

  2. #2
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    Re: Huge Host File - help! (IE6)

    Hi Raineb

    The default hosts file that you get on a new system would normally only contain 1 entry that refers to the local host. I have attached a sample file. You will need to rename it to hosts (without the .txt extension) if you want to use it.

    Hosts files can be updated by spyware, viruses or legitimate programs. The host file that I use contains over 150 entries inserted by Spybot S&D that are used to block access to undesirable sites that are often associated with spyware. Spybot S&D can also be used to lock the hosts file so that other programs can not update it. To do that select Tools and then IE tweaks. You can also manually lock the hosts file by changing its attribute to read only.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Huge Host File - help! (IE6)

    Raineb,
    The hosts file is like an address book. It translates web NAMES into IP address NUMBERS, making things go a little faster than relying on IP translations from a Web server.
    There is a little <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> program called Hosts Administrator that will let you edit the Hosts file. Get it HERE

    Also there is a more detailed explanation of Hosts at HOST FILE
    BOB
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    Re: Huge Host File - help! (IE6)

    A superb and simple to understand link. Another piece of knowledge gained, thank you.

  5. #5
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    Re: Huge Host File - help! (IE6)

    Thanks Tony (and Bob above) - tried all of your suggestions and its getting more complicated! I edited the hosts file and everything in it just reappeared the next time I ran explorer, then decided to go for broke and stick the file in the bin - hey presto everything reappeared in it again! It looks like every site I've visited since I don't know when.
    I am also running a program called Winpatrol in an effort to find out what's going on, and every time I access a new website it informs me that a change has been made to my hosts file and asks if I want to view it - help! I am in an ever increasing spiral!

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    Re: Huge Host File - help! (IE6)

    You say that you ran HijackThis.

    What changes - if any - did it propose that you made to the Registry (after it drew your attention to the size of your Hosts file)?

    If there is something that is resetting your HOSTS file from Read-Only (like <!profile=Tony55>Tony55<!/profile> suggested), this is worrying. Is it possible for you to attach a screen grab of Task Maqnager to your next post? <UL><LI>To bring up Task Manager use Ctrl + Shift + Esc <LI>IMPORTANT: use Alt + PrintScreen to generate the screen grab - otherwise it will be far too big.[/list]HTH
    Gre

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Huge Host File - help! (IE6)

    In addition to emptying your Host folder, Also delete the contents of your Windows>Prefetch folder. The prefetch will regenerate itself unless you use a utility program like bootvis. I use a little utility called prefetch cleaner & control which will only reenter the boot ( pf ) info in the prefetch folder. It's only 28k ( 7k zipped ) but I don't remember where I got it. It's for 2000, XP. Anyway, it's attached.
    BOB
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
    Today it is called golf!

  8. #8
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    Re: Huge Host File - help! (IE6)

    Hi Unkamunka
    Think this may have unearthed the problem... I am running a program called Dr Speed (see attached) which was supposed to make my internet access faster! Perhaps this is doing the damage? I have closed this and now it seems my hosts file is being left alone - unfortunately all to no avail in terms of browsing speed which is just as bad as ever.
    Re HijackThis - it didn't make any suggestions re the registry so I did not change anything. I posted it to the link suggested in the lounge but it seems their guys are snowed under, I have disappeared long off the front pages and it looks like the same has happened to loads of other snails pace surfers!
    Still any views/suggestions gratefully received....
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  9. #9
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    Re: Huge Host File - help! (IE6)

    I agree that Dr Speed looks like it has been the cause of your expanding HOSTS file. In theory that should have speeded your interent access, but this does not always work out to be the case. Personally, I have not come across successful browser speed boosting programs. Some other things you might like to look at are: the amount of RAM in your computer & the number of other programs you have running while you are browsing. Depending on the nature of your connection, doing your browsing at "off-peak" hours may also help. More drastic options include switching to another browser - such as Mozilla Firefox - and turning off the downloading of graphic files (which is probably unappealing). HTH
    Gre

  10. #10
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    Re: Huge Host File - help! (IE6)

    Sorry for delay replying - just wanted to say thanks again for all the prompt advice - deleted Dr Speed and things seem a little better - also Winpatrol has helped in assisting a non-techy like me to switch off so much launching at startup. I am still not convinced I got completely to the bottom of this as it still seems to slow with usage (despite RAM checks) - but I learnt loads and got a few useful programs into the bargain! I do have a whisper that Broadband is coming to my area soon so hopefully this will soon be a thing of the past ;-)

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