Deleting Host files

December 16, 2005 at 00:29:48
Specs: windows 2000, intel centrino

My computer radomly started to get pop ups and it never had in the past. I was told it is because I have unwanted hosts files. how do I delet them and where are they? I have checked c:\windows\system32\drivers\ect\hosts and it is read only. can i find them in ms-dos?

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December 16, 2005 at 02:27:53

Seems like you've already found the file.

Not obvious why it's read-only.

Nor is it obvious if the HOSTS file is 'causing' popups.

The usual function of HOSTS is to block unwanted sites by directing them to a non-existent address.

BUT, you don't want to delete HOSTS because the one line which is essential is: localhost

If at first you don't succeed, you're about average.


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December 16, 2005 at 03:32:00

I'm not sure why you posted a 2000 question in the 98/95 forum but...........

As stated above the host file is for "blocking" ads and web sites etc. usually.

In Windows ME/98/95 the host file is located in the C:\ directory. That is your main hard drive where Windows is installed. I don't know about Windows 2000.

However the path you specify to your host file is highly suspect. And a sudden deluge of popups and strange host file entries is an indication of viruses/spyware/adware/etc.

Yes a host file can be infected, installed or altered. I suggest a wide range of remedies.

Install and update an antivirus program.
Do the same for adaware and spybot.

And if you have any P2P-file sharing-free music download programs etc. uninstall them first.

And since I'm not sure if you're using 98/95/2000/XP you may want to look into disableing Windows Messenger.

Feedback would be helpful.


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December 16, 2005 at 07:36:24

In 98 (and I assume 95, been a long time) the HOSTS file is located in c:\windows. (It is not usually set as read only.) Alter it but don't delete it. Here's a portion of mine to give you an idea of how it works. As mentioned above, the number should be there at the top of the listing. Anything you don't want is added after this number;

# This Hosts file has been altered to block ad servers.
# To restore the file just
# delete everything below the first entry or rename hosts.nbk
# to hosts and move it to the proper directory.
# Updated: scroll down for date stamp
# This is an ad blocking hosts file compiled by
# Mike Skallas(user245(at)
# Available at
# Copyright 2005. Please do not redistribute, use above link.
# Free only for Residential/Non-Profit use.
# Just add ' ADSERVER' to the bottom to continue the list. localhost #this is not an ad server this is your PC #remove this for atomfilms problems

It's a good day when you learn something

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December 16, 2005 at 10:04:28

In case you want to remove the 'Hidden' attribute, right click the host file (or any file) and untick the hidden box.

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December 16, 2005 at 12:59:24

I posted some general stuff about hosts in this post at #3 (not far below yours, always worth looking for pointers):


They are often made read-only to prevent nasties from changing them. SpyBot does this (for example). It's worth reading up about hosts so that you know what to do, if anything - see Google.

Most folk who post in W95/98 (we get stacks) claim it was just a slip of the mouse. I'm curious. What was your reason because you seem to have slipped three links upwards?


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December 16, 2005 at 16:18:49

Thanks for correcting my error Dan.
c:\windows is the location.

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December 16, 2005 at 19:23:36

And if it's w2k there likely won't be a windows directory.

If at first you don't succeed, you're about average.


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