|This has info about the HOSTS file in XP ---|
Blocking Unwanted Parasites with a Hosts File
I have done this to eliminate my XP from using HOSTS ---
In Windows XP, I have done this, and no popups--
* Start | Run (type) "services.msc" (no quotes)
* Scroll down to "DNS Client", Right-click and select: Properties
* Click the drop-down arrow for "Startup type"
* Select: Manual, click Apply/Ok and restart.
(IF you are the only PC user, and not part of a domain.)
That also eliminates one SVCHOST process in Task Manager.