MDGx
HOSTS Files, Guides + Tools

      Contents:
         MDGx HOSTS Files + Tools
         HOSTS Guide
         IMPORTANT:
                 NOTE 1 : Windows XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/2012 !
                 NOTE 2 : DNS Client Service
                 NOTE 3 : Local Server
                 NOTE 4 : Disable HOSTS Entry
                 NOTE 5 : Internet Explorer
         HOSTS Usage
         HOSTS + Ad/Malware/Popup Blocking Links

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MDGx HOSTS Files + Tools

MDGx HOSTS Files | HOSTS Tools
MDGx HOSTS Installers | MDGx HOSTS Archive

  The HOSTS file can be used to block adware, spyware, malware, viruses, trojans, worms + popups in all your ftp/web browsers and internet/network tools by denying access to a list of internet domains/servers/web sites.
Here are my HOSTS files with > 132,000 host name entries:

WARNING:
Some of the servers listed in my HOSTS file WILL
try to INFECT your computer(s) with malware/spyware
IF you enable AND try to access them!
 
More details
 

  MDGXHOST.EXE = updated November 13 2009  

[2.96 MB, self extracting Installer/Uninstaller executable]

    UPDATES:

    Install MDGx HOSTS :  

See further below for complete guidelines: MDGx HOSTS Installers + MDGx HOSTS Archive.

    Uninstall MDGx HOSTS :  

CREDITS:
MDGXHOST.EXE created with Inno Setup installer tool for all 32-bit Windows (Win32) editions [free open source].

    MDGx HOSTS Files = Automated EXE Installers :  

    MDGx HOSTS Files = ZIP Archive :  

    Useful HOSTS tools I recommend [100% free(ware)] :  

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HOSTS Guide

IMPORTANT

  HOSTS (case insensitive in Windows OSes) or hosts (usually lower case in *nix OSes) is an ASCII (plain text) file used by TCP/IP protocol for BSD/FreeBSD/Linux/Solaris/UNIX, BeOS, MacOS, OS/2, Novell Netware + Windows Operating Systems.
Acts as TCP/IP (Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) host table and contains a list of address-to-name resolution mappings of numeric IP (Internet Protocol) addresses (32-bit identifiers) resolved to valid host names.
Operates as a local DNS (Domain Naming System) server by translating a UNC (Universal Naming Convention) domain name into an IP address, thus decreasing the time necessary to reach a remote server.
MS TechNet: How DNS query works.
Never map an IP to a host name already in use, for example your ISP (Internet Service Provider) name or your favorite web site(s) name(s).
Never rename this file, it must be HOSTS or hosts without extension.

To properly use HOSTS in Windows 32-bit (Win32/x86) + 64-bit (Win64/x64) OSes you must make sure Enable DNS is turned ON: Control Panel Network your TCP/IP adapter name (if more than 1 must do this for ALL) TCP/IP Properties DNS Configuration tab check Enable DNS box click Apply/OK button.

Microsoft Windows Host Name Resolution over TCP/IP search order, also here [more info @ MSKB]:
  1. HOSTS file
  2. DNS server
  3. NetBIOS cache
  4. WINS server
  5. Broadcast
  6. LMHOSTS file

You can view/edit your HOSTS file using Notepad or better text/ASCII editor/viewer, especially if you are using a large HOSTS file, because Notepad does NOT support files > 64 KB in Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/2000. :-(
Each entry must be kept on its own (separate) line.
Entries are almost always case sensitive.
Each IP address must be placed 1st separated by at least 1 space or Tab from corresponding host (machine) name, which must be placed 2nd on the same line.
Insert any optional comments on the same line after the host name (or on separate lines) preceded by a # symbol and followed (optionally) by at least 1 space or Tab (examples):

IP
Host name
Comments
 102.54.94.97  rhino.acme.com  source server 
 38.25.63.10  x.acme.com  client host 

This must be the 1st HOSTS line:

127.0.0.1 localhost

If more than 1 localhost lines, the 1st one overrides all others.

Each host name entry is limited to a maximum of 255 characters (IPv4).

•NEVER• rename/modify/delete/comment/remark this HOSTS line:

127.0.0.1 localhost

The hosts file must reside in: [%windir% = usually C:\WINDOWS (3.xx/95/98/ME + 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/2012) or C:\WINNT (NT/2000)]

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IMPORTANT

NOTE 1 | NOTE 2 | NOTE 3 | NOTE 4 | NOTE 5

    NOTE 1 : Windows XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/2012 !  

    WARNING:
    According to this Microsoft Windows Vista DNS resolver: deliberately sabotaged hosts file lookup study certain Microsoft owned servers canNOT be blocked by using a HOSTS file in Windows Vista, 2008, 7, 8 and 2012. They seem to be "protected" from being blocked/bypassed ("hard-wired") inside %windir%\SYSTEM32\DNSAPI.DLL [%windir% = usually C:\WINDOWS ; %windir%\SYSWOW64 instead of %windir%\SYSTEM32 on Windows NTx 64-bit (x64) OSes]. And because the DNS Resolving feature canNOT be disabled/bypassed (network + internet access are NOT possible without it), the only way I can think of to "un-protect"/bypass these Microsoft servers is to hex-edit DNSAPI.DLL and delete the "offending" entries. Even so, one must bypass System Restore (SR)/Windows File Protection (WFP) in order to replace the original file with the modded one.
    An earlier version of this hard-wired list of Microsoft servers is "built" into the Windows XP SP2 + Windows XP SP3 versions of DNSAPI.DLL (Windows XP SP1 and older are not affected), and is designed to send meta + UDP feedback data to Microsoft (for example): how many and what types of media files are opened by Windows Media Player and respectively documents opened by Microsoft Office 2007/newer. The list, which contains over 500 Microsoft servers, can be viewed here.
    More info.

    Even worse, attempting to install any of my HOSTS files [either trying to copy a HOSTS file by hand or using any of the BATch files or EXEcutables (automatic installers)] will NOT succeed [but this will soon change, as I plan to add TakeOwn.exe (Take Ownership) + (I)CaCLs.exe (Grant Permission) scripts: see BUG #2: + FIX #2: to bypass this annoyance ;)], because:

    FYI:
    Other important issues you should be aware of if using Windows Vista/2008/7:

    NOTE 2 : DNS Client Service  

In Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/2012 DNS Client service [already started (Automatic) by default on most computers] loads the entire contents of the existing HOSTS file (if any) into the DNS cache, which may slow down the computer, especially if using a (•very•) large HOSTS file, like mine.
You have 2 choices here:
  1. One way is to stop and/or disable DNS Client service: Start button Run... box type services.msc click OK or press Enter open DNS Client General tab set to Manual (if needed) or Disabled (if not needed) Stop (if running) click OK or press Enter reboot.
    To set DNS Client to Manual (if needed), run these 2 commands from a DOS console or a batch file:

    SC CONFIG DNSCache START= demand
    and:
    SC STOP DNSCache
    or:
    NET STOP DNSCache

    To set DNS Client to Disabled (if not needed), run these 2 commands from a DOS console or a batch file:

    SC CONFIG DNSCache START= disabled
    and:
    SC STOP DNSCache
    or:
    NET STOP DNSCache

    To determine if you need to have DNS Client service enabled: Start button Run... box type services.msc click OK or press Enter open DNS Client Status column should state Started (if needed) or should be empty (if not needed).
    More info:

    CAUTION:
    Stop/Disable DNS Client service ONLY if NOT connected to/part of a network/domain or using IPSec (Internet Protocol Security). More info @ MS TechNet.
    If connected to/part of a network/domain and/or if using IPSec, DNS Client service may be necessary for proper operation.

    More info:

  2. The other way is to force the DNS cache (if DNS Client service is active) to (re)read the entire list of servers from your HOSTS file by running this command from a DOS console or a batch file:

    IPCONFIG /flushdns

    More info @ MSKB Q314850.

    NOTE 3 : Local Server  

In case you are running ANY network/server on your local computer, you •MUST• edit your HOSTS file using Notepad or better text/ASCII editor/viewer and change ALL 127.0.0.1 entries (except the 127.0.0.1 localhost line) to read 0 (or 0.0.0.0).
Restart or log back into your network/server when done.
Otherwise you might get a huge number of login popup prompts while trying to access the local server/network, because localhost is always located at the 127.0.0.1 IP address.

    NOTE 4 : Disable HOSTS Entry  

In case you cannot access an internet site/server, and if your web browser/e-mail client/ftp client/network tool returns a message/page/screen similar to (depending on the web browser/client/tool used):this may be due to a 0 (0.0.0.0 abbreviated) or 127.0.0.1 entry into your HOSTS file associated with the internet site/server you are trying to access.
To (re)enable that particular internet site/server:
  1. first exit/close all instances of all open internet/web/ftp/e-mail/network tools (if any),
  2. then delete/remove or comment/remark the entire line containing the respective server: edit your HOSTS file using Notepad or better text/ASCII editor/viewer and place a # symbol in front of that line
  3. and then restart your web browser/e-mail client/ftp client/network tool and access that same internet site/server once again.

    NOTE 5 : Internet Explorer  

In case Internet Explorer web browser does NOT allow you to save a web page, and you get this error message (or similar):

"Error Saving Web Page
This Web page could not be saved
"

this may be due to 1 or more 0 (0.0.0.0 abbreviated) or 127.0.0.1 entry/entries into your HOSTS file associated with 1 or more of the internet site(s)/server(s) you are trying to save that web page from.
To temporarily access that/those particular internet site(s)/server(s) and be able to save it/them properly as web page:
  1. Copy & paste that URL name from the Internet Explorer URL address box: highlight the entire URL line right-click on it select Copy.
  2. Close/exit that particular Internet Explorer instance.
  3. Rename to any other name or move to any other valid location your HOSTS file.
  4. Restart Internet Explorer.
  5. Highlight the entire URL address box right-click on it select Paste press Enter.
  6. Now save your web page again.
  7. Close/exit that particular Internet Explorer instance.
  8. Rename BACK to the original name or move BACK to the original location your HOSTS file.
  9. Restart Internet Explorer.
This is because webmasters sometimes include server-side code to access more than 1 web site/server from within the same web page.

You can automate some of the steps above by using these 2 DOS style BATch files [%windir% = usually C:\WINDOWS (Win95/98/ME + Win2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/2012) or C:\WINNT (WinNT4/2000)]:

FYI:
If you don't understand some of these abbreviations/acronyms/terms, please look them up.

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HOSTS Usage

DNS Accelerator | Ad/Malware/Popup Blocker

    HOSTS as DNS accelerator :  

    Retrieve the IP address of any known host name by running ping (example):

    ping microsoft.com

    which returns this screen:

    Pinging microsoft.com [207.46.130.108] with 32 bytes of data...

    Then add this IP followed by its host name to your HOSTS file (example):

    207.46.130.108 microsoft.com # Microsoft

    PING.EXE is installed by default by all Windows 32-bit (Win32/x86) + 64-bit (Win64/x64) OSes in %windir% [95/98/ME = 9x OSes] or %windir%\SYSTEM32 [NT4/2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/2012 = NTx OSes].
    Run:

    ping

    by itself to display all available command line parameters.

    Some internet/network servers use dynamic IP addresses, meaning the numbers change periodically or every time you try to access them. Therefore you may need to ping the same server more than once at different times, and then add ALL IP numbers found for that server, followed by its host/web site name (see example above) on separate lines into your HOSTS file.

    HOSTS as ad, malware + popup blocker :  

    The HOSTS file is only a primitive anti-adware, anti-spyware, anti-malware + anti-popup blocking tool.
    But it can be used to successfully block adware, spyware, malware, viruses, trojans, worms, zombies + popups in all your web browsers by preventing an entire list of internet domains/servers/web sites from accessing your local computer(s).
    Be aware that the HOSTS file can be easily deleted, modified, renamed, moved etc by malware/spyware to include malware/spying/rogue/phishing/virus/trojan/zombie servers or/and to remove/disable malware servers in the background, without user's knowledge.

    STRONGLY RECOMMENDED:
    Install + run a dedicated firewall, anti-spyware + anti-virus tools in order to monitor for, detect and remove any potential malware/spyware.

    Block (deny access to and from) any host (force that server to default to localhost IP) by preceding its name with 0.0.0.0 (null = can be abbreviated to 0) or 127.0.0.1 (localhost = loopback). This example:

    0.0.0.0 microsoft.com

    or abbreviated to (faster):

    0 microsoft.com

    or (slower):

    127.0.0.1 microsoft.com

    denies access to and from microsoft.com domain name.
    See MDGx HOSTS files for a list of blocked servers.
    Rename all your HOSTS file 0.0.0.0 (or abbreviated to 0) instances to 127.0.0.1 (or the other way around) if too slow or if not working.

    •NEVER• rename/modify/delete/comment/remark this HOSTS line:

    127.0.0.1 localhost

    Surf the internet safely... ;)

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HOSTS + Ad/Malware/Popup Blocking Links

    HOSTS Guides + Free(ware) Tools on the Internet :  

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