Sign up ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm using Windows XP. It had a virus and I had successfully cleaned and removed of all of them, and you can take my word for that.

Now, in Google Chrome and IE I can't get to, all other websites work but this one. I'm using a laptop under the same network and it works fine.

In both browsers, I typed in to get directly to Google and that worked. Once I'm in Google, I'd use the search bar and bang, again,

500 internal server error.

What can I do to fix this?

To make sure we're on the same page: My Windows XP hosts file is located at C:\WINDOWS\system32\driver\etc – and is the host file is called "host"? In my etc folder I only see:

  • lmhosts
  • networks
  • protocol
  • service

These are my only four files. So, am I opening lmhosts with Notepad and checking that out. There are only comment lines, and nothing related to "google".

There should be a hosts file here, so I guess it's deleted. I copied the hosts file from another Windows XP I am currently using and wanted to paste it there. It asked me if I wanted to overwrite. I said "no", and now I presume that the file is hidden.

I went to Control Panel > Folder Options and enabled "Show all hidden files". I go back into the folder, still nothing there. So I made a backup copy of the folder and attempted to overwrite the hosts file with the new one.

I get an error,

Cannot copy hosts: Access is denied. Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use."

What now?

share|improve this question
Check your hosts file. – slhck Aug 21 '11 at 17:58
Can you explain more on that please? I know where the hosts fires are located but what am I looking for? – Robolisk Aug 21 '11 at 17:59 (To make things easier, just clean the whole hosts file, keeping only a single localhost line.) – grawity Aug 21 '11 at 18:03

2 Answers 2

google's IP addresses are different to everyone. I think Google uses the nearest location to you. To make sure you might use Google's own DNS servers: and

The static DNS file is "hosts"

Find "Command Prompt" or similar at the Start menu, Run as administrator. Now you have elevated permissions. Type notepad c:\windows\systeme32\drivers\etc\hosts to open hosts file. You might need to take ownership of the file to modify it in Windows Vista/7. In XP it's just a read only, make it not read only to modify & save it.

share|improve this answer is not related to google:

C:\>host has address has address has address has address has address has address mail is handled by 30 mail is handled by 40 mail is handled by 50 mail is handled by 10 mail is handled by 20

Try typing one of the above IPs into your browser.

As suggested, try your hosts file, it is likely the culprit, but you could also have a browswer hijack as well (see various posts on SU about malware/adware removal tools). To repair your hosts file you will need to open it with elevated permissions.

share|improve this answer
Those ip's all worked. and okay. I'll check it out. How do I exacly open it with elevated permissions? I can't even see it :/ – Robolisk Aug 21 '11 at 18:55
@Robolisk You have to have administrator rights to handle the file. – Satoh Apr 9 '13 at 13:39

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.