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All of a sudden it takes a while (a second or two) to save changes to my Win7 box's host file. It used to be instantaneous. I've tried editing it with gVim and Notepad++. Saving a file with identical contents in the same folder is instant. Any ideas as to what's going on? I did just recently install a large Windows update... I also tried the old reboot ;-)

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2 Answers

Windows' DNSService monitors the HOSTS file for changes (using the equivalent of FindFirstChangeNotification API) and updates its internal data structures.

Although that update takes a second, it's quicker than if you had to manually run ipconfig /flushdns, and much quicker than if you had to restart Windows.

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Could be the virusscanner.
Most virusscanners watch the hosts-file for changes as this is one of the files frequently messed with by malware.

Or, as Greg suggested, the DNS service, but that usually is only noticeable if you have a large hosts file (100+ entries).

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Interesting--I didn't consider that. We did just make some changes to our virus scanner. I'll have to look into it. –  AlexMA Aug 16 '13 at 14:09
    
Put the hosts file on the exclusion list (temporarily) to see if it makes a difference. –  Tonny Aug 16 '13 at 15:06
    
Well, all of a sudden saves are fast again (checked before I added the file to the exclusions list). Unfortunately am not sure how to reproduce the scenario, but if it starts happening again I will immediately try excluding the file and test this hypothesis. I have a hunch you're right though but the scanner is done working or something. –  AlexMA Aug 16 '13 at 15:25
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