Something keeps happening to my hosts file (%SystemRoot%\System32\drivers\etc) which means that Windows 7 ignores it.

I use it as part of the process of creating Virtual Hosts for WAMP e.g. website.dev and pointing it to

I frequently find that these .dev entries no longer respond (I also add example.com to the list) do not resolve in the way the hosts file is defined.

The hosts file still looks correct and I have attempted to Diff it against another copy and there doesn't seem to be any difference at all.

It seems like something installed on my computer is subtly corrupting the file (or at least making it unusable by Windows DNS system).

How can I monitor the file to see what accesses it and how it is being changed?

  • do you have ipv6 enabled?
    – Keltari
    Nov 6, 2013 at 15:11
  • Interesting, yes I do... Nov 6, 2013 at 16:27
  • try disabling ipv6 and retry
    – Keltari
    Nov 6, 2013 at 18:34
  • Annoyingly the problem isn't currently happening but you have helped me discover that there is a ping -4 and ping -6 for IPv4 and IPv6 respectively. So I will try that next time and post back after. Nov 6, 2013 at 21:07
  • if ipv6 is enabled and an address like localhost can be resolved, Windows will default to ipv6
    – Keltari
    Nov 6, 2013 at 21:09


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