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Thread: Why does Spybot remove entries from hosts file?

  1. #1
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    Default Why does Spybot remove entries from hosts file?

    I run Spybot daily, and use the hosts file from http://mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm
    (in fact I leave entries in my hosts file even when they remove them)

    But Spybot tries to remove entries from my hosts file (scotty flags it).

    Why is Spybot even mucking with my hosts file? I could see it wanting to add things, but take things out?

    thanks
    /j
    (win XP Home SP3)

  2. #2
    Spybot Advisor Team [Retired] md usa spybot fan's Avatar
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    jeffw_00:

    Spybot only removes HOSTS file entries detected "Check for problems" as RedirectedHosts and then only if you direct it to.

    If you use Spybot's immunization facility the "Global (Hosts)" profile adds entries to the HOSTS file. If you do an "Undo", the entries Spybot added will be removed. The maintenance of Spybot's HOSTS file entries is totally with comments it places at the beginning and end of its entries.

    Other than those two circumstances Spybot does not attempt to remove any HOSTS file entries.
    Last edited by md usa spybot fan; 2008-09-24 at 07:09.

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  3. #3
    Member of Team Spybot PepiMK's Avatar
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    Actually, domains reported as false positives will also be removed when doing a regular immunization, as will domains that have been inactive for some time (9 votes in favor, none against).

    In these circumstances, Spybot-S&D does not yet deal with the source of the domains, since A. in the hosts file it would slow operations down (update: will have to check if that is still true), and B. in the registry, adding additional values (to store whether Spybot did add an entry) would blow up the registry unnecessarily, which we want to avoid thinking about older Windows versions that do have a size limit for the registry (and even newer Windows versions that do not have that limit according to MS can get troublesome, the border is just far away, at > 110 MB according to some tests we recently made for exacly this topic).
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  4. #4
    Spybot Advisor Team [Retired] md usa spybot fan's Avatar
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    Patrick (PepiMK):

    Thank you for pointing that out.

    I was not aware that the referenced Feature Issue (Do not keep inactive hosts in block lists) was intended for entries other than the ones Spybot was adding to the HOSTS file nor that the manipulation of HOSTS file entries extended to entries outside the confines of the comments that define the boundaries of Spybot's entries.

    I conducted a test using entries that have been removed from Spybot's HOSTS file entries recently such as the following and see that it does:
    • www.1001-search.info
    • www.139mm.com
    • www.1-extreme.biz
    • www.2every.net

    I stand corrected.

    Regards,
    md usa spybot fan
    Last edited by md usa spybot fan; 2008-09-24 at 18:39.

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  5. #5
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    IMHO here
    Spybot immunize host entry remover- for all the good reasons mentioned
    cannot always tell if Spybot entries are between the
    # Start entries added by Spybot
    and
    # End entries added by Spybot

    many of the popular host management tools MERGE the hosts files
    In that case spybot's removal removes everybody's version of the same entry-which is by then-- the same entry

    These programs also strip # Comment lines

    As spybot updates weekly as opposed to the others I would think that Spybot should be more effective in removing FP's

  6. #6
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    So Spybot does remove entries from my hosts file that it didn't put there.

    I don't like that.

    Is there any way to configure Spybot to keep it's hands off my hosts file?

    Thanks
    /j

  7. #7
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    jeffw_00,

    It may be that if you unticked the Global hosts entry in the immunise page (with or without first removing the existing Spybot entries in the host file) then Spybot would no longer touch the host file during any future immunisation updating. Of course you will loose the benefit of this form of immunisation in the process.

  8. #8
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    Thanks - because of the source of my hosts file, I'm ok with that

  9. #9
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    So I tried unchecking the Hosts box under immunize and it didn't help.
    any other ideas?

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