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Cannot Edit HOSTS file

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Hi there,


Recently, I had just received help in solving some malware issues that went undetected by my antivirus, malwarebytes, hitman pro, and adware cleaner. I was very satisfied with the help I have received. Now, I decided since I got such excellent help, I would also ask if someone would check out my laptop as well. It has been doing this for some time now, but I usually just ignore it. I cannot edit my HOSTS file because whenever I try to save it, it says that another program is using it. The internet suggests that I might have spyware or malware locking it. Also, my trackpad makes the windows error sound every time I try to make a two finger scroll. Could this truly be something to do with malware?


I thank everyone for taking their time to help me.





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Welcome to the forum.

Please create a new system restore point before you continue.


Download the attached fixlist.txt to the same folder as FRST.exe/FRST64.exe.

Run FRST.exe/FRST64.exe and click Fix only once and wait

The tool will create a log (Fixlog.txt) in the folder, please post it to your reply.


Lets check for any adware/spyware now:

Please download AdwCleaner from HERE or HERE to your desktop.

  • Double click on AdwCleaner.exe to run the tool.

    Vista/Windows 7/8 users right-click and select Run As Administrator

  • Click on the Scan button.
  • AdwCleaner will begin...be patient as the scan may take some time to complete.
  • When it's done you'll see: Pending: Please uncheck elements you don't want removed.
  • Now click on the Report button...a logfile (AdwCleaner[R0].txt) will open in Notepad for review.
  • Look over the log especially under Files/Folders for any program that may have been targeted by mistake.
  • If there's a program you may want to save, just uncheck it from AdwCleaner.
  • If you're not sure, post the log for review. (all items found are either adware/spyware/foistware)
  • If you're ready to clean it all up.....click the Clean button.
  • After rebooting, a logfile report (AdwCleaner[s0].txt) will open automatically.
  • Copy and paste the contents of that logfile in your next reply.
  • A copy of that logfile will also be saved in the C:\AdwCleaner folder.
  • Items that are deleted are moved to the Quarantine Folder: C:\AdwCleaner\Quarantine
  • To restore an item that has been deleted:
  • Go to Tools > Quarantine Manager > check what you want restored > now click on Restore.

thisisujrt.gif Please download Junkware Removal Tool to your desktop.

  • Shut down your protection software now to avoid potential conflicts.
  • Run the tool by double-clicking it. If you are using Windows Vista or Seven, right-mouse click it and select Run as Administrator.
  • The tool will open and start scanning your system.
  • Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system's specifications.
  • On completion, a log (JRT.txt) is saved to your desktop and will automatically open.
  • Post the contents of JRT.txt into your next message.

Please Update and run a Threat Scan (Malwarebytes)

Click on settings > Detection and Protection > Non-Malware Protection > PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) detections > Make sure it's set to Treat detections as malware

Same for PUM (Potentially Unwanted Modifications)

Quarantine All that's found


Please re-scan with FRST and Make sure the Addition Box is checked.


Post or attach the 2 logs FRST.txt and Addition.txt



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Download the attached fixlist.txt to the same folder as FRST.exe/FRST64.exe.
Run FRST.exe/FRST64.exe and click Fix only once and wait
The tool will create a log (Fixlog.txt) in the folder, please post it to your reply.

You ran a scan with Malwarebytes...correct??


Here's a nice tutorial on how to edit the host file in W8:

Let me know...be back in the morning.



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HOSTS permissions reset did not work... and the video assumed that I used Windows Defender, which I do not. When I clicked into Windows Defender, it said it was disabled because I had another antivirus monitoring my computer. In light of this, I humored myself and tried disabling my antivirus "WebRoot" to see if it worked, but the host file still will not edit or be replaced because it says some other process is using it.

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How did you edit the hosts file to begin with????

This seems to a problem with a lot of W8 users, we can try this if you want:

  • Make a copy of your host file and move it to your desktop
  • Run notepad as administrator
  • Drag the host file into notepad and edit it as you want
  • When done, close and save it to your desktop
  • Now give me the paths to both of the host files

C:\Documents and Settings\Charlie\Desktop\hosts

We'll try to use FRST to replace the hosts file with the new one

Let me know......MrC

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Root Admin

Glad we could help. :)

If you need this topic reopened, please send a Private Message to any one of the moderating team members. Please include a link to this thread with your request. This applies only to the originator of this thread.

Other members who need assistance please start your own topic in a new thread. Thanks!

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