Hosts file ignored, windows 7 64 bit, firefox

I have successfully edited my hosts file in c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts using a notepad while running as administrator; I have mapped various <IP domains> in the format "127.0.0.1 msn.com", "127.0.0.1 www.msn.com", etc. (single space).  I have rebooted and verified that the hosts file is edited, but when doing a ping or navigating firefox to msn.com, I do not receive 127.0.0.1 but instead the correct msn.com site.  I have looked in the c:\windows\sysWOW64 file but do not see a hosts file to edit.  I am trying to filter out various malicious websites.  I do not have the same problem in my network hub which is XP sp2.
 
Question Info

Last updated August 13, 2018 Views 72,847 Applies to:
Answer
Perhaps your hosts file is corrupted or in a wrong format, e.g. Unicode. I would try this:
1. Rename the original host file to get it out of the way.
2. Type this command:
    notepad %SystemRoot%\System32\drivers\etc\hosts.
3. Enter this single line:
    127.0.0.1  www.altavista.com
4. Save and close the file.
5. Type this command:
    type  %SystemRoot%\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
    Can you see the single altavista line?
6. Type this command:
    ping www.altavista.com
    What IP address do you see?

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