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Fix: Localhost unavailable with ESET NOD32

Developers using Visual Studio will probably encounter this problem after installing ESET NOD32 antivirus or ESET Smart Security Antivirus+Firewall: browsing the web with Internet Explorer works fine except for websites you develop yourself (localhost).

Screenshot with localhost unavailable

Disabling the firewall or antivirus features doesn't solve this problem, however replacing localhost with (or using FireFox) does solve it.

The real problem is easily fixed though.

Windows Vista:

In the start menu, type "notepad %system%\drivers\etc\hosts" and instead of pressing enter, right-click on the notepad icon in the top of the list (see screenshot). In the context menu you must click on "Run as administrator".

Screenshot of Vista Start Menu with context menu

Windows XP and 2000:

Open a command prompt (cmd.exe) and type these commands:

cd %system%\drivers\etc

attrib -r -h -s hosts

notepad hosts

Screenshot of command prompt

You will then see the following file in notepad:

Screenshot of Notepad with the problematic Hosts file

The last line contains the problem. It reads:

::1             localhost

You can either remove this line and save the file, or comment it out with a pound/hash character #. Voila, fixed!

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  Posted by oVan on Friday, March 21, 2008 | PermaLink | 4 comments
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