ye olde hosts file


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Message boards : Number crunching : ye olde hosts file

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David SProject Donor
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Message 1322807 - Posted: 31 Dec 2012, 20:18:39 UTC

I have a hosts file on at least two of my crunchers, telling them to always go to georgem's IP for [whatever the server name is for downloads]. A couple of hours ago, I opened the file and commented out that line on one machine, with no effect. It still has a big pile of stuck downloads. But then I went and did the same on another and faster than I could switch over to Boinc Manager, the downloads were flying through at speeds approaching 60KBps. It had a bigger backlog than the other and got all of them in under ten minutes.

Questions: Is it still a good idea to have a hosts file? Should it point to georgem or to the other one (vader, I think, without checking the SSP)? Is it possible that commenting out that line caused the downloads to speed up? If so, why didn't it work for the other host? Would it work if I restarted the computer or something? (I'd rather not do that.) Or is it just a coincidence that all those downloads suddenly went through right then?

Facts which may help in answering these: the host that sped up runs Win7-64, the one that didn't runs WinXP-Pro 32.

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Grant (SSSF)
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Message 1322844 - Posted: 31 Dec 2012, 22:16:35 UTC - in response to Message 1322807.

Would it work if I restarted the computer or something? (I'd rather not do that.)

That or flush the DNS cache.
On the command line,
ipconfig /flushdns
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David SProject Donor
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Message 1322961 - Posted: 1 Jan 2013, 1:57:29 UTC - in response to Message 1322844.

Would it work if I restarted the computer or something? (I'd rather not do that.)

That or flush the DNS cache.
On the command line,
ipconfig /flushdns

I was about to say I already tried that, but I double checked. It turns out my antivirus was much more devious than I thought about preventing the edit to the hosts file and the change was never saved. I got around it, flushed again, and the downloads immediately kicked into high gear.

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Message 1322965 - Posted: 1 Jan 2013, 2:21:42 UTC

Yeah, usually changes to the HOSTS file are immediate, but failing that, a /flushdns will do the trick most of the time.

Avira AV makes the HOSTS file read-only (and I assume a lot of the other common mainstream ones do, too).

Before the servers got re-arranged a few months back, we had .13 and .18 to choose from. .13 almost always worked for me and was fast, whilst .18 was super slow and would time-out mid-transfer. So I had .13 in my HOSTS file. After the servers got moved around, I noticed I was having an issue, so I just commented the line out and let DNS do its job and it's been fine since.


I don't really think you need to manually pick the download servers unless you are troubleshooting and trying to diagnose a problem. If one server doesn't work very well, wait less than 5 minutes and DNS will switch over to the other one.
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Message boards : Number crunching : ye olde hosts file

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