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Is it possible to enter some sort of CNAME record or alias in the windows hosts file (C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts)?

Basically I want to forward all requests made to host A to host B, without having to hard code the IP address (which changes frequently).

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

The windows hosts file supports only ip->name mappings, it does not support any other standard DNS record types. See here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb727005.aspx#EDAA

I would recommend running a simple dns server in order to do the redirect you are talking about. Try powerdns http://www.powerdns.com/

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