I have had this problem twice (on two different computers), that the localhost entry is missing from the host file. How could this have happened?

The computer was installed with Windows Vista SP1, and I know Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2005 Express ed. and VMWare Player were installed on the computer. Never had probs with the first two before. Can it be the VMWare install?

EDIT: On the computers with this problem, there was an IPV6 entry of

::1 localhost

EDIT2: I just installed VMWare Player on a clean machine, and it didn't touch the hosts file.

3 Answers 3


I have just checked my Vista Business SP1 laptop and it does indeed have a localhost entry.

I also have vmware installed so seems unlikly culprit.

Have you checked for viruses/malware fiddling with your hosts file?

  • AFAIK there is no such problem on the computer in question... (Using Kaspersky) May 28, 2009 at 17:17
  • what happens if you uninstall, vmware put localhost record back in and install vmware again, this should eliminate vmware from the equasion. Im assuming here you are still running ipv4 component on the NIC
    – Ben Gillam
    May 29, 2009 at 6:32
  • ipv4 is running (side-by-side with ipv6). May 29, 2009 at 10:23
  • Installing VMWare Player on a clean machine today didn't affect the hosts file. (So that means VMWare is in the clear...) May 29, 2009 at 10:27

In my file c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts it has only one entry for localhost

::1          localhost

They don't use the any more, as ::1 is the IPv6 representation.

What is the entirety of your hosts file, without the localhost? ie, what do you see?


  • That one is in there. (I had no problems putting the in there as well, also pointing to localhost, so they're not mutually exclusive...) May 28, 2009 at 17:12

Do you have the ability to check before/after the VMWare install? Are you sure a Vista install includes localhost in the hosts file (I'm not sure on that one).

  • I usually have the expected localhost entry ( on another fresh install of Vista... Both on 32 and 64 bit installs... May 28, 2009 at 17:14
  • I just installed VMWare Player on a fresh Vista. It didn't touch the hosts file... May 29, 2009 at 10:35

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