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Windows 7, network connections and hosts file

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  • Windows 7, network connections and hosts file

    I want to share something that I discovered the hard way on a couple Windows 7 Pro x64 systems, one desktop and one laptop. The default C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts file has no active entries, only comments. For various reasons I had a live hosts file that contained typical loopback entries: localhost myhostname
    ::1 localhost myhostname

    These hosts file entries create problems with network interface detection in DeviceInstaller. The second entry produces an unrecoverable data base lookup error. The first entry causes DeviceInstaller to choose as the network interface which of course doesn't work, no devices are detected.

    I've also seen that other problems in the hosts file can cause network interface detection failure with no adapters detected, resulting in error messages about the absence of any network connection.

    If DeviceInstaller is having problems detecting valid network connections, a non-default hosts file could be the culprit.