Cirdan

Hosts FIle Editing

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I just installed Online Armor free version 5.0.0.1097 on my Toshiba Laptop which has Windows 7 x64 (version 6.1, build 7601 SP1). My antivirus is AVG 2011 free (version 10.0.1390). I use SpywareBlaster to set killbits in the registry; Spybot S&D to monitor and shutdown automatic start-ups; Spybot S&D immunization to block installers which use ActiveX; Spybot S&D and MalwareBytes AntiMalware for on-demand virus scans; and Secunia PSI to ensure that the latest software versions and patches are in place.

I just replaced my hosts file with MVPS hosts and want to append fifteen entries. It seems that OA is blocking my attempts to gain permission to modify the hosts file. How do I temporarily stop OA from blocking my attempts to change USER permissions for the hosts file?

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Are you seeing an error message of some kind that leads you believe that OA is blocking this?

Did you see any popups from OA about a change to the Hosts file? Are any programs listed as Blocked in the Host's File list in OA's GUI? Does history show anything being blocked?

Edit: As far I know, the Hosts file can't be edited by normal users in Vista or Windows 7. You need to either be running as an Administrator (or run the program you are using to do the editing as an administrator) or have manually altered the user file permissions to 'modify' on the hosts file. I'm not sure if you are already doing one of these things?

Edited by catprincess
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Are you seeing an error message of some kind that leads you believe that OA is blocking this?
No. I would have mentioned that error, specifically, and would have put the exact error message in quotes.
Did you see any popups from OA about a change to the Hosts file?
No. I would have mentioned that popup, specifically, and would have put the exact pop-up message in quotes.
Are any programs listed as Blocked in the Host's File list in OA's GUI?
No. There are no programs in this list, trusted or untrusted, I would have relieved the block if I saw one and I would not have posted here.
Does history show anything being blocked?
No. I would have unblocked the action or I would have mentioned the block, specifically quoting the exact verbiage.
Edit: As far I know, the Hosts file can't be edited by normal users in Vista or Windows 7. You need to either be running as an Administrator (or run the program you are using to do the editing as an administrator) or have manually altered the user file permissions to 'modify' on the hosts file. I'm not sure if you are already doing one of these things?

In my previous post, I mentioned three times that I was unable to change user permissions to allow me to modify hosts: Once in the subtitle, twice in the body.

If you were to ask me what leads me to believe that OA is blocking my attempts to change hosts file permissions so that I, as user, would be allowed to modify the hosts file, I would tell you:

1) I could change permissions and edit the hosts file prior to installing OA.

2) The edit permissions button now has the OA shield to the left of "edit". This means, to me, that OA is controlling the edit permissions function for this file (the hosts file).

I believe that OA is silently blocking my attempts to modify the hosts file. I may be wrong, but I am almost certain that I can restore to an image prior to the OA installation and then edit the hosts file. Also, I am fairly certain that if I could perform a clean uninstall o OA, I could, once again, edit the hosts file.

I was trying to alert you to unexpected behavior by OA and to gain insight about the mechanisms OA uses to control the changing of the hosts file.

So, once again, I ask--- How do I relieve the block on changing user permissions for the hosts file?

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A quick update: I restored the computer using an image that was taken prior to the time I installed Online Armor free. I then created a hosts file using MVPS hosts and addended my fifteen entries. I had no problems editing the permissions for the hosts file once OA was out of the way.

I would still like to know how to edit my hosts file once OA is reinstalled. Prior to my initial post, I had tried shutting down OA and closing the UI, but OA still would not let me change permissions for the hosts file.

I have seen other troubling behavior by OA free that makes me leery of using this product. Specifically, when I installed, OA free, I chose not to invoke Program Guard because it is too intrusive for casual users. Every time I start this computer, OA starts automatically and Program Guard is enabled. I do not want to have to disable Program Guard after each reboot. What can I do to configure OA free to start automatically with the computer, but without invoking Program Guard?

Also, even though I used an image to restore the system to a time prior to when I first installed OA, I see the OA shield on certain buttons. The OA control must go deep in the system so that an image does not obliterate the OA presence. I do not understand how this can be. Can you provide insight?

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Also, even though I used an image to restore the system to a time prior to when I first installed OA, I see the OA shield on certain buttons. The OA control must go deep in the system so that an image does not obliterate the OA presence. I do not understand how this can be. Can you provide insight?

You doesn´t see the OA shield next to those buttons.

You see the Windows UAC shield.

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What program are you using to edit them? If it is not listed as a 'known/trusted' program to OA then the following might help:

Open online armor config

Select Hosts File (left side menu)

Click 'options' tab

You will see a "Prompt me when an unknown program attempts to modify the hosts file"

Try un-checking that to see if it will then let you modify... or add whatever program you are using to edit the hosts file to the trusted programs in OA. (remember to re-enable it once done so it will block malware trying to modify your hosts ;) )

With the "prompt me when unknown programs attempt to modify" enabled on my pc, using notepad.exe (which is a known program to OA) running with standard user permissions I get

But when I run notepad.exe as admin it lets me modify them with no input from OA.

Hope this helps!

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@JustMe Thank you.

That did the trick. I can edit and save the host file using Notepad if I run Notepad as administrator. The behavior that you documented is exactly that which I experienced.

You have provided a nice work-around! Thank you for taking the time to help.

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