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Problems Using Internet Explorer with Incorrect Hosts File

Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you try to connect to a Web site using Internet Explorer, you mayexperience one or more of the following symptoms:
  • You may receive one or more of the following error messages:
    • Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site Web address. A connection with the server could not be established.
      Internet Explorer cannot open the internet site URL: Web site the connection to the server was reset.
  • Internet Explorer may display a different Web site than the one you specify in the Address box.
This behavior can occur if a Hosts file with incorrect entries exists in the Windows folder.
To work around this behavior, use the appropriate method:

Method 1

NOTE: Do not perform the following steps unless you determine that your computer does not need a Hosts file. To determine if you need a Hosts file, contact your network administrator.

If your computer is not connected to a network, or does not require a Hosts file for Domain Name System (DNS) resolution, rename the Hosts file to "Backup of Hosts file". To rename a file, right-click the file, type the new name, and then press ENTER.

NOTE: Do not perform the following steps without contacting your network administrator.

Method 2

If your computer is connected to a network that requires a Hosts file, edit the Hosts file and disable all lines that refer to the Web site Internet Protocol (IP) addresses you are unable to view. To do so, place a number sign (#) at the beginning of each line that contains the IP address of the Web site you are unable to view.
More information
For information about Hosts files and DNS, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
143193 Internet Explorer Name Resolution
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Article ID: 219843 - Last Review: 06/22/2014 19:55:00 - Revision: 5.0

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