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Hosts file update (Windows 10) - pinging OK but browser still loading old website

Posted on 2016-09-28
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Last Modified: 2016-10-09
I have updated my hosts file to manually redirect website.com to go to a specific IP address. I flushed DNS and pinged website.com and it is resolving the correct IP. However, when I open a browser and go to the site, it is loading the old website (Wrong / Old IP Address).

I have tried clearing all the browser history, and running in private mode. Browsers I have tested with are Firefox, IE, and Chrome.

Any ideas why the browsers will not go to the IP address loaded in the HOSTS file.

Thanks,
Dan
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Question by:filtrationproducts
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by:filtrationproducts
ID: 41820330
I used IPvFoo to figure out that initially when I connect it is using the correct IP, however when I click any link from within the initial page it is reverting to the old IP.
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by:stormsurge
stormsurge earned 500 total points
ID: 41820450
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by:filtrationproducts
ID: 41820465
Yes, and it pings fine. I did a little more digging and discovered that my browsers are setup to ping the real world to resolve IP addresses. So every time I clear DNS, the browser pings the real world to resolve the IP address I do not want to use. I managed to work around this by using the direct link provided by my web hosting company to access the site.

However, if there is a way to disable this feature in any known browser it would be great to know so I dont have to type in the remaining part of the address manually to test sub pages.
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Expert Comment

by:stormsurge
ID: 41820507
Did you try unchecking number 1

Google Chrome privacy settings
  1. Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors. ...
  2. Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar. ...
  3. Predict network actions to improve page load performance. ...
  4. Enable phishing and malware protection. ...
  5. Use a web service to help resolve spelling errors.
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Author Comment

by:filtrationproducts
ID: 41820639
I did, followed by clearing DNS in Windows as well as in Chrome. Still resolved the wrong IP in Chrome.
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Expert Comment

by:DrDave242
ID: 41823727
I used IPvFoo to figure out that initially when I connect it is using the correct IP, however when I click any link from within the initial page it is reverting to the old IP.
Any chance the URL in those links could be different from what you've added to the hosts file (e.g., you created an entry for website.com, but the links refer to www.website.com or something of that sort)? I'm asking because the behavior you describe simply shouldn't happen. The hosts file adds entries to that machine's DNS resolver cache, which is checked before queries are ever sent to a DNS server.
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by:filtrationproducts
filtrationproducts earned 0 total points
ID: 41823763
I don't believe so. However I did find a solution. The browser Opera does not have its own DNS built into it. I have been able to redirect the IP in the hosts file and use Opera without any problems.
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filtrationproducts earned 0 total points
ID: 41827782
An update on this - eventually Opera started pointing to the IP on the internet as opposed to the hosts file. I decided to change my DNS to the nameservers where the website files were being hosted. Since the host believed they were hosting the actual domain name, it then worked properly.
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Author Closing Comment

by:filtrationproducts
ID: 41835719
Most reliable solution is to point your DNS to the hosting site. Changing hosts and using browsers were pretty unreliable.
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