Have You Gotten This Error Message?
If you received an error message using HijackThis that your system denied write access to the Hosts file. It means the HijackThis tool failed to check or scan the hosts file in Windows. The complete error message presented by HijackThis is as follows:
For some reason your system denied write access to the Hosts file. If any hijacked domains are in this file, HijackThis may not be able to fix this. If that happens, you need to edit the file yourself. To do this, click Start, Run and type: notepad C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts and press enter. Find the line(s) HijackThis reports and delete them. Save the file as ‘hosts.’ (with quotes), and reboot.
For Vista: simply exit HijackThis, right-click on HijackThis icon, choose Run as Administrator.
The above warning and advice from HijackThis are correct. Windows 7 and Vista users should run a scan using HijackThis as administrator because the tool is not UAC-aware yet. You have to manually open HijackThis with administrative privileges or permission. This issue only applies to operating system that has UAC enabled. Users of XP computers should check whether the hosts file is indeed have been hijacked by spyware or malware. It is best to review the hosts file entries using notepad or Hosts file manager. Note that HijackThis includes Host file manager:
- Click the “Main menu" in HijackThis program
- Click “Misc Tools" button
Click “Open hosts file manager" under System tools.
- Use the hosts file manager to delete entries or toggle the lines. You can also use it to open the hosts file in a notepad.
Note that if you receive an error message that the hosts file is locked and cannot be edited, simply run HijackThis as administrator. It’s also recommended to scanning the computer using up-to-date antivirus program.