Author Topic: yDecode and "hosts" file corruption  (Read 9949 times)


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yDecode and "hosts" file corruption
« on: March 21, 2009, 02:36:41 PM »
Recently we received 2 almost identical user support issues where yDecode appeared to be configured correctly (no errors in "Test Config") and no firewall was blocking it but still - it wasn't working - Windows Mail reported "Unable to connect to server" - an error which may also happen if you close yDecode window but of course in this case yDecode was running.

This may happen on rare occasions when Windows hosts file is corrupted. I am unsure why this may happen but I suspect it is a malicious software activity or badly written anti-virus software trying to "protect" you.

hosts file is a small text file in Windows folder (usually C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) which contains host names and associated IP addresses that will be resolved locally on your computer without going to DNS server. One of the lines includes associating localhost which yDecode needs to function with the IP address which are both practically the same thing. If malicious software or antivirus removes this line or damages it, then placing localhost instead of server name will not work and you will get "Unable to connect to server" error.

This can be easily fixed by putting instead of localhost because IP addresses don't need to be resolved but are directly used for connections. Better method is to return hosts file to original and include the line
Code: [Select]   localhost

Even though hosts file corruption may happen rarely, once it happens if you know this info it may save you a lot of hours of figuring out what exactly is wrong. If you find out that yDecode stopped working and that replacing server name localhost with fixes the problem, then almost certainly hosts file has been damaged. In this case I recommend you scan your computer for malicious software - spyware or viruses using anti-spyware and anti-virus tools.

To make troubleshooting easier, I already added this to yDecode online help - "troubleshooting" section.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2009, 02:43:41 PM by Zvonko »