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Any help will be hugely appriciated. Thanks in advance.
Might try it before blowing away the browser!
If you truly want to save the favorites out of IE, It is a series of shortcuts and folders in the local users profiles, this will change slightly from ms os version to version. sticky me if you want more info.
Wanting to know where your hosts file is certainly not a stupid question. It is a very important file, that normally needs no adjustment. On the PC that I am using, the hosts file I am using is located in the C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc directory.
If you are thinking you need to make a change to your hosts file to fix an issue with the G toolbar, and you do not know where it is, and no-one else has changed your hosts file, then it is probely not the problem. It is probley just G changing DNS for a moment, and had you directed to one of the datacenters that is mia.
The instructions listed above are to fix the hosts file after someone has altered it so that the pc will use the hard coded IP address in the hosts file instead of using DNS to resolve the name to an IP address automaticcaly.
Take my advice, if there is no entry for toolbarqueries in your hosts file, don't alter the hosts file, let G do it job, it will change the IP address of the DNS entry on the fly as it needs to, and you will never know the difference.
The only real reason to change it, is to manually point the toolbar PR queries to single datacenter, to see if you PR has changed on that ONE datacenter, possibly not the one that G thinks you should be using.
I do not know your experience level, or what you have tried, so please do not take offense at my suggestions to try to diagnose your problem.
Check The Options of the G toolbar and be sure that the "Pagerank" and "Page Info" check boxes are checked.
If checked, proceed to step 2.
Open a Command, or CMD Prompt (start, run, cmd, press enter)
Type in the cmd window
and press enter.
If you get a response from the ping (at the time of this writing, DNS resolved toolbarqueries.google.com to "188.8.131.52"). Then the issue is not with your hosts file, or the ability of your pc to communicate with a google data center.
If you did not get a response from a G datacenter, and you may want to look at your hosts file proceed to step 3.
In that cmd window, type in:
c: and press enter
cd\windows\system32\drivers\etc and press enter
edit hosts press enter
this will open the hosts file with the dos editor if it exists.
Look to see if there is any line for toolbarqueries.google.com, If not, then exit without saving, if there is, delete the line, save the file, exit the dos editor.
exit the cmd prompt, reboot and try again.
the location of the hosts file is dependant on the OS, OS Version, and that no-one has made your pc use a remote hosts file, or a hosts file with a different name, with the same disclaimer on the editor.
Starting to ramble now,
Perhaps others here have suggestions you might try,