Using HOSTS files to connect to SharePoint

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If you are unable to access SharePoint it may be that you have an incorrect entry in the windows Hosts file or you may need to add an entry! On a Windows XP computer the host file is located in "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC" by default.

To test whether you are able to reach SharePoint please open a command prompt and type "ping 192.168.6.12" then press return. You should get 4 responses back that look this:

Reply from 192.168.6.12: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.6.12: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.6.12: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.6.12: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128

Anything other than reply means that you have no network route to SharePoint. Please check your network connection or VPN connection if needed. If you get successful replies type "ping ng-ald-sp". You should get the same results as above.

Alternative results suggest an incorrect entry in the hosts file e.g:

Pinging ng-ald-sp [192.168.5.12] with 32 bytes of data:

Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

The IP address [192.168.6.12] is incorrect. If following response suggests that there is no entry in the hosts file:

Ping request could not find host ng-ald-sp. Please check the name and try again.

To check or edit the hosts file follow this procedure:

  • Navigate to the folder C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC either in Explorer, My Computer, or by typing the path into the Run command (Start > Run)
  • Double click on the file named hosts to bring up the Open With window
  • Highlight Notepad from the list of applications and click ok

The contents of the host file will typically contain lots of comments (these are the lines with a # at the begining), followed by legitimate entries at the bottom of the file.

Host entries should be in the form of IP address then hostname separated by a tabb as follows:

127.0.0.1       localhost
192.168.6.12  ng-ald-sp
192.168.6.12  ng-ald-sp.neverfailgroup.com

The correct IP address for SharePoint is 192.168.6.12. If you are having difficulty connecting to this resource please check for incorrect entries in your host file or add a new entry if none exist!

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