Another straight to the point solutionI recently had a problem because all the entries I added in Windows hosts file (C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) stopped working.
I did a lot of googling but couldn't find a solution then I just opened the file and started checking every entry manually. It appeared the entries were fine, but... the file was saved as UTF-16 BE BOM and that's why Windows ignored this file. After I saved as UTF-8 it was all fine.
You can convert the file with Notepad- just open it and choose File -> Save As. Then change the encoding to UTF-8 or ANSI and save the file.