I was having problems creating virtual hosts on my local Apache server (on Windows XP). Turns out I was editing the wrong hosts file. The correct one was at C:/Windows/System 32/drivers/etc. Instead, I was editing another one. Strangely, a windows search didn’t find the real hosts file. Also, I use Spybot – Search & Destroy, and it had inserted a set of anti-ad domains in the hosts file (it stops ads from showing). But at the same time it seems that it had write-protected the hosts file, so I had to delete it and resave it. Hopefully this helps some other poor soul having the same problem.