Re: Disable CEIP?
Why does hard-coding a DNS name prevent the TCP stack from using the hosts file entries as part of its name resolution process?
You need to stay in more often.
If all you have is an IP address, hosts is bypassed. If you have a fully-qualified (or partially qualified) domain name like microsoft.com or localhost, then hosts.txt or the DNS server is involved in the translation into an actual IP address.
Apparently what the quote in the OP above means is that the FQDN "settings-win.data.microsoft.com" bypasses both hosts and DNS-based name resolution.
That being the case, the only way to squelch the traffic is to add custom routing rules (probably at the router rather than the PC, just to be sure) for any/all IP addressed associated with that address. With the way things are going, we'll probably also find that there's a custom MS DNS server involved as well whose sole purpose is to resolve that address, so that will probably need to be blackholed too
How did things get to this stage so soon?