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Needed ... MD5 checksum utility

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bc has 2 kinds of compares that it does, a quick compare and an indepth compare.
in the main window you can also select files and hit the "?=" button to have it do an indepth compare.

Carol Haynes:
I think I discovered the prob - I had selected treat archives as directories and it was struggling to open non-standard CAB files.

Only thing I can think to add to this thread is that you are using the right tool for the job, Carol. Beyond Compare is widely considered the best program for this sort of work & it's the gold standard that all other programs of this ilk are compared to.

I don't really see the point because if the old files were in any way damaged, all you have is a bit perfect copy of a damaged file?
The same would apply to a bit for bit copy of a partition wouldn't it?

Carol Haynes:
True - but I wanted to verify that the partition copy was valid. I did find a handful of files that seemed to have copy problems - at least I could correct them.

The other thing is I want to keep a load of stuff offline for security, but online for quick access - a quick utility to check integrity means any disk faults can be fixed easily.

I do find Windows FS (FAT and NTFS) handling totally crap at integrity. If you get a bad block on your hard disk the first thing you know about it is when you run CHKDSK - it doesn't even seem to flag errors when you try and load a damaged file!!

Anyway I have settled on two tools: BeyonDCompare 2 and FastSum.

Beyond compare is great for comparing folders of files, whereas FastSum stores hidden MD5 files (either one per file or one per folder) so that you can just hit "Check MD5 data" in the Explorer Context menu. It will flag any files/folders that don't match their MD5 value (so quick to track down problems) and automatically update the MD5 files for any additions since the last MD5 build. Neat little tool and cheap.


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