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Checking Hash Sums

by Alan German

Normally, I don't bother verifying files that I download to check that they are not corrupt. They are usually installation files for software, or PDF files (like OPCUG's newsletter!) My practice is to run the installation routine, or load the PDF file. If there's a problem, I will see an error message and then I just download the file again.

However, recently I have been installing a number of Linux distros - or trying to - and finding the odd ISO file that just wouldn't work. The problem here is that the downloads can be in excess of a gigabyte and, even with a high-speed connection, they take a while to download. And, then there is the time required to burn the ISO file to a bootable USB, and that needed for the installation. When the latter fails in mid-stream, after all that effort, one wishes that one had indeed checked the download!

So, when I decided to give the Windows 10 Technical Preview a try, since the download was almost 4 GB, I decided that it really would be prudent to check the file before trying to install it.




The process was simple, An SHA-1 hash value for the file was posted on Microsoft's web site. All that was then required was to run the MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility, specify the ISO file and check off the requirement for an SHA-1 hash, and wait for the utility to calculate the checksum for the file.

The downloaded hash was then cut and pasted into the box at the bottom of the program's window, the Verify button pressed and - voilą! - a successful file download was confirmed.

Bottom Line:

MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility (Freeware)
Version 2.1
Raymond Lin

Originally published: March, 2015

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