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Hashing files for Data Integrity – Hash Tool

12/05/2016

If you need to prove the data integrity of a file (ie that it has not been changed), then obtain a hash of that file. A hash is a digital fingerprint of a file.  Even the slight alteration will totally change a hash. I would recommend using the SHA-256, SHA-512 or SHA3-512 hash.

Step 1 – Download a free file hashing tool here:

http://www.digitalvolcano.co.uk/hash.html

Run & Install

Step 2 – Right click on a file > properties

Select the “File Hashes” Tab

hash file hashing tab

The hashes for several algorithms will be shown.

file hashes result

Select “Settings” to use a different algorithm.

hash select algorithm

The Hash Tool interface will allow you to select a file and then a hash type that you can copy to the clipboard.

hashtool interface

If you would like to see how a simple change to a word will totally change the hash, try out miraclesalad hashing site.  Type in a word and then add a full stop to see the hash recalculated on the fly.

http://www.miraclesalad.com/webtools/md5.php

miraclesalad site

You can hash a password, a file or an exe.  It ensures “data integrity”, in that you cannot change the file without changing the hash.

SHA-1 hash generator

http://www.miraclesalad.com/webtools/sha1.php

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