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How to check data integrity for copying files / folders and CD burning

This article shows you how to use freeware FileCheckMD5 to verify data integrity of a CD burning process. This applies to any other forms of file and folder backups and copies.

Steps to create a checkfile and verify data integrity

Steps listed below are based on the scenario that you want to burn a CD by copying all files listed in folder C:\TemptestDSL200 onto your CD. This folder contains files for DSL installation.

  1. Select the folder that contains all the files and sub-folders to be burned.

    Open FileCheckMD5 and click 'Make checkfile' tab. Click the first button and browse to C:\TemptestDSL200 folder. This folder contains files and sub-folders that will be scanned.

    FileCheckMD5 - select a folder.

  2. Create a checkfile.

    Once you have your folder selected, click [Go!] button. Now FileCheckMD5 scans all files in the folder and its sub-folders. When the process completes, FileCheckMD5 creates a checkfile named as FCMD5-sums.MD5 in the root folder (C:\TemptestDSL200). This checkfile contains total 84 checksum values and their corresponding filename and path.

    FileCheckMD5 creates a checkfile.

    Checkfile FCMD5-sums.MD5 created.

  3. Burn your CD.

    Now burn your CD as normal for the entire folder C:\TemptestDSL200. Note that the checkfile FCMD5-sums.MD5 is copied onto your CD as well because it was created in the root folder in Step2.

  4. Check the checkfile for data integrity.

    After you finish burning the CD, open FileCheckMD5 and click 'Check files' tab. Click [Open Checkfile] button and select the checkfile FCMD5-sums.MD5 on your CD and click [OK]. The checking should start immediately.

    What FileCheckMD5 does in the behind is calculate and compare MD5 hash value of each file on the CD with the corresponding hash value of each file in the checkfile. If all values are matched, the files on CD are intact.

    When finishes the testing, FileCheckMD5 displays the result. If it says EVERY FILE APPEARS OK!, then you have confidence that no data corruption has occurred during the burning process. Otherwise, the test will show that the MD5 values do not match.

    Check file.

Tip: According to FileCheckMD5 license, FileCheckMD5 may be freely used and copied but may not be sold. Thus, if you distribute the CD to someone else, you may also want to copy FileCheckMD5.exe onto the root folder of the CD. This way, people who receive the CD can run FileCheckMD5.exe against the checkfile FCMD5-sums.MD5 to test data integrity of the CD.


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