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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Verifying hashes

This is another one of the things that falls under the category of "What took me so long?". When you download files from the Internet, most sites will provide a hash of some sort, often MD5, which you can use to check the validity of the file you downloaded. You probably know it's a way of ensuring the bad guys didn't mess with the file in some way. I've always wanted a simple way of verifying the files without having to go to the command line and, thanks to www.joomla.org, I've found it. It's a Windows Explorer extension that adds a tab to file properties windows. The tab displays the hashes associated with a file. There's a field where you can paste in the hash from the website where you downloaded the file and the extension compares the two. Very quick and extremely easy. It's called HashTab Shell extension and you can download it for free at http://beeblebrox.org/hashtab/. Be sure to pay VERY close attention to the license agreement. :)