HashCheck Shell Extension

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HashCheck Shell Extension

An open source program employs a Windows property page tab as its user interface and computes hashes using CRC, MD4, MD5 and SHA-1.

3.5

Our rating: 

3.5
License: Free (Open source)
Review & Alternatives: Best Free Hash Utility
Categories: Disk & File, Hash Utility

Pros & Cons:

Employ a Windows property tab as its user interface, computes hashes using CRC, MD4, MD5 and SHA-1, work on single files, multiple files and whole file systems, save computed hashes to a text file for later revalidation.
Very large files can take a minute to hash, a separate file is required to save the hashes for a given algorithm, some other useful features could be improved.

Review:

HashCheck Shell Extension is an open source program that employs a Windows property page tab as its user interface. It computes hashes using CRC, MD4, MD5, and SHA-1, and it can work on single files, multiple files, and whole file systems. The program window has a text field for displaying computed hashes and a field for pasting in a hash to match. The program can save the computed hashes to a text file in various encodings that it can later use to re-validate the included files.

HashCheck is a sort of hybrid of Hashtab and FCIV. It performs the basic single file hash computing and comparing functionality as other programs. To validate a single file, right-click on the file in Windows Explorer and select Properties. Click the Checksums tab to display the hashes for the selected file. Paste the published hash into the field at the bottom of the tab window, and the program will automatically highlight the matching hash or show a text bubble indicating that the hash was not found in the list.

If multiple files had been selected, hashes for all files will be computed and displayed. If a large number of files were selected, or the base folder of a large file system, it may take a long time to compute all the hashes. A convenient progress bar shows the programs progress computing the hashes, and unlike progress bars in some programs including those in software of large companies such as Microsoft and Oracle, the progress bar is accurate reaching the end only when it is actually completed computing hashes. There are two progress bars--one for the overall process and one for the individual files. Very large files can take a minute to hash.

The program goes beyond most others reviewed here in that its results can be saved to a text file for later revalidation. To do this, click the Save button at the bottom of the program window. In the Save As dialog that appears, enter a file name (the program computes a default), a file type, and click Save. The dialog opens in the location that contains the selected file(s) and/or folder(s), so you may want to browse to a different location to save the file. The program chooses which hash to save for the listed file(s) in the file based on the file type selected in the Save As dialog. It saves only one hash type in a given file, and the saved file takes an extension that is consistent with its type.

To re-validate the files that were included in the saved hash file, just double-click on the saved hash file to launch a HashCheck window that will proceed to recompute the hashes for the files and indicate the matches, mismatches, and unreadables--the latter category usually indicating a missing file.

HashCheck has many useful features, but it could be improved. Dropping the CRC and MD4 algorithms, which are not really needed for a program like this, and replacing them with SHA-256 and Whirlpool would be a big improvement. A reporting tool would be useful as well. It would be nice if the program could save its data into a single file containing all hashes computed for each file. As it is, a separate file is required to save the hashes for a given algorithm.


HashCheck Shell Extension was reviewed by on based on version 2.1.11.