The HashTab utility integrates with the Windows shell to provide hash capabilities right from Windows Explorer. Many tools require command line usage or a separate application to create or check file hashes. File hashes are effectively a checksum through a pre-defined algorithm to ensure that the destination copy of a file is data consistent with the source instance of a file.
HashTab 3.0, which is a free download on the Beeblebrox.org website, has been updated to offer Mac OS support, as well as include a number of new hashes, including:
-WhirlpoolWhile these hashes are new to the tool, some are not necessarily new algorithms. Adler32, for example, is from the mid-1990s via RFC 1950. HashTab's additional checksum algorithms are shown in Figure A. Figure A
Click the image to enlarge.
Within HashTab, there is an option to "select all" hashes; this applies all hash algorithms to a file when it is accessed. I recommend only selecting the hashes that are required, as if a large file has the hashes generated (this is done during a right-click, properties, then selecting file hashes); there can be a long delay while all hashes are computed. There is a Cancel button if the process needs to be aborted.
In the course of downloading CD-ROM .ISO files or large compressed files, I use the MD-5 or other hashes that are provided with the download. A tool such as HashTab makes it very easy to check those hashes to ensure that the files are transferred correctly.
Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.