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Have you just downloaded a large file? Or do you have a file you suspect? The best way to ensure that the file comes from a verified source is to measure its checksum. A checksum is almost like a fingerprint of a file that cannot be modified or deleted. If the checksum of two files is the same, we can safely say that the two files are the same. There are many algorithms to calculate the checksum and the one we are talking about here is MD5. In this article, we discussed a method for checking the integrity of files by calculating their checksum using the integrated command line tool Certutil.
This article shows how to calculate, verify, verify and validate the checksum of a file using Certutil.exe, a Windows utility. MD5 checksums are useful for checking the integrity of the file and whether your file matches the source and has not been altered.
What is the MD5 checksum
You must have encountered this term often when downloading large files from the Internet. MD5 is one of the most common algorithms for measuring the checksum of files. It often helps detect files that have been corrupted or maliciously altered during transfers/downloads.
Calculating the MD5 checksum of a file
Well, there are several ways to do this. One of them is using a third-party File Integrity Checker tool. There are many tools that can help you calculate the checksum of a file using MD5 algorithms. We have already described some tools that you can see here.
If you are looking for an alternative that does not require an additional tool, Windows Certutil can help you. Certutil is a command line tool integrated to Windows.
According to Microsoft, certutil.exe allows you to edit and view CA configuration information, configure certification services, backup and restore CA components, and verify certificates, key pairs, and certificate chains.
In this section, we have described a step-by-step guide on using Certutil to calculate a checksum for each file.
Step 1 : Open a new window CMD from Start menu
Step 2 : Navigate to the directory where your file is located.
Step 3: Execute the following command:
certutil -hashfile path to your MD5 file
This will display the checksum of the file in the console window. You can use this checksum to check the integrity of this file.
If you want to check the checksum against another algorithm such as SHA512 or SHA256, simply replace MD5 in your control with the desired algorithm.
Once you have received the checksum value, it is time to check it. If you received this file from a friend or by e-mail, you can ask the sender for the checksum value. If both values match, your file was not altered or distorted during the transfer. If you downloaded this file from a website, you can search the developer checksums on the download page.
The following screenshot shows the checksum specified on the FileZilla download page. This is the same checksum calculated by Certutil in the previous step.
So you can calculate and verify the MD5 checksums of your files. These checksums can easily detect file distortions and manipulated files. Although many free online and offline tools are available to help you do this, this trick with Windows is still useful.
With certutil.exe, you can calculate and verify checksums on virtually all Windows computers.