Every time you download a file from a given website, namely If the site Is somewhat new to the online community, you never know If the file Is what It claims to be. As such, It's good practice to check It against the file from the original developer, just to make sure It hasn't been changed. The best method, Is to compare the hash checksums, hence In this tutorial, I will show you how to add popular hash algorithms to the right-click context menu, thus allowing you to check files with ease.
So what's the purpose of a hash algorithm? In very simple terms and without any tech jargon, It calculates a string value from a file and returns the result In the form of a checksum. The checksum (also referred to as a hash value or hash sum) Is a unique string consisting of numbers and letters, that helps check & Identify (In this case) whether a file has been tampered with.
Essentially, to make sure a given file hasn't been altered, put It through a hash algorithm (example, MD5, SHA1, SHA256) and do the same with the original file. You'd then compare both checksums- one from each file. If they match, then all Is well. If not, the file has been changed or tampered with In some capacity. You can read more on hash algorithms and file checksums, In my tutorial here.
Rather than using third-party tools to perform the above, I will demonstrate how to add the most popular hash algorithms to the right-click of the mouse. To do this, I will use a neat little Registry file, that will automatically add the entries to the Windows Registry, and Immediately apply It to the right-click menu thereafter.
I've provided the download links to the Registry file, at the end of this article. So without further delay, let's get this tutorial started.
Step One:Once you've downloaded the file, extract It's contents to a folder of your choice, and then double-click the Add Hash.reg file as shown below. It will prompt whether to add the entries to the Windows Registry, so simply hit Yes.
Step Two:A message will be returned, confirming that the entries have been successfully added to the Registry, so click OK to finalize the process.
Step Three:I've decided to check my file named ClassicStartMenu.exe. Upon right-clicking It, as you can see, the Hash setting has been applied as well as the common hash algorithms to the right of It. I'll check the file with the MD5 algorithm, by selecting that very option.
Step Four:The moment I hit MD5, Windows PowerShell executed and displayed the hash checksum (the string next to Hash) as Illustrated below. Pretty cool don't you think? I share the same opinion!
Step Five:If you wish to check the file by using every hash algorithm, refer to Step Three above and hit Show all. Again, Windows PowerShell will execute, displaying every hash checksum. Here's a snippet of the result.
Last Step:In the event you change your mind and want to remove the Hash option from the right-click menu, simply double-click the Remove Hash.reg file, and hit Yes.
Final Thoughts:Do note that when comparing two checksums from different files (for signs of any Inconsistencies), they must be Identical! If a single byte In the file Is changed, the checksum will return a different value compared to the original file, therefore you know for sure that It was tampered with or altered- Intentionally or otherwise.
Use any of the links below to download the aforementioned Registry files.
Direct Link Mega:
Direct Link AnonFiles:
Direct Link Mediafire:
Direct Link Solidfiles:
Direct Link Sabercathost:
Direct Link 4shared: