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I am a little concerned about one of my disk drives and afraid that I might be overwriting good backups of it with corrupt files.

I would like a tool which recursively scans all directories and tests the integrity of each individual file.

Unfortunately, that means a different check for each file type, so such a tool may either not exist or may be limited, but I would like to know what is out there.

In rough order of what I want to verify:

  • photos
  • videos
  • eBooks
  • archives
  • MS office documents
  • mp3 / flac / ogg
  • anything else is a bonus

A huge bonus would be if the tool were to attempt to repair corrupted files, but that is probably too much to ask.


[Update] many posters don't seem to read or understand the question. I am not concerned with MD5 or checksum; I am talking about files which have a known internal structure, where it can be detected if that internal structure is not consistent/corrupt.

And, as a bonus, which can be repaired if that internal structure is (slightly) corrupted - for instance, rescue the photo from a JPEG if EXIF info or thumbnail is corrupt, rescue music from MP if the IDtags are corrupt; there are programs available which will repair corrupt ZIP files, MS Word & Excel etc

  • Make sure you have a working backup before running such a tool. Anything that goes around and touches every file will strain your hard drive, and if it's already in a bad shape, then the software could do more harm than good – Tymric Jul 26 '15 at 22:17
  • This program also assumes that the current state of the data is valid, but it offers a repair feature. quickpar.org.uk If you PAR2 your data files the program will create data recovery files. The size/percentage of the PAR2 files determines the amount of damage can be recovered. So if you get bad sectors you can fix those and PAR2 will rebuild the missing data. Unfortunately, they have to be updated every time you legitimately update the files. – cybernard Aug 7 '15 at 4:17
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Exact file looks like a program that will do what you need to do. You have to set it up to scan a folder but you could just set it up to scan the folder c or whatever drive you are scanning.

Exact File
Features:

  • A file integrity verification tool:
    • Use it to make sure files copied to CD-ROM are bit-perfect copies,
    • Use it to make sure backups copied from one drive to another are just right,
    • Use it to make sure files haven’t been changed or damaged over time.
  • Multi-threaded, so your extra CPU cores get used when scanning multiple files and work gets done faster.
  • Happy with Unicode file names, so it doesn’t fail when you’re using it on files named in Japanese, Hebrew, Chinese, or any other language.
  • Supports multiple checksum routines (hashes), like MD5, SHA1, CRC32, RIPEMD and others.
  • Supports recursive directory scanning.
  • Supports Very Big Files — If it’s on your hard drive, ExactFile can handle it.
  • Does everything popular file summer utilities do, like fsum, md5sum, sha1sum, sfv, etc, but better!
  • Compatible with popular file checksum digest formats.
  • For Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and 7.
  • GUI. Easy to use to get checksums for individual files, create checksum digests, and test checksum digests. Does not require the console version or any external DLLs.
  • FREE.

Exact File User Interface

  • And I am supposed to google for it? With a unique name like that? – Mawg Jul 26 '15 at 15:36
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    "looks like" a good program to do this - have you even tried it? Please read How to Answer – Mawg Jul 26 '15 at 15:37
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    I googled "Exact file" and found it, but it looks like a checksum,sha, etc based program. It hash each file once and then it compares the hashes later. However, if the files are damaged before you run the program the first time it will not detected that. – cybernard Jul 26 '15 at 17:04
  • Aye, there’s the rub. As such, I am afraid that it is of no use to me :-( I suppose that I could code my own ... – Mawg Jul 27 '15 at 7:14
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You can use Total Commander to create a checksum file.
This works very well for entire directories or single files.

Download the software from www.ghisler.com (for Windows) or https://www.codeweavers.com/via/totalcommander8 (for Mac)

1) To scan and take a snapshot, go to Menu => Files => Create Checksum Files.
2) To verify, go to Menu => Files => Verify Checksums (from Checksum Files)

  • This does not meet the requirement I would like a tool which recursively scans all directories... – Jan Doggen Aug 26 '15 at 6:44
  • That's not the point though ()not my downvote, btw). So many posters don't seem to read or understand the question. I am not concerned with MD5 or checksum; i am talking about files which have a known internal structure and which can be repaired if that internal structure is (Slightly) corrupted - for instance, rescue the photo from a JPEG if EXIF info or thumbnail is corrupt, rescue music from MP if the IDtags are corrupt; there are programs available which will repair corrupt ZIP files, MS Word & Excel etc – Mawg Aug 26 '15 at 8:34
  • Apart from that, a checksum doesn't even match the OP's first criterium: "I am a little concerned about one of my disk drives and afraid that I might be overwriting good backups of it with corrupt files." A checksum here would indicate a changed file (which might need to be backed-up) – but not tell whether that means the file is corrupt. It might even be an indicator that the file needs to be backed-up (as it has changed). So this approach doesn't fit at all, sorry. – Izzy Aug 26 '15 at 9:25

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