Tag Archives: exf

exf released

A new build of the console application exf has been posted.

Version (download, info) fixes problems with batch files.

Due to the way Windows handles Unicode output in consoles, exf was “terminating” batch files any time exf was called from a batch file. The only way I could find to fix this problem was to have exf revert the output mode to ANSI after the work is complete. What this means is that visually, Unicode characters in the console window will appear as boxes, but the actual data is still being written as Unicode. So, if you are redirecting output to a file, nothing is lost as the output is still UTF-8. It’s only what appears in the console window that is altered.

Anyway, this means you can now use exf properly in a batch file. Yay!

exf beta posted

A quick update to exf today: Mike C. reported incompatibility with exf’s sha1 output style and gnu sha1sum.  I’ve changed exf to use gnu style output.

exf uses a series of regular expressions to parse input files without the user having to specify what kind of hash routine is being used, and these have been updated so that you can feed exf either gnu/linux sha1sum digests or the stripped-down Windows sha1sum digest formats.  Anyway, it should “just work.”

Website launched – What’s this all about?


Back in 2003 I developed a program I called FileCheckMD5. It solved a little problem I had: customers couldn’t tell me if their CD-ROM was defective or damaged, and I had to do a lot of guesswork to find out if their CD-ROM was bad or if the installation program wasn’t functioning on their computer for a different reason.

There were of course various file integrity scanners out there, but at the time, I could not find anything that was both graphical (so non-techinical users could easily interpret the information) and properly suited for the task of checking an entire CD (subdirectories and all). So I just wrote my own which used the MD5 hash method, and called it FileCheckMD5.

I released it as freeware thinking one or two other people might find it useful for the same things.

That was hundreds of thousands of downloads ago.

Over that time, I’ve built up quite a wish-list of features and a few bugs.

I decided it was time to develop a more robust tool – and since this one will offer more than just the MD5 checksum method, the name will be changed from FileCheckMD5 to ExactFile.

ExactFile will be multi-threaded, support Unicode file names, and not choke on extremely large (hundreds of gigabytes) files.

The initial beta version of the console application, exf, is already done. This one is for folks happy on the command prompt. The full GUI ExactFile is still in the works and will be available soon.

Today I figured it was time to get this thing posted online so others could use it. If you’re already using a command line summer like md5sum, sha1sum, or fsum, exf is something you’ll want to try. As I said, it’s multi-threaded, so when you’re hashing more than one file, those extra cores in your processor will actually get to do something. And although Windows consoles don’t display Unicode characters, exf works fine with Unicode file names and its output doesn’t mangle the file names, either.

Subscribe to this blog if you want to be kept aprised of ExactFile development.

Oh, and I’ve put FileCheckMD5 here just until the GUI ExactFile is ready to be used.