The Create Digest function generates a “checksum digest” (a list of file “signatures”) for all of the files in a particular folder on your computer.
ExactFile supports several checksum formats, including MD5, SHA1, SFV (CRC32), and others.
Enter the path to the folder for which you wish to have the digest created, or click the browse button (…) to find it with a select folder dialog. You may also drag-and-drop a folder from Windows Explorer.
Select Include subfolders to recursively scan all folders in the path.
Select Include full paths in output if you want the digest to use explicit and full paths for each file. This is helpful if you are only using digest files for verifying file collections on your own computer for which the file locations will never change. This way you can store the digest file anywhere with no regard for the base folder. This is not useful if you intend to copy the files and verify them in another location. If you will be including the digest file when distributing files for others, do not use full paths, because if you do, the digest file will most likely be useless for others.
Select Output to File if you want the digest to be written to a file. You will usually want to do this, but you may want to suppress the file output in some situations. It is recommended that rather than manually specifying the digest file name, you allow ExactFile to automatically generate it and place the file. You do this by leaving the Automatically Name Digest File button toggled on (the “round arrow” button), so that the digest file will always be placed in the base folder you are scanning and given an appropriate name/extension. However, you can click the Browse for Digest Output File button (or manually type the output file path name) if you wish to have it stored elsewhere. Note that ExactFile will always overwrite this file if it already exists, without prompt.
Select the Method and Format for the digest file. The three most popular digest formats are MD5 (md5sum format), SFV, and SHA1 (sha1sum format). Additionally, ExactFile can create digest files compatible with FileCheckMD5. Finally, if you wish to use a less common checksum routine, like GOST or RIPEMD (etc), ExactFile can create an “extended md5sum” format digest file.
If you need help deciding which to use: Pick the first option, MD5. This will create a standard md5sum digest file that can be read by most file checksum utilities. A more robust and “reliable” checksum is SHA1, with SHA512 being the strongest. However, for simple file verification uses, MD5 is an excellent choice because it is fast and “good enough” to test if a file has been damaged on disc or during download.
Click Go to begin the process. The digest will be shown in a report window and also saved to the file specified (if you have opted to select the Output to File option).