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An MD5 hash is a mathematical "signature" of a file, and can be used to verify a download, primarily to check for corruption, a common problem with larger files.

It is a 32 character string, and the simplest way to verify a download is to "hash" the received file and compare it with that shown on the VLE beside all official software downloads.

If the hashes are different, the downloaded file is corrupted, and unfortunately cannot be used (you could try the download again). However if this is a frequently occuring problem, it is likely indicative of a poor internet connection - contact IT Support or your ISP for assistance.

Windows

Windows users will need an add-on program such as MD5 Context Menu to create MD5 Hashes.

Download From School Servers 238.9KB
MD5 Sum: 381568c7116405cd1d7c4b535e4b6019

  1. Save the EXE file to your computer
  2. Run it, and follow the instructions on-screen to install.
  3. To obtain the MD5 Hash of a file, simply right click it within windows explorer or a folder window and choose MD5
  4. If this is impractical for you to download, please contact IT Support who will be happy to provide you with this software on CD free of charge.

Windows (Command Line)

Microsoft provide the File Checksum Integrity Verifier for x86 Windows XP, a command-line utility for calculating md5 checksums, however this should only be used by advanced users.

Download From School Servers 116.8KB
MD5 Sum: 58dc4df814685a165f58037499c89e76

  1. Save the EXE file to your computer
  2. Execute it and choose to extract to C:\Windows\System32\
  3. Open a Command Prompt and run fciv /? for usage instructions
  4. If this is impractical for you to download, please contact IT Support who will be happy to provide you with this software on CD free of charge.

Linux

The most straightforward way to calculate MD5 hashes is via the console command openssl md5 [filename] from the OpenSSL package, which comes with most distros. The older BSD/GNU Core utility md5sum [filename] is also usually available. Consult your system documentation for further information, as alternative as well as graphical utilities may be available.

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