MyChecksums Help

September 5, 2011

 

Purpose

Overview

How I Use This

Getting Started

Requirements

Installation

Usage – Details

·       Lookup Tab

·       Load Folders Tab

·       View Database Tab

·       Settings Tab

·       Extension Settings Tab

·       View Info Files

·       View DB Files

Further Information

Troubleshooting

Purpose

 

This program requires a recent version of Windows (XP or later) to run. It is a collection management tool for the advanced collector of lossless audio files primarily in flac and shn format. It helps you build a database of the checksums and info files of the folders on your hard drives and stores them by the folder name. Once you have built the database, you can look up multiple md5, ffp, and st5 checksum sets to see whether you have them. The lookup can be done from checksums copied to the clipboard, or from selected folders or files. It reports all matching folders and also any checksums missing for a found folder. So you can tell what you have and what is missing.

 

The program was created for personal use to build a database of my checksums and info files of the folders on my hard drives and then make it easy to lookup checksums to see whether I have them. That way I can quickly tell whether a new bittorrent is something I already have or is new to me My collection was getting too hard to handle and I looked to see what I could do to get better control over it. This program was the solution I came up with. It was not created to replace my prior record keeping but rather to supplement it. It is being freely shared so that it may do the same for others.

 

There is hope that as more users become invested in checksums, that more bittorrent trackers will be encouraged to require the display of checksums in the torrent description. As the same file sets go around again and again, being able to quickly identify them as something one already has will be a time saver and allow one to focus more of their time on more productive contributions to the community. And hopefully this will lead to more order and less chaos making collecting easier for everyone.

Overview

 

Many times I see a torrent description that provides checksums. I select all and copy the web page or the block of checksums from my internet browser to the clipboard and then click on this program’s “look up from clipboard” button, and see if the checksums are in the database and if so which folder they are from and whether they are complete.

 

Similarly, I may have a file containing checksums, a folder containing multiple files that contain checksums, or a group of folders. I can drag and drop the files or folders into the program’s lookup listbox. The files and folders can also be fetched into the listbox using a file dialog box. Next I click on this program’s “look up from listbox” button, and see if the checksums in the files are in the database and if so which folder they are from and whether they are complete.

 

The lookup result is displayed in summary and detail grids. The detail grid indicates for each checksum whether it has a match and also shows all duplicate matches if the checksum belongs to multiple folders. If a checksum matches to a folder in the database, a reverse lookup is done for that folder name to show any checksums which are in the database but missing from the checksums being looked up. From this one can find out how complete the set is. From a matched checksum, you can click on the folder name in the grid and view the info files collected for the folder.

 

Building the database does take some computer processing time, but this program is designed to batch that processing so batches can happen overnight with a minimum of user effort. Depending on your computer system and what you use it for, you may find the batch processing does not interfere with your other computer activities.

 

How I Use This

 

Sometimes a torrenter in their torrent description, either on the web or by email, will list the md5 and the ffp or st5 checksums that match their torrent. So when I see those, I select all on either the web page or email with CTRL-A and then copy to the clipboard with the right click context menu copy option. I then click on this program’s “Lookup From Clipboard” button and see in the summary grid how well those checksums matched to the database. If there are problems like missing checksums or multiple folders found, I may review the detail grid. If a folder is found, I may double click on the folder name and view the collection of info files captured in the database for that folder. And I may select the option to open that folder in explorer to view other files in the folder.

 

If there are no md5 or ffp or st5 checksums displayed in the torrent description, I may look to see it any of those files were provided in the torrent and just download those files. When the download completes, I drag the folder and drop it in the lookup tab listbox. I then click on “Lookup from Listbox” and see how they matched.

 

If I did not get an exact match to indicate I already have it, I may do more research on what I have by browsing through some folders on the view database tab. On that tab, I can enter in a starting folder name and see similar folders for that artist and date and view their info files (it helps if one has used some standard in naming one’s folder names).

 

·        Loading the Database

This happens once at the beginning to get everything on the hard drives loaded and then on a maintenance basis sometimes weekly to load in new arrivals to keep the database up to date. This happens on the load database tab. There are 3 basic steps and each is pretty much a button click, a wait while the batch processes, and then a review of the process output on completion before proceeding to the next step..

 

The first step is to load the grid with whatever batch of folders that I want to process. Sometimes that is just a folder of new stuff or at startup it may be a 2 terabyte drive or more (I have done 4 of those drives at once in a batch). As a folder is loaded into the grid, the folder’s contents are examined and summarized in the grid row as well as matched to any folder with the same name already in the database. If the folder name is already in the database I may research it more to see whether I have a duplicate or need to rename it to differentiate it.

 

The next step is to generate checksums for the folders. This is optional but recommended. This assures all folders have both md5 and ffp/st5 checksums for all files and that they are what I have and not necessarily what someone else thought they had.

 

The next step is to load the folder checksums and info files into the database.

 

There are additional maintenance batch processes. I can update the location of folders in the database if they were moved to a different location. If I rename folders and have generated the checksums, I can update their new names in the database.

 

The program is designed primarily for loading folders off of hard drives, but can be used to similarly load from dvdrs. However that can be a lot of shuffling of dvdrs and it might be worthwhile just copying them to a hard drive. For those who have saved checksum and info files in a folder on their hard drive of what they have burned to dvdr, there is a process to load those into the database based on their filename.

 

If you download something you reject and don’t want to keep, but you still want to keep track of it so you don’t get it again, you can append something like “-discard” to the end of its folder name. So when it comes around again and you look up its checksums you can recognize it as a discard.

 

There are some settings and decisions to make before starting. None of them have serious impact. All can be redone later (none of these are necessary to use this program):

 

1.     It will help to use a good folder naming standard as that will make it easier to recognize what is in a folder.

2.     It will help to have a good hard drive volume label naming standard as the location of the folders is stored by hard drive volume name.

3.     There may be other checksums one might want to track such as those for video files or other audio files. These extensions can be entered on the extension settings tab.

4.     Generating checksum files allows for advanced features such as batch folder renaming. So if you have generated files, and decide later to rename the folders in windows explorer, you can easily get the database back in sync to those new folder names.

 

·        Trying to find a folder

I use the view database tab to look up and browse folders for an artist and date. From this program, I can open the folder in windows explorer if it is on a mounted hard drive.

 

·        My Typical Workflow for processing new folders

(Note: not everyone needs to follow these steps to benefit from the MyChecksums program. There are a lot of options to adapt this program into other personal workflows.)

o   Download torrents to folder

o   When seeding the torrent is complete, I move them to holding folder

o   When I get enough in the holding folder for what I want as a batch to process and I have the time to process it, I start by renaming the folders to my standard naming convention

o   I check to make sure they all decode to wav and test md5s for completeness

o   I drag and drop the folders into the MyChecksums Load Folders tab grid

o   If any of the folders are already in the database, I check for duplicates and if so I remove it, otherwise I give the folder a new unique name by renaming in the grid.

o   I generate the checksums for the folders using MyChecksums Load Folders tab

o   I load the checksums and info files for the folders into the database using MyChecksums Load Folders tab

o   I log them in to my prior record keeping system

o   I copy the folders to their final destination hard drive and backup hard drive and remove them from the holding folder when finished copying

o   I update the folder’s new locations using MyChecksums Load Folders tab

o   I backup the MyChecksums folder

 

Getting Started

After installation, it is recommended that you start slow using the program. Try loading a small number of folders to the database. Then practice looking up their checksums from the lookup clipboard by opening one of the folder’s checksum files in notepad and then coping some of the checksums to the clipboard. Also try dragging one of the folders or checksum files into the lookup listbox and then lookup from listbox.

 

Once you are comfortable using the program, you can start loading larger batches to get an idea of the time it takes for each step getting your folders into the database. Some of the factors influencing the timings for a batch are the number of folders in the batch, whether the folders are shn or flac (shn is slower since the st5 must also be generated), average number of checksums and info files in a folder, the speed of your computer, the speed of your hard drive, and the speed of the connection to your hard drive.

 

There are some setup and usage decisions to make. The most important is to decide whether to generate checksums and store the output in the folder. The advantage is you will be assured all folders have both md5 and ffp/st5 checksums for all files and that they are what you have and not necessarily what someone else thought they had. Also that generated checksum file will allow the program to recognize your folder so that it can update the folder name in case you rename it using windows explorer. The possible disadvantage may be slight in that it adds another file to your folder which was not previously there and also updates the folders modified date and time.

 

You may want to track the md5 checksums of other extensions such as video files or other audio extensions. Those extensions can be entered on the Extension Settings tab.

 

Requirements

 

In order for this program to run, it requires Microsoft Windows .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 and Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP1 runtime. Those both require a version of windows like windows XP or later. Both are available for free download from Microsoft if you do not already have them.

 

System Requirements for Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5 SP1

(I have only tested this in Windows 7 and copying to the clipboard from Internet Explorer 8, but I assume it will also work with Windows XP and Windows Vista and other browsers)

 

This program requires a screen resolution of at least 1024 x768 and benefits from higher resolutions. The program uses 2 databases - one for the folder information and checksums and another for the info files. Each is currently limited to 4 gigabytes of data by Microsoft. A test site implementation of 38,000 folders for 23 terabytes of shn/flac files was taking 500meg for the folder information and checksums database and 250meg for the info files database. And extrapolating gives an estimated capacity of around 300,000 folders across 180 terabytes for this program.

Installation

If you don’t know whether you have the required Microsoft software installed already, you can look in Control Panel’s Add Remove Programs. If you have windows 7, .NET Framework 3.5 sp1 comes pre-installed and you may have to turn it on in “Turn Windows Features On or Off.”

 

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=AB99342F-5D1A-413D-8319-81DA479AB0D7&displaylang=en

 

 

If it is no longer at that location, search in your browser for “Download details: .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1” and you should find a Microsoft site with a web address beginning with http://www.microsoft.com/downloads. (google found it but bing did not); (Make sure you are downloading this from Microsoft).

 

It is large and can take some time to download and install it as it will install a lot of precursor .NET software if needed. Follow the installation instructions

 

Later versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, come with Microsoft Windows .Net Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 already on the computer and it just needs to be activated . To activate go to Control Panel, then Programs and Features, and then Turn Windows Features on or off, and then check the checkbox to turn on Microsoft Windows .Net Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1.

 

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=DC614AEE-7E1C-4881-9C32-3A6CE53384D9&displaylang=en

Most will want to download this option: SSCERuntime-ENU-x86.msi for 32 bit operating system. If you are running a 64bit version of windows then you need SSCERuntime-ENU-x64.msi.

 

If it is no longer at that location, search in your browser for “Download details: Microsoft SQL server compact 3.5 SP1” and you should find a Microsoft site with a web address beginning with http://www.microsoft.com/downloads. (Make sure you are downloading this from Microsoft).

 

It downloads and installs quickly. Follow the installation instructions

 

It is suggested you place this new folder in one of the User folders like My Documents. But you can put it where you want. However, if you are a Windows 7 or Vista user, do not put it in Program Files or other system oriented folders or you will have security access problems running the program.

 

Unzip and place all the files in the MyChecksums.zip download set into that folder. You should then have MyChecksums.exe, MyChecksums_help.htm, and both database files named MyChecksums.sdf (for folder information and checksums) and MyChecksumsInfo.sdf (for info files). You also get some utility files used to generate checksums. You may overlay these with your own versions if you want. They are md5deep.exe, metaflac.exe, shntool.exe, shorten.exe, and cygwin1.dll.You may want to create a program shortcut to MyChecksums.exe on your desktop or in a favorite location to make it easier to run.

 

 

·        If an update comes about, just copy the new update files MyChecksums.exe and MyChecksums_help.htm and overwrite any files (you may want to back them up first if you wish). Do not copy or overwrite database files named MyChecksums.sdf and MyChecksumsInfo.sdf as that will cause the loss of all your data If you have changed any setup preferences, you may want to make sure you have saved them to a file in the Setup Tab so that they can be reloaded.

 

 

 

You can run multiple copies from the same folder which means they are going all off the same database. If you are running a batch load of the database and looking up checksums or viewing the database on another copy, it is possible you will encounter a database sharing error and need to update a row or some rows again that got an error during its update.

 

You can run multiple copies of this program from different folders which means they are going off of different databases. The MyChecksums.exe uses databases that are in the same folder. For example if you have encountered sharing errors and need access to lookup checksums or viewing the database during a batch load of the database, you can copy the Mychecksums folder and run the production version for the batch load database update and the copy version temporarily for lookup until the updates on the production version complete. Just make sure you keep the folders straight on which one has all the updates.

 

You can also share databases among trading friends who can use this software as you might your trading lists. Just don’t put their databases in the same folder as your production database which will overwrite it. Instead copy off your MyChecksums folder and give that folder a useful name. Then copy your friends databases (MyChecksums.sdf and MyChecksumsInfo.sdf) into that folder and run the MyChecksums.exe from the folder. You can see the folder you are running off of in the program title bar.

 

Usage – Details

 

Lookup Tab

 

This button will search through the text on the clipboard for any checksum and its associated file name and then display them in the detail grid along with all matching checksums and filenames found in the database. If a match is found, any missing checksums and filenames for the folder name are also displayed. (note: on a torrent web page with checksums, you can do a Ctrl-A in IE8 to select the entire web page and then copy that to the clipboard as this button’s action will parse through all the captured text to find just the checksum portion)

 

This button will search through all the files in the listbox for all checksums and their associated file names and then display them in the grid along with all matching checksums and filenames found in the database. If a match is found, any missing checksum and filenames for the folder name are also displayed. The checksums are grouped and processed by their parent folder and duplicate checksums found in the files are removed.

 

This button clears the listbox to make it ready for another drop or selection.

 

You can drag and drop filenames and folders into the listbox. Multiple filenames and folders can be dropped at once. The listbox will accept and list any filenames with extensions of txt, md5, ffp, and st5 that were dropped or were in a folder that was dropped. When processing a folder, the listbox will only accept files within that folder and within three levels of subfolders. If someone created a folder with more than three level of subfolders, they made it more difficult for everyone. On encountering more folder sublevels, the program will issue a warning message and those must be checked manually. Preferably restructure the folder or you can manually add the desired files to check from the lower sublevels.

 

The contents of the listbox can be managed by right clicking on it and displaying a context menu from which you can clear the listbox, clear selected items in the listbox, get files, get folders, or get all subfolders. You can expand the listbox for easier viewing when there are a lot of files or files with long filenames. You can restore the listbox back to its original size. You can view the currently selected files in notepad by selecting “show in notepad”. You can also double click on a listbox file to display it in notepad,

 

Files dropped or selected into the listbox are grouped by their parent folder. The group divider is indicated by the 2 extra slashes in the displayed filename in the listbox. All files with the same left portion from the divider slashes are in the same lookup group. Files are grouped to avoid repetition of checksums within the group from the different files. For example the same checksum may be repeated in the txt, ffp, and st5 file and the duplicates are filtered out in the lookup process. In the detail grid, each group will have a row header and trailer to distinguish it from other groups that may be being looked up at the same time.

 

There are some software programs that output very nonstandard checksum files, and this program may be unable to find the checksums in those types of files.

 

The summary grid summarizes what is in the detail grid. The type column indicates the totals for md5 and for ffp/st5 type checksums. The given column indicates the total unique checksums found either from the clipboard or the files in the listbox. The matched column indicates how many of the given checksums were matched to the database. The missing column indicates the total checksums found for the folder name that were not given from the clipboard or the files. Missing or unmatched checksums should be considered a starting point for further research.

 

The detail grid lists a row for each checksum found either from the clipboard or listbox. Along with the checksum are:

o   filename associated with the checksum

o   type of checksum(f=ffp, s=st5, or m=md5)

If a match to the checksum is found in the database, then these columns are displayed on the same row:

o   matched checksum

o   filename associated with the matched checksum,

o   matched checksum type (f=ffp/st5 or m=md5),

o   whether it is a checksum generated by this program

o   folder name in the database

o   the date the flac/shn files in that folder are from

o   the volume where the folder is located

 

If the checksum matches more than one folder name in the database, those matches are also displayed in a following row and highlighted. For each folder name found, a reverse lookup and comparison on the folder’s checksums to the checksums given is done and any missing checksums are displayed in a following row and highlighted. If the checksum lookup was from the listbox, then all the checksum rows within a group of files will be surrounded by a start and end row indicating the group highlighted in light blue.

 

Clicking on a folder name will open the View DB files for that folder name so that you can read the info files in the database for that folder name.

 

You can also right click and choose the context menu option “Jump to View DB using folder name of current row”. That takes you to the View DB tab, and puts the current row folder name in the start at box and loads that grid from there.

 

You can also right click and choose the context menu option “Open folder name of current row in windows explorer”. That opens an explorer window for the current row folder name. If the volume and location and folder name for the folder are not up to date or the volume is not mounted or accessible, you will get an error message instead.

 

Grey Blue – group start and end row

Light Orange – checksum not found in database

Light Turquoise Blue – checksum was matched to more than one folder name in the database

Pink – found folder name has additional checksums in the database that were missing in the lookup set

 

 

Load Folders Tab

 

·        Clear Rows

Clear All button removes all rows from the grid.

Clear Sel button removes all rows that are selected (have the first grid column Sel checked)

 

·        Select Rows

Select All button checks the Sel checkbox for all rows in the grid

Select None button unchecks the Sel checkbox for all rows in the grid

 

·        Get Folders into the Grid

Get All button brings up a folder dialog box for you to select a folder from. All subfolders in the first level of the selected folder are loaded into the grid.

Get Fld button brings up a folder dialog box for you to select a single folder from. Just that folder is loaded into the grid.

The starting folder for the folder dialog boxes can be set in the Settings tab.

Folders that are dragged and dropped onto the grid are added to the grid. More than one folder can be dragged and dropped at a time.

Folders named "System Volume Information" and "$RECYCLE.BIN" are skipped.

 

The grid columns are:

o   sel – checkbox indicates whether row is selected

o   folder – name of the folder which will become the unique key in the database. You can click on this field and rename it to a different name if you want. The new name will be the one loaded into the database and an attempt will be made to rename the folder on the hard drive to the new name. If there is a matching generated checksum file in the folder with the folder’s name, that file will be renamed along with the folder. This will not rename an existing folder in the database. To rename a folder in the database go to the View DB tab.

o   from – the date of the last time a flac, wav, or shn file in the folder was written to

o   info – the number of txt, nfo, and rtf files in the folder; if the info count is zero, then, the background color is set to peach

o   files – the number of flac, wav, or shn files in the folder; if the files count is zero, then, the background color is set to peach

o   ffp – the number of ffp or st5 checksums found in the folder for flac, shn, or wav files reading through all txt, nfo, md5, ffp, and st5 files; if the ffp count is not equal to the files count, the background color is set to peach

o   md5– the number of md5 checksums found in the folder for flac, shn, wav, or other files with extensions that were set for capturing their checksums; this is done by reading through all txt, nfo, md5, ffp, and st5 files; if the md5 count is not equal to the files count, the background color is set to peach

o   gen – indicates that the folder contains a checksum file generated by this program which is a file named with the folder name plus “_mychecksums.txt”; if the generated file in the folder does not match the folder name, then the background color is set to peach

o   db-from – the db fields are shown if the folder name matches an existing entry in the database; the db-from is the date stored in the database of the last time a flac, wav, or shn file in the folder was written to

o   db-info – the number of txt, nfo, and rtf files stored in the database

o   db-ffp – the number of ffp/st5 checksums stored in the database

o   db-md5 – the number of md5 checksums stored in the database

o   db-gen – indicates the database has checksums stored in it from a generated file

o   vol – the volume where the folder was last seen at from the database; (if the volume was not available because it was accessed through a network share and not a drive letter, the network share name is used instead; if the volume was blank, the drive letter is used instead)

o   msg – if there is an error message for a folder during a batch process a message box is given at the end of the batch process with the number of rows with errors; the message detail for a row with an error is displayed in this column

 

When the grid is loaded, you can click on the info count for a row to bring up the View Info form where you can browse the info files that are in the folder for that row. You can also click on the db-info count for a row to bring up the View DB form to browse info files in the database for that folder.

 

If you were expecting all the folders added to the grid to be new to the database, and the message comes back telling you there are folders in the database, then you may want to review them. If you did not add that many folders to the grid for the batch, you can easily scroll through the grid to find the ones in the database for review. But if you have thousands of folders in the batch, you can click on the grid column header for “db-from” which will sort the grid by this date column putting all the ones in the database next to each other. The first click to sort will be ascending order putting them at the bottom of the grid. A subsequent click will put them in descending order moving them to the top of the grid. If you find you have a duplicate, you can either uncheck its selection checkbox so future button batch actions based on selection skip this folder, or you can just let it be processed again. If you determine you do not have a duplicate folder but just a duplicate name, you should rename it in order to separate its info and checksums from being lumped together in the database under the same folder name. Renaming the folder is discussed above under the grid column description for “folder”.

 

You can right click on the grid to bring up the grid context menu with these menu options:

 

o   Jump to View DB using folder name of current row

This takes you to the View DB tab, and puts the current row folder name in the start at box and loads that grid from there

 

o   Open folder name of current row in windows explorer

This opens an explorer window for the current row folder name.

 

o   Set Select to only folders missing a generated file – sets the select column for a row to checked if the folder on the hard drive is missing a generated file; all other rows are set to unchecked; this may be useful when you want to generate checksums only for folders not having a generated file already

 

o   Set Select to only folders with a generated file not matching the folder name file – sets the select column for a row to checked if the folder has a generated file that does not match the folder name; all other rows are set to unchecked; this may be useful when you either want to make sure the generated file was done by you and not downloaded or you renamed the folder and want to bring it back into sync with the database using the advanced feature Load for Folder Rename

 

o   Set Select to only folders where the folder name is not in the database – sets the select column for a row to checked if the folder name is not in the database; all other rows are set to unchecked; this may be useful when you only want to load the new folders in the grid into the database

 

o   Set Select to only folders with volume of current row – sets the select column for a row to checked if the volume matches the volume of the current row; all other rows are set to unchecked; this may be useful when you only want to update the volume for rows with a particular volume. Or you can use it followed by the toggle select values context menu item to update the volume of the rows listed in the grid not on a particular volume

 

o   Set Select to only folders with no message – sets the select column for a row to checked if the folder has a blank message; all other rows are set to unchecked; this may be useful when you have some errors and only want to proceed to the next step using the grid rows which don’t have errors

 

o   Toggle Select Values for entire grid – sets the select column for a row to checked if the value is unchecked and sets it to unchecked if the value is checked; this may be useful in combination with other Set Select menu items in order to get the opposite

 

·        Generate Checksums

Gen All sums button generates checksums for all rows from the grid.

Gen Sel sums button generates checksums from rows in the grid that are selected (have the first grid column Sel checked)

 

It is recommended that you generate checksums so as to have a complete and accurate set of what you have to store in the database. The generated file in the folder also allows for tracking of the folder so that it can be re-synced with the database in case the folder is renamed using explorer.

 

When checksums are generated for a folder, a new file is added to the folder with the name of the folder plus “_mychecksums.txt”. If the folder is read only like on a dvdr, the file is written instead to MyChecksums\generated_files folder. There is a setting on the Settings tab that can also put all generated files into that folder.

 

The new file contains an md5 checksum for all files in the folder using the md5deep.exe program. Flac fingerprints for flac files are collected using the metaflac.exe program. St5 checksums for shn files are collected using the shntool.exe, shorten.exe, and cygwin1.dll programs.

 

·        Load Checksums and info into the Database

Load db All button loads all rows from the grid into the database.

Load db Sel button loads selected rows from the grid into the database

 

When a grid row is added to the database, all the files in the folder are processed and the collected information is added to the database under the folder name. If the folder name already exists in the database, the information for the folder name is updated. The volume the folder is on and the subfolder it is in are set and the last seen date is set to now. It is ok for a folder to be loaded multiple times into the database.

 

New info files are added to the database. If an info file already exists in the database for the folder name, it is only updated if its modified date is after the modified date when it was last loaded into the database. If an info file has been removed from the folder but is still in the database, and you want it removed from the database, it can be removed using the View DB Files form.

 

New checksums are added into the database for the folder. If a checksum already exists in the database for the folder name, it is only updated if it is now a generated checksum. If you want to remove checksums from the database for a folder, you will need to delete the folder name from the database on the View Database tab, remove the checksums that you do not want in the database from the folder, and then load the folder again into the database

 

·        Update Volume Location in the Database

Update All Vol button updates all rows from the grid into the database.

Update Sel Vol button updates selected rows from the grid into the database

 

The volume the folder is on and the subfolder it is in are updated and the last seen date is set to now. This allows for the folder to be opened from the grid context menu option.

 

·        Advanced Features

o   Load only Gen to DB

If this option is checked only checksums generated by this program are loaded to the database. Other Checksums that were provided with the folder are not put in the database. One may find a folder that has too many extra non useful checksums where you don’t want to add them all to the database. Or on a first pass one may have loaded checksums without first generating checksums and then generated them later and needing to only load them.

 

o   Load by Filename

This feature is used to get a folder of files into the grid and then load them into the database. The filename replaces the folder name as the identifier into the database. The filename must contain checksums to be loaded. The filename is loaded without the extension and any files that match it without their extensions are loaded together. This may be helpful in capturing checksums and info files where one burned a bunch of recordings or video to dvdr and saved the checksum and info files in a single folder with filenames indicating the source.

 

o   Load for Folder Rename

This feature is used to identify folders that have been loaded into the database and later renamed using windows explorer so that the folder name on the hard drive no longer matches the name in the database. Once identified, the folder names in the database can be updated to the folder name on the hard drive. This identification of folders with name changes can only happen if checksums were originally generated using this program before loading the folder to the database. In this case the generated “_mychecksums.txt” file in the folder on the hard drive will contain the original folder name which can be matched to the entry in the database. That folder name on the “_mychecksums.txt” file must be different from the current folder name on the hard drive. On the Load db action, the “_mychecksums.txt” file in the folder and database info file will be renamed to the new folder name as will all references in the database to the old folder name. On the Load db action, only rows with no error message will have the rename attempted. The grid context menu of “Set Select to only folders with no message” and followed by the “Toggle Select Values for entire grid” and then followed by the “Clear Sel” button can be used to narrow the grid rows down to only those with no error messages.

 

o   Override Volume and Sub Folder

This feature is used to override the volume and subfolder that are stored in the database for a folder. If a value is entered for the Override Volume (the upper textbox), updates to the database from the Load db and Update Vol buttons will store these values instead of where the folder actually is. This is useful when you plan to move the folder to another location and want to skip the step of updating its location again. This may also be useful if your folder is on a dvdr that was not given a useful volume label at the time it was burned. For example if you wrote a number on the dvdr to identify it, but you did not make the volume label that number, then you can enter that location number into the override field so it is stored in the database for those folders. Also if you double click on the Override Volume textbox, any trailing number in the field will be incremented by 1. That makes it easier if you are loading dvdrs in ascending sequence. For example a double click will change the value “dvdr0100” to “dvdr0101”.

 

·        Cancel

The batch processes can be long and may need to be canceled or paused. Clicking the Cancel button will give a confirmation message. The batch process is now suspended or paused. Confirming the cancel will end the batch process and not confirming it will let it continue.

 

View Database Tab

 

·        View Database from start position

Enter the first few characters or full name of the folder where you want to start at and click on the View db button. The program’s default is to display 100 records. You can set your own personal default on the Settings tab. You can also enter a number into the Max field for the current request. The Prev and Next buttons get the previous or next set of records.

 

The grid has columns for each row retrieved from the database of the folder name, the from date, info file count, ffp/st5 count, md5 count, whether it has checksums generated from this program, the volume, subfolder path on that volume, and last seen date. The folder name can be clicked on and changed to rename it in the database and keep its ownership of all of its checksum and info files. No attempt is made to modify the folder on the hard drive. Clicking on the info file count column for a row will show the View DB Files form for that rows folder name.

 

You can also right click on a grid row and choose the context menu option “Open folder name of current row in windows explorer”. That opens an explorer window for the current row folder name. If the volume and location and folder name for the folder are not up to date or the volume is not mounted or accessible, you will get an error message instead.

 

The context menu on the grid also allows you to delete a folder name and all of its checksums and info files from the database. No attempt is made to modify or delete the folder on the hard drive.

 

·        Advanced Features

The Load by Volume button fills the grid to the right of it with a list of the volumes stored in the database and the count of the folders listed as on that volume. This action reads through all the folders in the database and could take several minutes. A context menu on the volume grid allows you to list all the folder names for a volume in the lower grid. It ignores any maximum records to show setting and if you click on the Prev or Next buttons you will be filling the grid from the Start At view db request and not from the Volume grid. A context menu also allows you to delete all folder names and checksums and info files for the folder names on a volume (you will be given 2 chances to confirm that request).

 

The volume processes can be long and may need to be canceled or paused. Clicking the Cancel button will give a confirmation message. The process is now suspended or paused. Confirming the cancel will end the process and not confirming it will let it continue.

 

Settings Tab

 

This is used to set a folder from which to start the file or folder dialog for selection into the Lookup tab listbox and the Load Folders tab grid. If it is not set, the dialogs start from the desktop.

 

·        View Database maximum (default is 100)

If entered, this is the default number of rows to display in the View Database tab view grid when requesting a view. It is used when the Max field is zero or blank on that tab.

 

·        Date Format

This gives 3 choices for the date format as displayed in the grids. Choosing yyyy-mm-dd makes that column more meaningful when sorted. You can sort a grid on a column by clicking on the column’s heading.

 

·        Always put all generated checksum files in generated folder (not recommended)

When checksum files are generated by this program from the Load Folders tab generate buttons, the file is normally put in the folder that has the files the checksums are generated from. But if this setting is checked, they are all put in the MyChecksums\generated_files folder.

 

·        Show Advanced Features

Advanced Features are not shown to avoid clutter at startup and may be turned on here. Advanced Features will stay on until the program is closed. Advanced Features appear on the Load Folders tab, View Database tab, and the Extensions Settings tab.

 

·        Repair mychecksums database

This attempts to verify the checksums database is ok and if not will attempt to repair it. It is suggested you back up the database before attempting this. I have not had a damaged database to test the repair with. It is just a command that comes with the database software. Having a power failure in the middle of an update may damage the database and require this repair.

 

·        Repair mychecksums info file database

This attempts to verify the info database is ok and if not will attempt to repair it. It is suggested you back up the database before attempting this.

 

·        Save forms positions and sizes when saving (this setting is not saved)

If you want to save the position and size of the open forms for the next time you open the program, check this checkbox and then save the settings.

 

This will save any changes and they will be available for this instance’s session and all future instances, but not concurrently running instances

 

This resets all settings back to their last saved settings

 

This will save any settings changes made and store them in the file “\MyChecksums\settings\ MyChecksums.ini”. This provides a backup for your settings. It is possible on future program updates or a reinstall that your settings will be lost. They may then be reloaded from this file. Also you may wish to transfer your settings to another computer or temporarily try other settings knowing you can reload the saved ones.

 

If you have previously saved your settings to a file, this will reload your settings from “MyChecksums\settings\ MyChecksums.ini”

 

The version number of the program

 

This displays the counts in the databases of folders, info files, ffp checksums, md5 checksums, and folders with checksum files generated by this program.

 

Displays this Help file

 

Extension Settings Tab

 

·        Extension Grid

The following extensions are currently used by this program: "txt", "nfo", “rtf”, "flac", "shn", "wav", "st5", "md5", and "ffp". Some may collect video or other audio formats and would like to load those checksums to the database for a later lookup. So to track other extensions, enter them into the grid in the upper left hand corner. Do not enter the period for them.

 

If you do decide to track the “vob“ video extension, note that some of the small files like this one have the same checksum across many videos as some who make video reuse the same files over and over again. This will result in their slower checksum lookups as many folders get matched to the checksum. It works but it is slower and there are more matches to sort through.

 

These are examples of extra extensions one may want to track: ape, avi, bup, fla, ifo, iso, m4a, m4v, mkw, mov, mp2, mp3, mp4, mpeg, mpg, ogg, vcd, vob, wma, wmv, ts

 

·        Save Settings

This does the same as the same titled button on the Settings tab. This will save any setting changes and they will be available for this instance’s session and all future instances, but not concurrently running instances. It is recommended that you also save the settings to a file on the Settings tab.

 

·        Advanced Features

 

o   Load lower grid with extensions from db within captured _mychecksum.txt info files

This feature requires you to have used this program to generate _mychecksum.txt files and stored them in the database for all of your folders. This feature will read through all those _mychecksum.txt files that are stored in the database and for each non-standard file extension add a row to the grid, keep count of how many it finds, and what the folder name is when the extension was first encountered in the search.

 

o   Transfer selected lower grid extensions to upper grid for saving in Settings tab

After loading the lower grid, browse through it and see if there are any extensions you want to add to the upper grid. This button will add any ones that have the Sel column checked to the upper grid. Remember to Save these Settings.

 

o   Process selected lower grid extensions to load checksums for them into db

This is sort of a catch up function. If you have decided to capture checksums for new extension types and added them to the upper grid and saved the settings, then when future folders are loaded into the database on the Load Folders tab, the checksums for those extensions will be loaded and available for lookup. However for all the folders that you previously loaded when you were not tracking those extensions, there are no checksums for those extensions loaded that are available for lookup. So this feature will read through all the _mychecksum.txt checksums files generated by this program that are in the database and load into the database all the checksums of the extensions in the selected lower grid rows so they are available for lookup. This catch up function may be less time and effort than loading all your folders again just to get the checksums for the new extensions.

 

o   Cancel

The process can be long and may need to be canceled or paused. Clicking the Cancel button will give a confirmation message. The process is now suspended or paused. Confirming the cancel will end the process and not confirming it will let it continue.

 

View Info Files

This form is displayed by clicking on the grid column “info” on the Load Folders tab grid. The grid on this form lists the filenames of the info files found in the folder on the hard drive. A best guess is made on which one is the main info file and that row is selected and the file is displayed on the lower portion of the form. Clicking on the Filename column for a row will display that file in the lower portion on the grid. Setting the Discard checkbox to checked for a filename will keep that file from being loaded into the database for the folder name during a subsequent Load Database action on the Load Folders tab. The file modification date is also displayed in the grid.

 

View DB Files

This form is displayed by clicking on the grid columns “folder name” on the Lookup tab grid, “db-info” on the Load Folders tab grid, or “info” on the View Database tab grid. The grid on this form lists the filenames of the info files found in the database for the folder name. A best guess is made on which one is the main info file and that row is selected and the file content stored in the database is displayed on the lower portion of the form. Clicking on the Filename column for a row will display that files content stored in the database in the lower portion on the grid. The context menu on the grid will allow you to delete an info file from the database. The file modification date at the time the file was loaded into the database is also displayed in the grid.

 

Further Information

There is a discussion group for this software at:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyChecksums/

If you plan to post a question in a message, please try to choose a message subject line that describes your question. That will make it easier for others who may have the same question.

 

And the latest version of this software is available for download at:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyChecksums/files/

 

For those who do not wish to join the yahoo group, the software is also available at:

http://jokerman.org.uk/lb/MyChecksums_v1_02.zip

 

 Troubleshooting

You need to make sure “Microsoft Windows .Net Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1” is installed according to the installation instructions

 

You need to make sure the database files are installed in the correct directory with the correct name according to the installation instructions

 

You need to make sure “Microsoft SQL server compact 3.5 SP1” is installed according to the installation instructions

 

·        Start Position of Form is on a monitor that no longer exists

Add  this parameter to the end of the command line that launches the program so it is like (keep your old folder location):

MyChecksums.exe -ignore_start_positions

If you run this program from a shortcut, right click on the shortcut and bring up the properties panel and add “ -ignore_start_positions” to the end of the target field without the quotes and a leading space, Click Apply button and then the Ok button. And then run it and save the new start positions. Then shut it down and go back and remove the new parameter you added.