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Data Integrity Over Time, and with OS Changes

Backups are critical to do right (and it’s not just about drive failure), which is why I keep a padded case with a a 12TB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro backup drive with me when I travel in my Sprinter van. A large piece of tape on the case reads “HOORAY”, as that’s the sentiment if all things go amiss. Consulting with me (Lloyd) about how to do backup right is a long-term value.

What happens if the backup drives become corrupt, somehow? Regular backups WILL NOT tell you whether a backup files that have gone corrupted after the backup. Or worse, corruption occurs in the originals? That’s where diglloydTools IntegrityChecker comes in—it flags changes anywhere—backup or originals—there’s nothing else like it.

...

Whether it is macOS or Windows or Linux or other, diglloydTools IntegrityChecker provides a highly efficient and reliable means to validate data integrity on all your original drives and backups.

Detecting Corruption / Validating Data Integrity Over Time and Across Drives and Backup/Restore

In the digital age, the integrity of your data (photos, videos, spreadsheets, word processing, etc) is always at risk. Professionals should not rely on the storage medium as being reliable over time! Moreover, bugs and/or malicious software are always a risk. At the least, archived data of any commercial or personal value should be validated at least once a year. IntegrityChecker makes that possible on virtually any storage medium.

diglloydTools

Late last year, diglloydTools was updated to include an optimized version of icj, the Java version of IntegrityChecker, which runs on any platform that has a JVM (Mac, Windows, Linux, etc). As yet, the other tools remain native to macOS only but I plan to move all relevant features to Java*. Usage is at the command line (Terminal, not a GUI), but there is not much to learn; see the examples in Cross-platform Integrity Checker (Java version) .

The value of IntegrityChecker increase over time: once hashed, files can be checked on any drive, any operating system supporting java, including DVDs and BluRay and other read-only devices. This is important for validating the integrity of long-term storage, particularly for professionals with data having long-term value, like image files, video footage, professional records, etc.

* macOS has been in the process of destroying API performance and/or outright removal for several years now. Rewriting would have to be in POSIX to have any hope of continuity, requiring a major rewrite and test cycle sure to introduce bugs by having to rewrite a bunch of low level threading code. Plus POSIX makes certain capabilities impossible (no APIs to do certain things). Java provides a cross-platform functionality that with native I/O support is equally performant for disk testing while being cross platform and ideal for anyone who might migrated to another operating system, or who wants longer-term stability in software (in MPG’s view, Apple has a proven track record of negligible respect for pro users, and a disdain for compatibility).

diglloydTools v 2.2.15 Now Includes Java IntegrityChecker with up to 50% Speed Improvement

Some of the other capabilities in diglloydTools

Aside from testing hard drive or SSD or RAID performance and reliability with DiskTester, data integrity with IntegrityChecker is a must-have workflow tool for anyone with important data:

Guy G writes:

I trust you are doing well and thank you for continuing such a high quality website.

I am interested in purchasing the IntegrityChecker software. Although most folks feel that copying files for archiving purposes is trivial, I have had an experience where a number of my RAW files were silently corrupted - only could tell when opened in Lightroom. Luckily I had backups. I have been using ExacFile but it appears to be unsupported and for such software my main concern is about the quality of the software and ongoing support.

I am a PC user and have no intention as yet to delve into the world of the MacPro. So it is wonderful news that you have made your software tools available for those that use Windows!!

I am interested in purchasing the software over the longer term and was wondering what the best option would be? If I purchase download access for 5 years does that include upgrades to the software? Or should I be purchasing the download access for a month and then an upgrade option for the longer term?

MPG: IntegrityChecker (icj java version) runs on any computer that can run Java: macOS, Windows, Linux, etc. You will need to install the Java runtime environment or Java JDK for this cross-platform support, but that a trivial thing; download and run a simple installer.

The 5-year option offers a no fuss, and you can download any new version any time you like. It costs less in total, although the difference is modest amortized over 5 years.

It is my intention to expand the Java-based capabilities going forward, for cross-platform and long-term viability.

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