Over the past couple of days, I have been archiving published fMRI projects, and copying data from SD cards to start new ones. I have written previously about ways in which I have copied and verified copied files, and this is a quick update to that post to document another tool for verifying copies.

As far as the copying itself is concerned, I still swear by Teracopy. As far as verifying that copies have been successfully made though, I have recently started using Exactfile. The tagline “Making sure that what you hash is what you get” sums up the procedure for using Exactfile, once you have installed it on a Windows machine.

Exactfile in action
Exactfile in action
  1. Create a single file checksum, or, if you are comparing all the files and subfolders within folders (even massive folders containing gigabytes of fMRI data) a checksum digest (illustrated above). This will be saved as a file using which you can…
  2. Test your checksum digest. You locate your digest file and the copied data you wish to compare against the checksums, and it runs through making sure each file is identical.

That’s it – pretty straightforward. Step 1 takes a little longer than Step 2, and if you’re comparing hundreds of thousands of files, you should prepare to have this running in the background as you get on with other stuff.

I am a postdoctoral cognitive neuroscientist / experimental psychologist working in the Psychology department at Washington University in St. Louis.

I have been here close to two years and my training has involved learning an awful lot of ‘stuff’ to be able to conduct the sort of research that I came here to do – behavioural (i.e. computerised experiments) and neuroscientific (in my case, fMRI) study of memory decision-making.  Whether I’ve been pointed in the right direction (as is almost always the case) or have had to work things out from scratch, the internet has been my best-friend, helping me find resources and decipher much of the necessary technicality that pervades the field of psychology.

I hope that this blog helps me to gather to one place many of the bits and pieces, both on- and off-line, that have helped me over the past couple of years.  I also hope that I get into the habit of updating it in a way that is useful when I need to find out how I tackled a particular problem in the past, or even when I simply need to find a web-site I know was previously useful to me.  If it proves to be useful to anyone else in the process, then that will be a marvelous outcome too.

There will be a lot added to the blog over the coming months and weeks as I get it to resemble the sort of thing I have in mind at the moment.  I hope it turns out to be useful.