MD5 Check fails after creating Bootable disc / USB

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MD5 Check fails after creating Bootable disc / USB

Postby Pigman58 on Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:59 pm

First off, apologies if this has been answered elsewhere, but my search of the forum produced 47k results......

I am new to Linux and instead of lining Mr Gates' pockets have decided to install Linux Mint Cinnamon 17 on my shiny new PC(currently running DOS only, no pre-installed Windows). The user guide was really helpful in that respect, thanks.

I have downloaded the ISO successfully onto my Windows laptop and checked the MD5 signature (whatever that is!) against that on the web. The MD5 matched, thus the download was successful. I have created an ISO DVD - using the "Burn Disc Image" option and not "Mount" in Windows Explorer 8.1 on my new(ish) laptop. The burn was verified, but the MD5 check failed. I thus created a bootable image on a formatted USB, using "Universal USB Installer". This stated it had been loaded successfully, but again the MD5 check failed.

As a wholly non techie person (remind me again, what's a computer?) I may be making some simple, fundamental error, but could somebody guide where I may be going wrong?

Thanks.
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Re: MD5 Check fails after creating Bootable disc / USB

Postby WinterTroubles on Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:01 am

Pigman58 wrote: The burn was verified, but the MD5 check failed. I thus created a bootable image on a formatted USB, using "Universal USB Installer". This stated it had been loaded successfully, but again the MD5 check failed.


An MD5checksum is a way to check the integrity of a file, as you know, and works by by applying some 'maths' to the file contents.. the resulting MD5 is simply the result of the calculations and is designed to produce a very different result for even minor changes in the file.

I have to ask how are you checking the MD5 after burning the image to disk or creating the USB. I ask because the process of burning to disk or creating the USB does not simply move the file to your chosen media, but, rather the ISO is actually instructions the machine uses to make the disk/USB. So any MD5 for the disk/USB will necessarily be different to the MD5 of the ISO file as downloaded.

Assuming you are comparing the MD5 of the disk or USB to the published MD5 on the ISO download page then what you have discovered is perfectly normal and not an error.. In fact if the MD5 of a burned disk image matched the MD5 of the ISO file then that would indicate an error and an unbootable disk.

Hope this helps
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