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I am doing an independent study class for computer forensics, I have to carve the images I've been given. After using scalpel I get a .wav file and .asf file both files play the same songs, and they generate the same md5 hash values. Is this because they are the same file just with .wav and .asf at the end or I am possibly doing something wrong?

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  • $\begingroup$ if they sound alike and have the same md5 they are the same file, almost assuredly. $\endgroup$
    – dandavis
    Jun 25, 2016 at 7:33
  • $\begingroup$ Compute the SHA-2 value, if it's identical, the files are identical. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2016 at 9:04
  • $\begingroup$ Good point. Although, there are much more simple ways to bitwise compare two files ;) $\endgroup$
    – tum_
    Jun 25, 2016 at 10:29

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It is quite practical to deliberately generate two different files with the same MD5 hash; if you were handed these files by someone else, it is possible that they did this.

However, MD5 will collide only if someone deliberately crafts the files to do so; if you modified the files somehow, then this is unlikely to happen. Instead, it would be a strong indication that the two files are bitwise identical.

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  • $\begingroup$ ahh, that explains it then. I'm pretty sure my professor did this on purpose since the lab is shorter than usual and he keeps emphasizing on checking the hash and writing anything that comes up interesting. Thanks for your help $\endgroup$
    – Thrall
    Jun 25, 2016 at 3:59
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    $\begingroup$ You can easily compare the two files by content and thus answer your own question. Assuming you are not a computer geek (otherwise, you'd have done this already), if you simply open both files in any text editor, place the two windows side by side on your display - you might be able to see whether they are the same or not with your naked eyes. There are also file comparison utilities available, of course. $\endgroup$
    – tum_
    Jun 25, 2016 at 5:05

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