This functionality is similar to the MS-DOS-based Fc.exe utility that is included with various versions of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft MS-DOS, and with some development tools.
The sample code that is described in this article performs a byte-by-byte comparison until it finds a mismatch or it reaches the end of the file. The code also performs two simple checks to increase the efficiency of the comparison:
- If both file references point to the same file, the two files must be equal.
- If the size of the two files is not the same, the two files are not the same.
- Create a new Visual C# Windows Application project. By default, Form1 is created.
- Add two textbox controls to the form.
- Add a command button to the form.
- On the View menu, click Code.
- Add the following USING statement to the Form1 class:
- Add the following method to the Form1 class:
// This method accepts two strings the represent two files to
// compare. A return value of 0 indicates that the contents of the files
// are the same. A return value of any other value indicates that the
// files are not the same.
private bool FileCompare(string file1, string file2)
// Determine if the same file was referenced two times.
if (file1 == file2)
// Return true to indicate that the files are the same.
// Open the two files.
fs1 = new FileStream(file1, FileMode.Open);
fs2 = new FileStream(file2, FileMode.Open);
// Check the file sizes. If they are not the same, the files
// are not the same.
if (fs1.Length != fs2.Length)
// Close the file
// Return false to indicate files are different
// Read and compare a byte from each file until either a
// non-matching set of bytes is found or until the end of
// file1 is reached.
// Read one byte from each file.
file1byte = fs1.ReadByte();
file2byte = fs2.ReadByte();
while ((file1byte == file2byte) && (file1byte != -1));
// Close the files.
// Return the success of the comparison. "file1byte" is
// equal to "file2byte" at this point only if the files are
// the same.
return ((file1byte - file2byte) == 0);
- Paste the following code in the Click event of the command button:
private void button1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
// Compare the two files that referenced in the textbox controls.
if (FileCompare(this.textBox1.Text, this.textBox2.Text))
MessageBox.Show("Files are equal.");
MessageBox.Show("Files are not equal.");
- Save and then run the sample.
- Supply the full paths to the two files in the textboxes, and then click the command button.
Article ID: 320348 - Last Review: Jun 19, 2014 - Revision: 1