NATO

Drive Order

123 posts in this topic

@NATO

don't take this as an offence (as it is NOT meant to be one :)) but you haven't cured *anything*.

You simply re-installed.

Medical comparison.

I cured the gangrene by amputating the affected limb.

*** You can cure gangrene sometimes by applying unripe Papaya in a compress to the affected area.***

That's why it is known as the Medicine Tree. Delcious too, reminds me of when we lived in Singapore.

(GHQ FARELF - Far Eastern Land Forces. 1958-1961)

jaclaz

For years I had a 12MB bad cluster on the C: partition and that has gone too. (Cured!) :whistle:

Three entries in Event Viewer relating to HiPerfcooker and two others adding entries to the Windows Namespace turn out to be present immediately after doing a clean install anyway. Probably some sort of super Alexa. (Learning!) :blink:

Rootkits which appeared on the E: Music partition have also been taken care of. (Cured.) :whistle:

Logon/Logoff with this Belgian (Period) keyboard. (Cured.) :w00t:

Running like a dream thanks to your help.

Edited by NATO
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For years I had a 12MB bad cluster on the C: partition and that has gone too. (Cured!) :whistle:

Of course now they're on D: :D

More seriously, I hope the :whistle: is a sarcastic :whistle: to yourself and not a :yes: to Jaclaz . Otherwise you might be in for a bad surprise in a few months. Better get them back marked as "bad" before your OS tries to actually use them in an unsuspecting way.

Knowing you had bad sectors, you should have gone for a full format on that c:.

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Knowing you had bad sectors, you should have gone for a full format on that c:.

Actually one should go through the respective drive manufacturer diagnostics, BEFORE that :angel .

And possibly re-test with a tool like Victoria or mhdd....

Then flip a coin, and whatever is the result :w00t: , change that drive, and the new one will crash in two months time. :ph34r:

Seriously, very few things in my experience are so aleatory as the "expected lifetime" of a disk.

Once upon a time (many, many years ago) I saved some data from a Samsung HD (a 4.3 Gb one, so you understand how much time has passed).

The drive suffered from a rather "heavy" head crash which made several HUNDREDS clusters not only unreadable any more but even not formattable (and in theory there should be magnetic debris all over the disk, likely to ruin quickly the whole surface).

Once I got the data (luckily the actual "important" data was fully recovered) and having installed a new hard disk, I had this "relic" around.

After a few tests with zeroing out, formatting, wiping, etc. with no result, I set it aside.

Being (notoriously) cheap ;) a few years later I decided to make an experiment (I needed a small hard disk for a headless "controller like" machine, of course not in mission critical use).

I simply determined by experiment where the bad clusters were ( a biggish almost contiguous zone around 1/3 of the disk) and simply partitioned the disk in such a way that that zone was left untouched (one partition before and one after the bad zone).

As per today, that machine (and the disk) is still working allright (and has it worked 24/7 for the last - cannot remember exactly - 8 or 9 years).

What gives? :unsure:

jaclaz

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For years I had a 12MB bad cluster on the C: partition and that has gone too. (Cured!) :whistle:

Of course now they're on D: :D

More seriously, I hope the :whistle: is a sarcastic :whistle: to yourself and not a :yes: to Jaclaz . Otherwise you might be in for a bad surprise in a few months. Better get them back marked as "bad" before your OS tries to actually use them in an unsuspecting way.

Knowing you had bad sectors, you should have gone for a full format on that c:.

They are gone now. I always use full format on hard drives.

Quick format is reserved for USB sticks and my few remaining diagnostic, partitioning and imaging floppies. (All on CDR now.)

It's a Maxtor drive, just like the first one, which died after a year just outside warranty.

I have a Western Digital on order.

One thing that really is annoying about the MS Documents folder is that the other folders are inside it.

MS should have made separate folders for Documents, Pictures, Music and Video and made it simple for them to be moved to partitions and the Video to a second slave or external drive IMO.

I move them anyway, as it saves time defragmenting.

Edited by NATO
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Knowing you had bad sectors, you should have gone for a full format on that c:.

Actually one should go through the respective drive manufacturer diagnostics, BEFORE that :angel .

And possibly re-test with a tool like Victoria or mhdd....

Then flip a coin, and whatever is the result :w00t: , change that drive, and the new one will crash in two months time. :ph34r:

Seriously, very few things in my experience are so aleatory as the "expected lifetime" of a disk.

Once upon a time (many, many years ago) I saved some data from a Samsung HD (a 4.3 Gb one, so you understand how much time has passed).

The drive suffered from a rather "heavy" head crash which made several HUNDREDS clusters not only unreadable any more but even not formattable (and in theory there should be magnetic debris all over the disk, likely to ruin quickly the whole surface).

Once I got the data (luckily the actual "important" data was fully recovered) and having installed a new hard disk, I had this "relic" around.

After a few tests with zeroing out, formatting, wiping, etc. with no result, I set it aside.

Being (notoriously) cheap ;) a few years later I decided to make an experiment (I needed a small hard disk for a headless "controller like" machine, of course not in mission critical use).

I simply determined by experiment where the bad clusters were ( a biggish almost contiguous zone around 1/3 of the disk) and simply partitioned the disk in such a way that that zone was left untouched (one partition before and one after the bad zone).

As per today, that machine (and the disk) is still working allright (and has it worked 24/7 for the last - cannot remember exactly - 8 or 9 years).

What gives? :unsure:

jaclaz

What gives?

Like a lot of things quality control assigns degrees of perfection/imperfection to the drives.

Good ones get a 1 and go to government and the military. Not so good get a 2 down to 6 and the cheaper you buy the cheaper you get.

Government and Military buyers are wise to all this and expect the best.

Yes, I do use the drive diagnostic and do a burn in test.

With the first Maxtor drive I did all this and about three weeks later ... click, click, click, click, click ... stop.

S.M.A.R.T. didn't report any errors either.

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One thing that really is annoying about the MS Documents folder is that the other folders are inside it.

MS should have made separate folders for Documents, Pictures, Music and Video and made it simple for them to be moved to partitions and the Video to a second slave or external drive IMO.

We're talking about XP here. It came out in 2001... Do you remember what computing was like back then? A large picture file was 300k and digital cameras had floppy disks in them. Video files were not as common of something to download (and the quality was horrible). I'd expect the planning for XP and its My Documents folder was even earlier than that. The fact that they were smart enough to include those folders it remarkable enough.

But TBH, I never used My Documents or any of those "My" folders inside due to performance issues with how it is tied into startup and the profile.

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I have given up on this since the 'Distributed Link Tracking Service' changed the primary from C to D and the 1st logical from D to C.

jaclaz pointed out that it would be difficult to change back and the MS articles did not help any so I just upped the letters on the other drives.

To: [ D: Primary ]{ [ E: 1st Logical ] [ F: 2nd Logical ] [ G: 3rd Logical ]

And made the DVD drive H:

Just had to change the paths to the folders.

Easiest way out, otherwise I would have to delete all the partitions and re-partition the drive.

chkdsk still jumbles up the drive order.

Too bad.

Thanks anyway and have a nice day.

Edited by NATO
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Easiest way out, otherwise I would have to delete all the partitions and re-partition the drive.

No need whatever to re-partition, but if you have not the patience (and abilities) needed, you can well re-install, this time using a migrate.inf file and have the letters assigned the way you want them to be.

jaclaz

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Drive letters continued...

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]

"ShowDriveLettersFirst"=dword:00000004

This setting - only - shows drive letters in front of names in Explorer.

However in Defrag and Computer Management the drive letters are still - after - the names!

Is there any way to make this a uniform setting throughout the system?

Additionally: If you open say, the system32 folder, and hold down the Ctrl key and then tap the + on the NumPad the columns are sorted semi-automatically.

Is there any way for the system to do this fully automatically not only in the folders but also in the various listings in Event Viewer, etc?

Plus.... Is there any way to get the My Pictures folder to always show Thumbnails and - then - to always show the contents of each Thumbnail folder as a Filmstrip instead of having to sort this out every time you open the (My) Pictures folder.

I wonder what Apple does.... ¿

:scream: \Ö/

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New at this forum, hope I am not braking too many rules by posting my question here:

I have three SATA disks on my computer, and am in the process of reorganizing the setup.

I have had Win2k, XP, and Win7 installed, each on its own drive, using bios setup to select boot order in order to boot the desired system.

But a boot.ini approach will make life much easier for me.

I have backed up everything so I can start from scratch.

One of the things I am unable to fully understand is the mechanism of drive letter assignments.

But I want a clean and straightforward setup, with C: as the pivot regardless of which Win version I boot, and with all other volumes always having the same drive letter.

My ideas:

1. disk 0, one partition for each of the three Os's. But can/will they all be C: respectively after booting?

2. disk 0, all three Os's in the same partition. I assume it would always be C: regardless of OS. But I am afraid I'll run into trouble and won't be able to get all three in there, not least because I suspect the next installation will delete the previous one. Is there a workaround solution for that problem?

3. Each system on it's own drive, with a partition for common data (text/music) on one or two of the drives. That looks like the most problematic approach.

I wish I knew how to obtain the desired result. Am tired of installation problems, want to use the computer as the toy it is supposed to be. BTW, I am 82, please don't be too critical of me.

If all else is right, I think I could edit or create the boot.ini file that I would need if the installation process could not do it.

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I have had Win2k, XP, and Win7 installed, each on its own drive, using bios setup to select boot order in order to boot the desired system.

But this way, if I get it right, on each system you get as C:\ the actual disk partition or volume on the disk that you set a "boot" priority in BIOS, right?

Besides the inconvenience of accessing the BIOS to "switch" between or the other, isn't this the actual result you would like?

One of the things I am unable to fully understand is the mechanism of drive letter assignments.

Actually (simplified) it is very easy.

When a Windows NT based system finds for the FIRST time a disk (a whole hard disk drive) it writes a "signature" to it, and writes in the Registry a "conversion table" between that signature (and the partition/volume offset) and a drive letter.

The drive letters are assigned along a set of "rules", that are not relevant now in detail, suffice is to say that the First Active Primary partition (the partition the PC was booted from) gets normally first drive letter, i.e. C:\.

The FIRST time a disk is seen by any given NT system is during install.

The combined effect of the above two leads, unless some "special" setup is used, to have always first active partition as C:\ on each system.

But I want a clean and straightforward setup, with C: as the pivot regardless of which Win version I boot, and with all other volumes always having the same drive letter.

This is where I am failing to understand you, what do you mean by "pivot"? :unsure:

Can you post a practical example of how you would your setup to be?

Please also post (with as much detail as you can) how exactly is each disk partitioned.

Example:

With Win2k booted:

disk 0 (Win2K)

disk 0/Partition 0 (first partition of first disk) gets C:\

disk 0/Partition n gets ?

....

disk 1 (XP) Partition 0 (first partition of second disk) gets ?

disk 1 (XP) Partition 1 (second partition of second disk) gets ?

....

disk 2 (Windows 7) Partition 0 (first partition of third disk) gets ?

disk 2 (Windows 7) Partition 0 (first partition of third disk) gets ?

....

With XP booted:

disk 0 (Win2K)

disk 0/Partition 0 (first partition of first disk) gets C:\

disk 0/Partition n gets ?

....

disk 1 (XP) Partition 0 (first partition of second disk) gets ?

disk 1 (XP) Partition 1 (second partition of second disk) gets ?

....

disk 2 (Windows 7) Partition 0 (first partition of third disk) gets ?

disk 2 (Windows 7) Partition 0 (first partition of third disk) gets ?

....

With Windows7 booted:

disk 0 (Win2K)

disk 0/Partition 0 (first partition of first disk) gets C:\

disk 0/Partition n gets ?

....

disk 1 (XP) Partition 0 (first partition of second disk) gets ?

disk 1 (XP) Partition 1 (second partition of second disk) gets ?

....

disk 2 (Windows 7) Partition 0 (first partition of third disk) gets ?

disk 2 (Windows 7) Partition 0 (first partition of third disk) gets ?

....

My ideas:

1. disk 0, one partition for each of the three Os's. But can/will they all be C: respectively after booting?

2. disk 0, all three Os's in the same partition. I assume it would always be C: regardless of OS. But I am afraid I'll run into trouble and won't be able to get all three in there, not least because I suspect the next installation will delete the previous one. Is there a workaround solution for that problem?

3. Each system on it's own drive, with a partition for common data (text/music) on one or two of the drives. That looks like the most problematic approach.

I wish I knew how to obtain the desired result. Am tired of installation problems, want to use the computer as the toy it is supposed to be. BTW, I am 82, please don't be too critical of me.

If all else is right, I think I could edit or create the boot.ini file that I would need if the installation process could not do it.

There are quite a few possible solutions, though unfortunately they will be a little (but dont' be afraid :)) more complex thatn just a boot.ini entry.

While 2K and XP both use the same "boot mechanism" through NTLDR and BOOT:INI, Windows 7 uses a different approach through BOOTMGR and \boot\BCD.

I don't want to risk confusing (or scaring:w00t:) you with links to the details until I have fully understood your requirements, but rest assured that "simplifying" the boot choice by avoiding to enter the BIOS each time is perfectly possible.

jaclaz

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Thanks for the replies!

'Pivot' was my way of saying that I want C: always to be the system drive regardless of version active.

But I've made an important decision: I have found XP a decent replacement for Win2k (rest in peace) and therefore need only Win XP and Win 7!

That should simplify the setup.

I have three SATA drives, two 320GB and one 250 GB.

I will start with blank drives so you are free to recommend whatever partition/assignment scheme you might find appropriate.

So it all boils down to:

Dual boot XP/7, with data (Music library and the My Documents folder) accessed using the same drive letter under both XP and Win7.

I might get there by myself but am afraid I'd have to do some experimenting before I got it running and appreciate your kind help.

No more loading of disk drivers, no more EnableBigLBA. I will have fulfilled a belated the transition to the 21st century.

Rolf

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But I've made an important decision: I have found XP a decent replacement for Win2k (rest in peace) and therefore need only Win XP and Win 7!

That should simplify the setup.

Not really.

For the reasons explained, 2K and XP "share" a same booting method whilst Windows 7 uses a newer "different" one, so you need anyway to "combine" two "different" boot methods.

Before you were in situation:

Method 1->| Windows XP
| Windows 2000
-------------------------------------
Method 2->| Windows 7

Now you are:

Method 1->| Windows XP
-------------------------------------
Method 2->| Windows 7

I have three SATA drives, two 320GB and one 250 GB.

I will start with blank drives so you are free to recommend whatever partition/assignment scheme you might find appropriate.

Good, but how are you normally used to/like it like?

There are mainly two "lines of thought":

  1. my personal one (actually with some reasons behind) that find "safer" and "more convenient" to have a number of partitions
  2. what most people use (making a single big primary partition and put "everything" on it

There are some minor (personally I would tell you that "my" approach is "far superior" ;)) with each, but ultimately it is just a matter of preferences.

What I would suggest you is to use anyway the "third" disk and a dedicated (small) partition on it to the pagefile, this should provide (in the nowadays quite rare cases where a pagefile is actually needed/used, some distinctive better speed in operation, and possibly some wider compatibility with backup programs, etc.

So it all boils down to:

Dual boot XP/7, with data (Music library and the My Documents folder) accessed using the same drive letter under both XP and Win7.

Yes, and it shouldn't be a problem at all, though we might need some help from the other good guys more familiar with the "unattended" settings to have the "Music Library" and "My Documents" system folders moved to another partition. :unsure:

For XP (and for the "My documents" folder) it is very easy to move right after install):

http://www.techsupportalert.com/how_to_move_my_documents.htm

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310147/en-us

(and I seem to remember that the procedure for the "Music Library" is the same), or one could use this:

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/folderredirector.htm

The issues may be (as I am no at all familiar with Windows 7) if the procedure is the same (or similar) to it or if it is different (I seem to remember that the "standard" layout of "users" folders is different :ph34r:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-move-the-my-documents-folder-and-save-your-data-windows/

http://headstrongfarm.hubpages.com/hub/Windows-7_-_Moving_My_Documents

(the difference might be relevant only if you have several accounts on each of the two OS)

I might get there by myself but am afraid I'd have to do some experimenting before I got it running and appreciate your kind help.

Yes, though nothing overly complex is not the most basic setup.

No more loading of disk drivers, no more EnableBigLBA. I will have fulfilled a belated the transition to the 21st century.

But also "having to deal" daily with a "toyish interface" (actually two of them) :angel .

Generically (and before going into the gory details of the partitioning and installing) I would suggest something like (this represents a simplified version of my "standard" setups):

  • Disk 0 (set as first disk in BIOS boot order):
    1st partition (primary, active) with Windows 7 system and bootfiles (and possibility of loading the XP NTLDR/BOOT.INI) <- Letter C:\ assigned when 7 is booted
    Extended partition containing:
    *any* number of other volumes <- with any letter assigned to it (these can be changed at will, anytime, from each OS)
    1 volume for a backup of the Data <-without a letter assigned normally
  • Disk 1 (set as second disk in BIOS boot order):
    1st partition (primary, active) with Windows XP system and bootfiles (and possibility of loading the 7 BOOTMGR/boot\BCD) <- Letter C:\ assigned when XP is booted
    Extended partition containing:
    *any* number of other volumes <- with any letter assigned to it (these can be changed at will, anytime, from each OS)
    1 volume for a backup of the Data <-without a letter assigned normally
  • Disk 2 (set as third disk in BIOS boot order)
    1st partition (primary, active), very small with yet another copy of both Windows XP and Windows 7 boot files <- no letter assigned normally but I ould personally make it a little bigger and have on it an even minimal "emergency" install of XP
    2nd partition (primary) small partition dedicated to the pagefile (for both the systems) <- with letter (say) S:\ (as "Swap file") assigned
    Extended partition containing:
    the DATA volume <- Letter D:\ assigned when booted in EITHER of the OS
    *any* number of other volumes <- with any letter assigned to it (these can be changed at will, anytime, from each OS)

This is what I see as the most "safe" approach, as even if first hard disk completely fails to boot, you can actually even physically remove it and second disk will boot XP normally, and even if this would fail to boot you have still the third disk with the "emergency" install. If the third disk (containing the actual DATA) fails, you have TWO copies of them one on first and one on second disk, or if you prefer each of the disk can (independendtly) boot AND contains the "DATA".

But you must tell me if you find this overly complex or not suited to your view, habits, etc. :).

jaclaz

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I like the structured configuration you suggest.

My interpretation:

Drive 0 (250GB)

1. 30GB Basic (Win7 System, C:)

2. 100GB EXT Data

3. 100GB EXT (Backup)

Drive 1 (320GB)

1. 30GB Basic (XP System, C:)

2. 150GB EXT Data

3. 150GB EXT (Backup)

Disk 2 partitions (320GB)

1. 10GB Basic, System

2. ?? GB Primary (Pagefile, S:)

3. EXT (Common Data, D:)

(4. EXT ...)

Maybe system volumes don’t need to be as large as 30GB?

I am in the habit of disconnecting all drives except the one I am installing a system on.

Should I have them all connected all the time from first installing Win7 on the first, XP on the second, and the other things on the third drive?

I need some info about what it means, and how to make the “possibility of loading the XP NTLDR\BOOT.INI” on the first drive.

Same goes for “possibility of loading the 7 BOOTMGR\boot\BCD” on the second drive.

With respect to drive 3, I am afraid I need some info about how to get “yet another copy of both XP and Win7 boot files” installed on it.

I have the habit of installing programs on the second volume instead of the default of C: whenever that option is available. If you don’t think there is any merit to that, I won’t do it on this installation. Maybe the size of the C volumes ought to be different from what I suggest.

I don’t know how to set the path for the pagefile but I probably can find out.

ETA: "The FIRST time a disk is seen by any given NT system is during install.".

Where can I read more about the intricacies of drive letter assignments?

Edited by Roffen
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Maybe system volumes don’t need to be as large as 30GB?

Well, there should be some "difference" between the XP and the 7 one.

I mean, official requirements for a plain XP are stated as 1.5 Gb.

Same requirements for 32 bit 7 are 16 Gb. :w00t:

I would rather use the 250 Gb disk to host XP, like:

Drive 0 (250GB)

1. 10GB Basic (XP System, C:)

2. 90GB EXT Data

3. 150GB EXT (Backup of D:)

Drive 1 (320GB)

1. 30GB Basic (Win7 System, C:)

2. 140GB EXT Data

3. 150GB EXT (Backup of D:)

Disk 2 partitions (320GB)

1. 10GB Basic, System

2. (2/4/6/8) GB Primary (Pagefile, S:) <- this depends on the RAM you have available (and by a number of other factors, mostly phylosophical ones)

3. 150GB EXT (Common Data, D:)

(4. EXT ...) <- you could use this for "Programs" that are not "forcibly" installed to C:\Programs

I see as "vital" (for the intended setup) that the partitions on the first two disks dedicated to the backup of the DATA D:\ partition on the third disk have the SAME size of the latter, if you need more size for D:\ you should reduce the size of the "other EXT" volume to allow the threee (original + 2 backups) to be the same size.

I am in the habit of disconnecting all drives except the one I am installing a system on.

This is a good habit, and you may need to use it during the installation of the new setup.

Should I have them all connected all the time from first installing Win7 on the first, XP on the second, and the other things on the third drive?

No. The general "rule of the thumb" which applies specifically to this case is to ALWAYS install Operating Systems in the order they were published.

Specifically, and this may partly answer your following question, the "new" BOOTMGR+\boot\BCD "booting mechanism" can boot BOTH the "previous" OS (the XP) AND the new one (the 7) whilst the "old" NTLDR+BOOT.INI "booting mechanism" can boot ONLY the XP and NOT the 7.

In the intended setup (though this can be changed using a third party application, such as grub4dos) the BOOTMGR+\boot\BCD will become your "primary" bootmanager and the NTLDR+BOOT.INI will be used either as secondary bootmanager or as "simple" bootloader.

You may want to check this site, where the topic is clearly discussed and includes some nice, "immediate" graphics 8or all that matters you can read "7" instead of "Vista" :ph34r: throughout the site):

http://www.multibooters.co.uk/

I need some info about what it means, and how to make the “possibility of loading the XP NTLDR\BOOT.INI” on the first drive.

Same goes for “possibility of loading the 7 BOOTMGR\boot\BCD” on the second drive.

See above.

With respect to drive 3, I am afraid I need some info about how to get “yet another copy of both XP and Win7 boot files” installed on it.

we'll get to it as soon as we have a more detailed "plan" :)

I have the habit of installing programs on the second volume instead of the default of C: whenever that option is available. If you don’t think there is any merit to that, I won’t do it on this installation. Maybe the size of the C volumes ought to be different from what I suggest.

Well, in the proposed setup you could use third disk, see my modified list at the beginning of the post.

I don’t know how to set the path for the pagefile but I probably can find out.

Sure it is easy, and anyway it is something that you can do "post-install" and "revert" any time.

ETA: "The FIRST time a disk is seen by any given NT system is during install.".

Where can I read more about the intricacies of drive letter assignments?

You can have a look to the dedicated page on the site I posted a link to:

http://www.multibooters.co.uk/mbr.html

If you want to delve a little deeper, read this:

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=19663

and check this site:

http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/index.html (warning: this is "pretty much advanced", don't worry if you cannot undersand something at first)

jaclaz

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