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 Post subject: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:54 pm 
Klamath
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I'm trying to get a backup drive of all my other files ready for moving cross-country. I need one big backup and one usable system drive for the people staying behind; I also want a backup drive for myself, and a frequently accessed files or daily use drive. I'm pulling files from across at least five different HDDs, and they've been consolidated from at least seven different systems. In addition to that, there's about thirteen physical media discs with content on them, and my laptop with files on it as well. I don't really need the files from my laptop to be synced with the new uber system, but at some point I want to get a new laptop that doesn't have plastic pieces falling off of it if I open the lid too much, and does have a 1080p screen, and an i7 CPU, etc. I figure I need at least four different 3TB HDDs--a backup and a main OS and daily use drive for two systems. The older, smaller drives would become redundant emergency historical preservation drives. Another thing I want to do is make sure there aren't a ton of duplicated files in the final mix. CCleaner has an option to get rid of exact duplicate files (file finder), and I plan on using it once I've copied the files to the new backups (or I guess if I'm cloning the files between four drives, I could do that on the first big backup, and then copy it to the other three). I think with the two daily use drives, it might be a good idea to have the OS on a partition, with the program files and documents on the larger partition (although sometimes programs insist on installing some files in the Windows folder, and some legacy games won't run if they aren't on a drive with C as the letter). It seems like it would make re-installs of Windows easier if they were on a discrete drive, and would reduce data loss to the OS or the bulk storage drive if one fails (that's the way it already is with my current system, at least with game files and some documents being stored on a 1TB drive, but with Program Files and most documents stored on the same drive as the OS). Not sure which would be faster--pretty sure discrete drives for OS and other files would be better--I've got a ton of small drives anyway. My current methodology with backing up files is to get a platform set up to move the files onto, then consolidate documents into folders that broadly match their file types--pictures and mostly text documents (btw, don't delete the contents of the hidden System Reserved partition--that's a bad thing to do). I'm also trying to make sure I've got the most recent version of a program (or best-many of the programs I have are there because the most recent ones break a feature). There are some exceptions to the document consolidation, like if a game has a walkthrough or a readme to a mod--I'll just leave the document in the game folder since I toggle between the two. I'm not sure how I want to handle game installations; at the very least I want to make sure I have game saves, since I can just copy-paste them once the game is installed; I don't really like the idea of having several hundred game installations with ones that I don't use often, or won't be able to play since I don't have two copies of every CD for every game I own (I'm aware of no-disc hacks). Right now, I'm just concentrating on getting one of the backup drives bootable. After that, I need to start thinking about what the first thing I'm going to do in my backup plan. I've got two drives with Win7 installed, but one drive isn't bootable at the moment. The system I'm currently on has two drives in it, the OS and the primarily document and game drive, so they can't really be used in a system apart from each other. I guess I could start by installing the one 3TB drive I have, and copying all of the files from the bulk drive, uninstalling that drive, and changing the drive letter of the new 3TB drive to the same letter as the old one so no paths are broken--not sure if that would work or not. From there, I could start moving programs from the main OS drive onto the 3TB drive, and then maybe run the program's repair utility, but again, that might break things. After that, I could squeeze the 3TB partition to fit in another partition for the OS (or I could do that in the first place) and copy the OS onto the 3TB drive. Since the non-bootable drive is older and slower, I guess I could copy the OS onto the 1TB drive and use it as the OS moving-out drive to take with me, and buy another 3TB drive--that would leave two more drives to buy for periodical backup only (maybe weekly). Maybe someone can tell me how I can copy the whole OS onto another drive's smaller partition after I've moved the program files onto the larger partition so that the OS will be bootable.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:41 pm 
Klamath
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Let me break this down into more brain-edible pieces. One of the final stages is OS on one partition, everything else on the remaining partition--one drive, four exact copies of it, no RAID, nothing. So first thing I need to know is how to transfer the entire drive along with all of the document files that are on a second drive onto a single drive and keep it bootable, with all of the folder structures and links intact.

Once the OS drive and documents drive are on a third larger drive with their links intact, I can do all of the shuffling with OS folders, Program Files folders, and documents that I want to do between partitions, backup drives, SSD/bulk HDD combos, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:01 pm 
Smithfield
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If the drive isn't bootable, try repairing it first using the Recovery Console and fixmbr command. Otherwise, you'll need to create a partition for the bootloader and tie it to the OS (follow the steps on http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 10%29.aspx )


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:23 pm 
Klamath
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Otherwise, you'll need to create a partition for the bootloader and tie it to the OS (follow the steps on http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 10%29.aspx )
I'm not installing Vista. I never mentioned installing Vista. Where is the partition being created: the semi-recovered drive (the one that I can copy documents from, but cannot boot into), or the current host OS? Where am I getting the bootloader from? How am I tying it to the OS? Which installation of the OS am I tying it to, the semi-recovered installation, or the current host installation?

Also, re-read my second post, and anything after the first sentence of the OP.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:26 pm 
Smithfield
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It works for any NT6 OS, which includes Vista, 7, and 8, OP. I forgot to mention that.

In any case, if you clone/move the OS and the other partition that has your data into one storage device, you need to make a bootloader partition and tie it to your OS partition. Otherwise you can't boot into it, ever.

I'm going on a lot of assumptions here, namely the OS partition itself is fine and it was just the bootloader that crapped out.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:41 pm 
Klamath
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In regards to the bad drive: http://www.overclock.net/t/1394912/help ... -structure This is the non-booting drive. I have more than one OS drive--the older smaller one is the one that was ruined by formatting. The OS host drive I'm using is the one I want to transfer, along with the other bulk drive.
In regards to this thread, I'd like to just copy the working OS host drive along with its contents, and the second drive (not non-booting one) that holds a bunch of documents and programs on to one big drive (that would still only take up a maximum of 1.75TB of the 3TB drive's free space).


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:21 pm 
Smithfield
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Then clone both into separate partitions on the larger drive. If you're trying to merge them then there's really no way you can do this if the OS drive is expecting paths to the data drive.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:31 pm 
Klamath
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How do I clone the two drives into their own partitions on the 3TB drive? Would it involve changing the letter of each partition?


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:39 pm 
Smithfield
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Okay, here's what you can do (and it's probably not 100% on the money)

  • Create three partitions in the larger drive, one 200MB, one the same size as the OS drive, one the same size as the data drive, in that order.
  • Clone the OS drive to the space reserved in the large drive for the OS
  • Clone the data drive to the space reserved in the large drive for the data
  • Do the thing I linked before to create a bootloader so the drive can boot in the OS
  • Attempt to boot from the drive

Drive letters are an arbitrary thing in Windows. If it says your OS partition on the hard drive is F:, then whatever. If you boot from it it'll become C:.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:03 pm 
Klamath
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"Do the thing I linked before to create a bootloader so the drive can boot in the OS" I wish they would re-write that support article with migration in mind, but it seems like the only solution to creating a clone of the host OS from one drive to another.

Since I'm not only going to be backing up the two main drives, but also several other drives, would I still have to make the bulk partition the same size as the bulk drive I'm using right now? Would I have to expand that partition after the initial data copy, or could I make the bulk partition the size of the remaining space on the drive? Also, is this going to break program links and registry entries? Would broken programs be repairable by running Repair in the Program Manager?

It might or might not be easier to start from scratch with a clean install of Windows (and dozens of other programs, and their settings, assets, relevant documents), and copying all documents not on the Windows partition. If I clones the host OS drive to a partition, I'd have to shrink it once I got the documents moved to the documents partition on the 3TB drive, which would be easy to do. But one thing that I might not have mentioned is that once I get the 3TB big backup of all the different media I have finished, I want to create a clone of that drive for daily use in another system (I can do that since the Windows key is a three-seat license, and even if I couldn't use the same key, I own more than one key).

Things might be easier if I could figure out how to use Clonezilla while preserving links. I might be able to copy the OS host drive to the 3TB drive (no partition or anything), then copy the Program Files contents to the 3TB drive, and somehow use symbolic links to keep the programs functional. Maybe if I had a partition that was less than 1MB that only contained a folder with the symbolic link to the target files on the 3TB drive.
http://www.howtogeek.com/57442/how-to-b ... lonezilla/

A fridge logic idea that would massively simplify things would be that instead of using symbolic links and partitions, I could just place the OS drive onto the 3TB drive, then merge the files from the bulk Program Files drive with the old OS drive Programs Files onto the 3TB drive. Pretty sure that's the direction I'm going to go with it, unless someone from the forum says otherwise in time.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:20 pm 
Klamath
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The first Clonzilla attempt failed. So have Clonzilla's discussion threads apparently, because SourceForge keeps encountering server errors.
First of all, the motherboard in the system doesn't use EFI--it's BIOS only as far as I know. I've heard that it can still use GPT, and the cloning continued before it ran into bad sectors on the 3TB target drive. The target drive is 3TB, which exceeds the 2TB MBR limit, and might be causing the bad sector halt.
Second, the biggie: bad sectors.
Before I go any further in this post, I need to mention that I haven't confirmed that it isn't just Clonezilla failing, and not the drive with bad sectors--PassMark is the only one I can think of. One user with bad sectors in their target drive mentioned it might be a cooling issue (which may have been what killed my video card--having it crammed in the case right next to hot hardware with insufficient ventilation). My first suspicion is that I shouldn't have gone with an open box drive from a seller listed as verified through Google shopping; the listing said the drive was in tested, working condition. I bought the drive on June 27, and have just now gotten around to installing it, due most of my time going in to trying to get the semi-restored drive working, so I'm thinking it is out of their return window. Samsung's warranty on it is probably a three-year one, so I might be able to RMA it directly with Samsung; that would be cheaper even if the shipping or repair fee turn out to be overpriced (this is assuming the drive was manufactured within that window). Keep in mind no scan of the drive it outside of Clonezilla has been done yet, so I need the name of a utility that can scan the drive for bad sectors (I think chkdsk might be able to do it).
A post in an archived Ubuntu thread (I'm running Win7) mentioned bad sectors can be reset by zeroing the drive (which would take forever with a 3TB drive, but oh well), so I could try running DBAN: http://www.dban.org/ The name of the program is appropriate, since it will wipe out every drive installed; I plan only have the SATA cable with the 3TB drive attached at the time of the wipe, if anyone on the forums says it will actually work.
Another theory regarding a possible workaround is that I can copy the drive using partition-by-partition imaging using Clonezilla (since the Microsoft article on dual-booting doesn't address this particular scenario in enough detail for me to be able to do anything with it). The idea is that it can bypass the bad sectors. There are supposedly other programs that can do image copying around bad sectors, but the ones that will work with Win7 x64 are unknown to this user.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:56 pm 
Klamath
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I ran PassMark's drive check up program. It recorded one End-to-End error, which is apparently, "a part of Hewlett-Packard's SMART IV technology, as well as part of other vendors' IO Error Detection and Correction schemas, and it contains a count of parity errors which occur in the data path to the media via the drive's cache RAM." That doesn't tell me how to fix it, or whether it is even something that can be fixed, so I'm still stuck at square one. There were no temperature warnings during the short test.

This article says that for an SSD, the sectors need to be aligned. It's a HDD that I'm trying to clone to, so I doubt if that's the issue. http://www.howtogeek.com/97242/how-to-m ... ate-drive/

The 3TB drive is showing up in drive manager as being offline due to a signature conflict. I'm thinking that's from the partial cloning failure--it still has data on it from the source drive. I think I should zero the 3TB drive and run drive check up again.

EDIT: I updated the st3000dm001-1ch166's firmware to CC29, then ran drive check up. The end-to-end error is still in the SMART diagnostic. There are no auditory signs of drive failure, at least. I haven't run the drive wiper yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:19 am 
Klamath
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I ran Seagate SeaTools Long Fix; it didn't find any bad sectors. The drive still has years left on its warranty, so I could RMA it. I still haven't zeroed the drive--if it's a problem with the chip on the drive, zeroing the drive will not do anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:14 pm 
Klamath
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The other thread on the Seagate fail mentions that I got the 3TB drive successfully RMA'd. viewtopic.php?f=36&t=241548
I tried using Clonezilla again, but the clone failed. It wrote the results to a log, but I don't know where to find the log file, since Clonezilla was hosted on a CD. It was more than 50% complete. Here's part of what the error said:
Quote:
ata1.01 exception emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x0
Buffer i/o error on device sda1

I've seen similar enough errors on other threads:
http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=219746
People keep blaming SATA cables, PSUs, motherboards, RAM, CPUs, OS kernel errors, and bad drives and controllers. Note that the error was on the source drive, the one that did NOT have the end-to-end errors. I ran diskcheckup, and there weren't enough bad sectors to signal any kind of warning. The point of cloning the drive is to back up the drive and get a new bootable drive rolling; I'm already trying to copy the data off of it. Any bad sectors are not noticeable in normal drive usage, so it probably is restricted to affecting disk imaging for now. DRevitalize v2.42 is scanning the drive in read-only as I write this, and so far has only found nine slow sectors (two of which are probably false positives from loading OSForensics during the scan), and zero bad sectors--the software is unable to refresh slow sectors in Windows Vista mode, so I might use the DOS version to fix the sectors. I keep reading that it won't repair hardware related bad sectors, but since the drive hasn't significantly declined in performance it might be worth it. It's another one of those "backup your data before you fix the drive," "you must fix the drive before you can back it up" paradoxes.

I'm dealing with another challenge/software thing that Clonezilla hasn't bothered to automate: The original OS host drive is 1TB, uses MBR, and booted from a BIOS. The target drive for the backup is 3TB, and I want it to use GPT and UEFI. I found several threads on what to do, but I want to make sure I'm not screwing things up.
http://superuser.com/questions/443561/c ... mbr-to-gpt
http://forums.partedmagic.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4752
Microsoft recommends a configuration with a partition for WinRE tools, System, MSR, Windows, and Recovery image. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 32(v=ws.10)
The WinRE partition should be 300MB (and has to be configured as a utility partition with an ID type command in DiskPart or SIM; this link says it has to be 300MB instead of 100MB, but this could just be for Win8: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 24839.aspx); EFI System should be 260MB (unless it's going to hold WinRE tools also, in which case the combined partition should be 240MB less than both partitions alone, 300MB) and formatted in FAT32 "For Advanced Format Generation One (4-KB-per-sector) drives, the minimum size of this partition is 260 MB"; the MSR should be 128MB, the big Windows partition (I don't know how to go about setting aside maybe from subtracting the space of the other partitions, but it seems like any measurement might get thrown off by several megabytes due to the way different applications read the hard drive space); and the Windows Recovery Image partition should be at least 2GB (I guess it's left blank until it gets an image written to it, but exactly which parts of Windows would go on it and how to set up the image is unknown to this user). So that's a minimum total of 2736MB worth of overhead in boot and recovery related partitions.
"If you clone a Winows 7 formatted MBR disc to a Windows 7 formatted GPT disc you will trash the mysterious hidden partition." It sounds like it might be resolved by going into Clonezilla's expert settings (which is a questionable idea, since the recommended setting is beginner), and opting not to use the partition table from the source disk. This doesn't resolve how the partition table is supposed to get in there, then, but I guess it's resolved by installing Windows to the target drive first, and only copying the Windows partition.
Step 1. Seems to be cleaning the drive, which seems most easily done from Windows' Disk Manager. RMB on the drive > clean this drive (wipe the data).
Step 2. Install Windows to the drive from an ISO downloaded from Microsoft's website --it doesn't have to be activated (I guess the partition sizes are automated, but they don't mention partition sizing for WinRE and Windows Recovery Image in a clean install context in the links regarding partitions, so those partitions might not be automatically created). This link indicates that for cloning an image to another drive, you can set up the partitions without installing Windows: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 53(v=ws.10) Microsoft notes that the partitions need to be the same size on the source and target disks, so I guess I could extend the Windows partition after imaging (I guess imaging and cloning are two different things--clonezilla has a disk to disk option, so imaging is probably different only by paying attention to partitions instead of raw data like the disk to disk copy does). http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 25686.aspx
Step 3. Install PartedMagic to a bootable flashdrive.
Step 4. Clone the MBR from the old drive to the EFI System partition
Step 5. Clone the Windows system partition to the 3TB drive
Step 6. Leave the other partitions alone
Step 7. Run Windows repair from the same ISO DVD supposedly used to install Win7 x64 on the 3TB drive
Step 8. Skip Chkdsk, it's useless and never does anything helpful
http://superuser.com/questions/443561/c ... st#tab-top

A ton of stuff to fix; I can't tell if it would be easier to start from scratch or not, but other people have managed to clone their drives, so I'm not giving up on it yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:53 pm 
Klamath
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What I'm stuck at right now is how to get the installation set up with specific capacities for each partition. Of all of the links I've gone through, I can't find a single tutorial that goes along the lines of "How to install windows 7 Professional x64 on a GPT with a recovery partition."
I'm not doing an enterprise or multi-system deployment. It's not Windows 8. It's not going to use MBR. I'm not looking for people that had problems with the installation, or people asking unresolved questions. I'm not trying to create a dual-boot environment. I'm not trying to install a pre-existing image from a previous installation (However, I am trying to copy the Windows partition from the old drive to the new 3TB drive's bulk partition, and the MBR from the old drive to the new 3TB drive's System partition). I'm not trying to create a bootable USB WinPE installation. I'm not trying to create a backup image of an entire partition. So what do these links do? They tell me the only people who know how to set up pre-defined partition capacities for a Win7 installation with a recovery partition on a clean drive work are IT people that do it on Enterprise systems for a living.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 24839.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 25702.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/library/dd744519.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744565(v=ws.10).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744246(v=ws.10).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766245(v=ws.10).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc749113(v=ws.10).aspx
http://emeneye.wordpress.com/2012/04/13 ... th-imagex/


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on my Big Backup Plot?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:54 pm 
Klamath
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http://www.overclock.net/t/1417051/thou ... -to-one/10
So apparently the drive I have isn't AFG1, it just emulates 512B sectors whether I specify it in the install or not. Rather than try to migrate the files through a utility, I've simply copied the contents of the two drives into a folder on the 3TB drive, along with the contents of three other hard drives and twenty-four discs. This means I copied all of the Windows files as well, and one disc which had a backup of a drive in a compressed format as a Windows backup disc.

What I need to know right now is what strategies should be used in reducing the amount of data present on the drive. The content pasted to the target drive has copies of files (mostly pictures and text documents), but I only need the oldest copy with the correct metadata (mostly the date). I need to make sure that there aren't two different pictures with the same file name. I want to copy program settings (mostly game saves), but since files tend to be named similarly between applications, I can't use CCleaner to remove duplicate save files; it's made more complicated by game mods, since sometimes the older configuration should be saved and the newer file discarded (this is of less importance than the issue of file redundancy). For photos and documents, to get the correct date on when they were taken (and maybe to avoid lossiness in lossy formats), I want to keep only the oldest file. For game saves, newer date probably means it should be kept.

So once I get the game saves I want to keep out of maybe the six times they were backed up on different media, there's still the question of re-installing the program, since registry files aren't copied--installing programs is easy for the most part (unless it's a game, it's a rare occasion if ever a game installs and runs without issue in my experience), but I'm still going to have to manually copy every user file into all of the right folders--with some games, e.g. STALKER and Metro 2033, configuration is kept in as many as three different locations. I've been thinking about installing and dual booting 32-bit XP Pro SP3 for older game and EAX legacy acceleration compatibility--you can read my other thread for more on that.


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