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Kudos4 Stats

Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Hi All, 

I am posting this for general information for all. The reason is because I have found (locked) threads which are indicating that you cannot use Ghost to restore your system drive (C) to a new computer with different hardware. 

This is absolutely not true. You absolutely can use Ghost to restore to a computer with different hardware. I've done it several times and it absolutely does work. Therefore I am posting this to hopefully help dispel any confusion. My last restoral was to a different computer with radically different hardware including a much higher end mother board, going from single core CPU to multi-core and basically everything about this system was far different than my previous hardware. 

Now it may be true that Symantec may not officially support it but it absolutely DOES work. 

Allow me to explain the process in a bit more detail. If it helps let me mention that I am a software engineer and I have a good in depth knowledge of the Windows OS. 

When you are restoring to a computer with different hardware it is likely that your new HD will also be much larger. So here's the process. Note that I am writing this procedure centric to single partition system drives. If you have multiple partitions this process might need a bit of tweaking. 

When you boot from the Symantec Recovery CD (SRD), select "Recover my Computer" and then select the appropriate image to restore. Note that you need to select "Filename" from the drop down menu and NOT "Date". If you select "Date" the options below will probably not be presented. When you select FileName your recovery points will probably not be visible so simply hit "Browse" and browse to your recovery point file and select the appropriate image.  Then select the target drive to restore your image to (your new HD) and click "Next". 

Check the following options:

Verify recovery point before restore - optional and takes longer if checked but a good precaution.

Check for file system errors after recovery - again optional

Resize restored drive - not optional if you want to have the extra HD space available to you after the restore.

Partition type - primary.

Set drive active for booting

Restore original disk signature - see also Chapter 14 in Ghost user guide.

Restore MBR - many times optional but should be checked to ensure the MBR is correct. Likely mandatory in Vista.  

After your recovery it is likely that your computer will NOT boot up due to the different hardware but this is easily solved in most cases. Note that if ONLY replacing your system hard drive (all other hardware is the same) then you may well not need to do the following procedure. Otherwise (or if problems are seen preventing you from booting) proceed as follows: 

In most cases you can recover from this by simply doing what is referred to by Microsoft as an in place upgrade. To do this simply boot from your Windows CD and select the upgrade option. Make sure and specify upgrade and NOT new. Also make sure that the path to upgrade Windows into is your existing OS path (typically C:\Windows). 

By booting from the Windows startup CD and doing the upgrade option, you will force Windows OS to go through hardware discovery process again. It will then recognize your new hardware and install all the appropriate device drviers and whatever else is needed. In most cases this will update your recovered OS to work with your new hardware. 

The reason the Windows startup CD is required is because that is the only way to force Windows back to an early enough stage to properly re-discover and set up your new hardware.

This is the same thing that happens when you uprgrade your OS from say Windows XP to Windows Vista.

NOTE 1: after doing this you will most likely have to re-download and install all Windows Critical updates as this in place upgrade will most likely undo any previously installed critical updates. 

NOTE 2: if you have Windows XP and your new HD is larger than (I believe) around 130GB, the default XP CD will probably not recognize all your new space. There is a way to burn another XP startup CD which includes XP SP2 which can recognize the larger HD's. If you have this situation let me know and I can find the link for you. 

NOTE 3: Many times when recovering your OS onto all new hardware, you will probably have to re-activate Windows. Microsoft is pretty notorious for requiring this and they do it to minimize risk of piracy. So don't be surprised if after this you might have to call Microsoft to get re-activated. Sometimes you can do this on your own (online) but other times you have to call them whereupon they will ask you some questions to verify your OS is not priated and they will then give you the Activation key.

So there is a fair amount to the process to restore to a system with new hardware but for many this is still far easier than the alternative which is reinstalling your OS and all applications.

Let me know if you have questions on any of this. 

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Hi All, 

I am posting this for general information for all. The reason is because I have found (locked) threads which are indicating that you cannot use Ghost to restore your system drive (C) to a new computer with different hardware. 

This is absolutely not true. You absolutely can use Ghost to restore to a computer with different hardware. I've done it several times and it absolutely does work. Therefore I am posting this to hopefully help dispel any confusion. My last restoral was to a different computer with radically different hardware including a much higher end mother board, going from single core CPU to multi-core and basically everything about this system was far different than my previous hardware. 

Now it may be true that Symantec may not officially support it but it absolutely DOES work. 

Allow me to explain the process in a bit more detail. If it helps let me mention that I am a software engineer and I have a good in depth knowledge of the Windows OS. 

When you are restoring to a computer with different hardware it is likely that your new HD will also be much larger. So here's the process. Note that I am writing this procedure centric to single partition system drives. If you have multiple partitions this process might need a bit of tweaking. 

When you boot from the Symantec Recovery CD (SRD), select "Recover my Computer" and then select the appropriate image to restore. Note that you need to select "Filename" from the drop down menu and NOT "Date". If you select "Date" the options below will probably not be presented. When you select FileName your recovery points will probably not be visible so simply hit "Browse" and browse to your recovery point file and select the appropriate image.  Then select the target drive to restore your image to (your new HD) and click "Next". 

Check the following options:

Verify recovery point before restore - optional and takes longer if checked but a good precaution.

Check for file system errors after recovery - again optional

Resize restored drive - not optional if you want to have the extra HD space available to you after the restore.

Partition type - primary.

Set drive active for booting

Restore original disk signature - see also Chapter 14 in Ghost user guide.

Restore MBR - many times optional but should be checked to ensure the MBR is correct. Likely mandatory in Vista.  

After your recovery it is likely that your computer will NOT boot up due to the different hardware but this is easily solved in most cases. Note that if ONLY replacing your system hard drive (all other hardware is the same) then you may well not need to do the following procedure. Otherwise (or if problems are seen preventing you from booting) proceed as follows: 

In most cases you can recover from this by simply doing what is referred to by Microsoft as an in place upgrade. To do this simply boot from your Windows CD and select the upgrade option. Make sure and specify upgrade and NOT new. Also make sure that the path to upgrade Windows into is your existing OS path (typically C:\Windows). 

By booting from the Windows startup CD and doing the upgrade option, you will force Windows OS to go through hardware discovery process again. It will then recognize your new hardware and install all the appropriate device drviers and whatever else is needed. In most cases this will update your recovered OS to work with your new hardware. 

The reason the Windows startup CD is required is because that is the only way to force Windows back to an early enough stage to properly re-discover and set up your new hardware.

This is the same thing that happens when you uprgrade your OS from say Windows XP to Windows Vista.

NOTE 1: after doing this you will most likely have to re-download and install all Windows Critical updates as this in place upgrade will most likely undo any previously installed critical updates. 

NOTE 2: if you have Windows XP and your new HD is larger than (I believe) around 130GB, the default XP CD will probably not recognize all your new space. There is a way to burn another XP startup CD which includes XP SP2 which can recognize the larger HD's. If you have this situation let me know and I can find the link for you. 

NOTE 3: Many times when recovering your OS onto all new hardware, you will probably have to re-activate Windows. Microsoft is pretty notorious for requiring this and they do it to minimize risk of piracy. So don't be surprised if after this you might have to call Microsoft to get re-activated. Sometimes you can do this on your own (online) but other times you have to call them whereupon they will ask you some questions to verify your OS is not priated and they will then give you the Activation key.

So there is a fair amount to the process to restore to a system with new hardware but for many this is still far easier than the alternative which is reinstalling your OS and all applications.

Let me know if you have questions on any of this. 

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Allen,

Nice presentation. I agree.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Excellent Post, Allen. It should be made a "sticky"!
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Nicely done Allen. I expect we'll be linking to your post.
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Another thing I should mention is that I included Norton Ghost 14 in the post title (because it is the most recent version of Ghost) but this procedure works equally well for previous versions of Ghost. In fact all but the last system restoral I done was on earlier versions of Ghost.

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Allen:

Please forgive my ignorance but this could only work if the new computer does not anything installed on it at all, right?

I would have to assume it impossible to restore a windows xp pro sp3 recovery point set to a new computer which has, lets say, windows vista installed? When you purchase a new computer, is an operating system already installed by the manufacturer? Or does the computer come with a blank hard drive and is accompanied by operating system and driver diskettes?

Note that my computer was ordered for me from my place of employment and certain software I wanted (like Visual Studio 2005) was installed by a tech person so I have no idea how the box first arrived.

mdubin

Message Edited by mdubin on 09-28-2009 05:12 AM
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware


mdubin wrote:

I would have to assume it impossible to restore a windows xp pro sp3 recovery point set to a new computer which has, lets say, windows vista installed?



No, it is quite easy to restore the image to another partition and use a boot manager to select which OS to boot.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware


Brian_K wrote:

mdubin wrote:

I would have to assume it impossible to restore a windows xp pro sp3 recovery point set to a new computer which has, lets say, windows vista installed?



No, it is quite easy to restore the image to another partition and use a boot manager to select which OS to boot.


Brian:

I think Allen mentioned single partition system drives for this thread. Again, I am a novice. I only began working with Norton Ghost 14 a month ago and, as you know, have never restored my primary partition.

When a recovery point set is restored, does NG first wipe out the existing data on the partition before the restore? In other words, even if a newly purchased computer had windows Vista installed but my c: drive recovery point set had windows xp pro sp3, would the new c: drive be wiped out first and then overlayed with the restored system and data?

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware


mdubin wrote:

When a recovery point set is restored, does NG first wipe out the existing data on the partition before the restore? In other words, even if a newly purchased computer had windows Vista installed but my c: drive recovery point set had windows xp pro sp3, would the new c: drive be wiped out first and then overlayed with the restored system and data?


Hi mdubin,

If you restored a Windows XP recovery point to the new C: drive, Vista would be wiped out. The information contained in the recovery point would overwrite the information on the C: drive. Obviously, you would not want to do that.

What Brian is saying is that it is possible to have more than one operating system installed on a given computer. By using whats known as a boot manager, it's then possible to selectively boot to the operating system of your choice.

I may be wrong, but I'm guessing that you aren't interested in trying that just yet.

No need to worry though. You can always recover files from your XP recovery points, so you don't need to restore the entire recovery point. Programs may be a bit more problematic because you won't be able to simply recover them; you'll need to resinstall in the new Vista environment (assuming they are Vista compatible).

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Hi mdubin,

Let me add a couple of points to this. Obviously when you buy a new computer it will have an OS already installed. You may or may not choose to use it however, that is a choice you can make. As Brubaker said, if you buy a system with Windows Vista and you have Windows XP on your current system you might not want to overwrite Windows Vista on the new system to replace it with XP. But you could do so if you wanted to. You have a valid license for XP which gives you the right to load it onto that new system if you so choose. The license is to you, not a specific system so as long as you are not trying to use the OS on more than one system you are allowed to do this.

You could just as easily have a different situation. You could have Windows Vista already and then buy a new computer also with Vista in which case it is likely an easier choice to get rid of the Vista installation that came on your new system and replace it with the one you already have a license for.

The other possibility (which is what I have done all but one time) is that you buy individual components and put your own system together (or pay someone to do it for you) in which case it won't come with an OS already installed. Most people don't do this because you can usually get a better deal by buying one as a complete system. But when (like myself) you have need or desire for special hardware or need the choice of specific components that make up your system, it is typically pretty difficult to find such a system already assembled.

Yet another possibility is when you are replacing certain components but not the entire system. Maybe you are upgrading just CPU or Video Card, etc.

Understand also that when you buy a new computer system with Windows already installed, the extra cost added on to the system for just the OS is very minimal - it is NOT like buying a full version of the OS seperately. I don't know for sure what the cost is but I've heard others say it is around $30. That sounds about right to me. Microsoft is willing to sell licenses for these OEM computers so cheaply because it gives them even more market penetration with new systems.

There is only one time I chose to buy an already assembled system and that is when I was actually lucky enough to find one I could order which had the very components I wanted anyway and it was then cheaper to do it this way. With the components that I want however it is very rare indeed for me to find an already assembled system that offers that choice.

Even in this case however I overwrote the OS that came on that new system with my own. For me it was an easy choice since I have a few hundred applications.

Hope that clarifies.

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Sorry, forgot to mention the possibility of dual booting as Brian and Brubaker talked about earlier. My thread was centric to single partition system drives simply because that is what I have. Since I don't have a system drive with multiple partitions I added that disclaimer. Please do not interpret this to mean or imply that you cannot accomplish the same on system drives with multiple partitions.

I am not sure if you can restore the system drive image on to a new hard drive w/o overwriting what is already there. That may not be possible. What IS possible is if you have backup images which were done on a system which already has multiple partitions and you can restore that system with the same multiple partitions on your new HD. This is exactly what you have with your OS and EISA partition.

Single partitions just happen to be my area of expertise so someone else more familiar with multiple partitions can update my procedure with that in mind.

Allen

Message Edited by AllenM on 09-28-2009 09:08 AM
Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware


mdubin wrote:

When a recovery point set is restored, does NG first wipe out the existing data on the partition before the restore? In other words, even if a newly purchased computer had windows Vista installed but my c: drive recovery point set had windows xp pro sp3, would the new c: drive be wiped out first and then overlayed with the restored system and data?


I see the confusion. Let's say your new computer came with a 500 GB HD and a single Vista partition. You can resize that Vista partition, down to 30 GB if you like. Then you will have 470 GB in which to create multiple partitions and have multiple OS and data partitions. My current computer has 15 independent OS.

But you are certainly correct. When you restore an image, the target partition is deleted immediately prior to the image being restored. If you restore an image of a NTFS partition to a FAT32 target partition, the FAT32 partition ceases to exist.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Hi Brian,

Are you saying then that you can take a backup image which was created from a system drive with only a single partition and then restore to a drive with a pre-existing OS without overwriting this OS? Essentially restoring the backup image to a separate partition on the new drive, thereby preventing the overwriting of data on it's current primary partition? If so, I would further assume that it is a minor issue to modify the boot sector to then allow you a dual boot option.

So say you purchase a new computer with Vista on it already. Now you want to restore an image created from a single partition system drive containing say XP, you could essentially resore XP to the new drive then modify the MBR to have a dual boot system?

This does not really surprise me if I have it right. There is usually a way to do all sorts of things which may not be the standard. I just wanted to clarify since I have never had occasion to try this before.

Thanks

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Brian,

P.S. You actually have a system drive with 15 different OS's on it?!? Impressive!!

I can guess, one would be Vista, then XP, then Linux. What else pray tell?

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Allen,

Several WinXPs, 3 Win7, Vista, 2 Ubuntu, several DOS, a few BartPE, Image for Linux, Image for DOS in FreeDOS. Certainly enough to keep me amused. They are all on my first HD.

On a test computer I once had 250 bootable DOS OS. I taught my son how to keep copying the partition and I had a beer. He didn't mind the repetition.

I couldn't install Win98 on my main computer. The error was "not enough Memory". (I have 2 GB RAM). I have Win98 running in a Virtual Machine. Don't ask me why. I can't remember.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware


AllenM wrote:

Are you saying then that you can take a backup image which was created from a system drive with only a single partition and then restore to a drive with a pre-existing OS without overwriting this OS?


Yes. As you have gathered, I'm keen on BootIt NG. I'd resize (smaller) the original OS partition to create unallocated space and restore the image to this space using the Ghost CD. BING would be the boot manager. Neither OS will share boot files so either can be deleted in the future without affecting the other.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

hi allen,

very interesting analysis and presentation.  grateful for your input on the following.  i am using  dell inspiron 1300 with os xp-2 with all current updates.  i would like to change the existing hdd for an ssd.  i have an external 40gb hdd available.  question:  how would i proceed to transfer the existing drive contents to the external hdd and then re-install to the new-fitted ssd.

thanks.

bruce.

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Hi Brustan,

Is the external drive the one you want to use to replace your C drive or the one which will contain the backup image? Windows does not support booting from external drive. If the SSD which will replace your C drive is an internal drive it is very straight forward.

Some people attempt to use Copy Drive and that can definitely work but there are some inherent issues people tend to run into because the Copy is being done from within Windows and Windows itself can cause problems with booting from the new drive.

The method I would always recommend is to perform your full backup on the C drive to a seperate backup drive and then simply use the Ghost Recovery CD to boot from. Then just follow the recommendations in my first post on this thread to restore your backup to the new drive.

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Allen,

I meant to ask what type of HDs you used when you did your restores to different hardware. Were they IDE to IDE and SATA to SATA? Did you try IDE to SATA?

When I used the Repair Install method I only tried IDE to IDE.

Message Edited by Brian_K on 10-09-2009 05:20 PM
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Hi Brian,

In the past I have done IDE to IDE, IDE to SCSI, SCSI to SCSI and SCSI to SATA (a couple of them more than once). I think I've hit every combination except the one you mentioned! But it really should not matter, by running the Repair install (in place upgrade) the OS is forced back to an earlier stage and will perform Hardware Enumeration from the beginning. It should then resolve all hardware changes and install all the appropriate device drivers, etc. And my last upgrade included much more than just a HD change - in fact everything about my system had changed radically. The only minor issue the last time was with the upgrade from single core CPU to multi-core CPU on Windows XP Pro. After the in place upgrade it still just recognized the CPU as single core but ALL other hardware was updated just fine. I am absolutely sure that I could have gotten that to work with little additional effort except that I was planning to upgrade to Vista right after that anyway so I did not bother messing with it further on XP. When I upgraded to Vista it resolved that last minor issue.

It really is very straight forward. For many like myself (with a few hundred programs) this is the way to go. The only drawback really is that you have to re-download all Windows Critical updates as these typically are "undone" with the in place upgrade. Minor price to pay for not having to reinstall everything.

Allen

Message Edited by AllenM on 10-09-2009 12:30 AM
Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Allen,

Thanks. That really is fascinating.

Just a question on your single core CPU to multi-core CPU on Windows XP Pro. Did that new computer boot? Was the HAL changed by the Repair Install? I haven't read any information on HAL changes by this process.

Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Hi Brian,

Perfect timing dude! I was just getting ready to walk away from the computer and head off to bed!

Oh yes, it booted just fine. The absolute only problem was that it ran slower than it should have because it was only allowing use of but one of the 4 CPU cores.

I'm not sure about how the HAL changed though I assume it must have been, what I do know is that the hardware changes have always been resolved properly (with that one minor exception of multi-core CPU).

My experience started with Windows 95, 98, ME, XP Pro and finally Vista Ultimate on various hardware platforms. For each of these upgrades I had a significant hardware upgrade involved as well. FYI: I also had a few Ghost restorals with the SAME OS and just different hardware. This is on top of the typical hard drive failure which I have had a few times, one of which was triggered by a massive power surge which to my chagrin managed to ZAP my hard drive even through what should have been a pretty high end UPS system.

If you are wondering about all the HD upgrades, do you recall how SLOW IDE drives were in the old days? That is when I first upgraded to Ultra Wide SCSI but finally the cost of replacement for failed HD's caused me to switch to SATA..

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware


AllenM wrote:
do you recall how SLOW IDE drives were in the old days?

Yes. Especially when they got stuck in PIO mode.


AllenM wrote:

Oh yes, it booted just fine. The absolute only problem was that it ran slower than it should have because it was only allowing use of but one of the 4 CPU cores.


Do you think it could have been using the old HAL? I guess we will never know.

My test computer is an old Pentium 4 model. It uses halacpi.dll. If I try halmacpi.dll, it won't boot. My main computer is a dual core Pentium D. I'm pretty sure it will boot with either HAL but I haven't tested to see if it is slow with halacpi.dll. I'll try that.

Edit..... My mistake, the Pentium D wouldn't boot with halacpi.dll.


Message Edited by Brian_K on 10-09-2009 07:49 PM
Kudos0

Re: Norton Ghost 14 and Restoring C drive to new Hardware

Hi Brian,

It could well be the HAL but as you said there is no way to know for sure at this point. This was the only case I ran into where a bit of messing around would have been required to get past that last small hurdle. Seems pretty unlikely that a repair upgrade would handle everything so beautifully (at least 6-8 times) unless it was properly dealing with the HAL.

The 'technical' side of me kind of wishes I had solved that one minor mystery on XP before upgrading to Vista but oh well.

Allen

Message Edited by AllenM on 10-09-2009 09:17 AM
Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32

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