Bare Metal restore?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by mikeblas, Apr 14, 2005.

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  1. mikeblas

    mikeblas Registered Member

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    The Acronis True Image web pages claim the product can do "bare-metal restore". I can't find any mention of "bare metal" in the manual. What does this feature really mean?

    What I'm hoping it means is that I can install a backup image to a machine without first installing an operating system. How do I do that?
     
  2. jimmytop

    jimmytop Registered Member

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    If the image you are attempting to restore contains an operating system that is already configured to work with the hardware in the machine to which you are attempting to restore, then you can restore the image without installing an operating system.

    You can't take any old image from any old machine and expect it to work on a different machine with different hardware. You would need to use Sysprep or Windows Repair Installation to accomplish that. That is outside the scope of the True Image manual, although there is a small section on Sysprep somewhere in the manual (maybe in the FAQ - I don't remember).

    I'm not sure I understand your question completely, but the manual is pretty clear about the capabilities of TI.
     
  3. mikeblas

    mikeblas Registered Member

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    Sure. I wouldn't exepct that.

    Can you tell me which page describes "bare-metal restore"? When I search the PDF file for "bare" or "metal", I get no hits at all. (The personal version, at least. The Corporate version mentions it for servers, but doesn't explain what it is or how to use it. There's only that one hit, very near the front of the manual.)

    It looks like I can boot from the Acronis TrueImage CD, or create a bootable image once I've installed the product. That lets me run TrueImage, which is nice.

    But once I've booted, how do I access my backup image files? I'll be storing them on the network. Can I expect network access from the bootable version of True Image? That's not mentioned in the manual.

    What are the capabilities of that bootable version of TrueImage? The manual doesn't seem to say; it just calls it "rescue media".

    What can I rescue?

    Given the information I can find in the manual, I'm still struggling to develop a viable backup strategy.
     
  4. jimmytop

    jimmytop Registered Member

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    Ok, I understand better what you're getting at now. I am assuming you haven't purchased the software yet? If not, there is a trial version that you can download. I would recommend trying that for starters. Create the bootable CD and play with it a little bit.

    The boot CD allows you to do just about everything that the Windows version allows - create/restore images, clone drives, mount/explore images, verify images, etc. The Trial boot CD won't let you actually perform a restore, but you can see all of the capabilities of the paid version there.

    I plead ignorance on the network question - Sorry, I just don't know if the bootable CD can provide the network access that you require. But if it does, you should be able to tell from the Trial version of the rescue boot CD.

    Also there is a BartPE plug-in available from Acronis - if you decide to buy the software that is.

    Hopefully Acronis or another user will jump in here and clarify the network question. But in the mean time I recommend you give the Trial version a whirl and see how you like it. Maybe that will answer your questions.

    PS: I never considered the whole "bare metal restore" phrase as anything more than marketing buzzwords. Don't get too hung up on it. You can create an image of a partition or partitions or of an entire drive, then restore those back to the same drive or a new drive. You can clone an old drive to a new drive. You can do all this from the boot CD or from the BartPE plug in boot CD (provided you can access the image as you stated). So yes, an OS is NOT required....

    Edit: on page 62 of the manual, there are two questions related to restoring images from a network drive using the boot CD. So it looks like it's at least possible to do what you want to do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2005
  5. mikeblas

    mikeblas Registered Member

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    You're kidding, right? I'm going to bet all of my data on this program and its capabilities. I need to know what it can and can't do with the utmost certainty if I'm going to place that bet.

    I've been playing with the trial version for a while, now. It's hard to make progress because almost every time I try something, I run into a bug and have to work with technical support. Unfortunately, the time I'm paused against the blocking issue isn't credited against the duration of the trial period.

    As a result, it's very hard to get a good feeling for the product.

    Thank you for the helpful information. How can I tell if my network cards are supported or not? I can't imagine having a machine go down, needing to restore it, then having to contact Acronis support in order to see if the issue can be fixed.

    That just increases my downtime and I don't see anything that guarantees they'll be able to accommodate me and my net card.
     
  6. jimmytop

    jimmytop Registered Member

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    Exactly ;)

    Please don't be offended, I'm only trying to help, I'm not trying to argue with you. You seem to be looking for a magic button or something that is labeled bare metal restore. There is no magical "bare metal restore" button. Its just a catch phrase to describe and market the functionality of TI. If you've played with the trial and you've read the manual, and you've tried the trial boot CD, then you know are familiar with all of the capabilities of TI. Can it do what you want it to do? If the trial doesn't work for you, then the full version won't either.

    I can't help you with the time limit on the trial. You can take out your frustrations on me if you must, but I have no control over the time limit of the trial... :rolleyes:

    No kidding, that would suck wouldn't it? Does the trial version of the boot CD work with your network adapter or not? If not, all I can tell you is what's in the manual. It says to email them with your network adapter info....

    I don't either.
     
  7. mikeblas

    mikeblas Registered Member

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    Actually, I'm just looking for information that describes what "bare metal restore" is, and what the feature really does. (Or doesn't do.)

    I'm sorry that wasn't clear for you.

    Actually, I'm not. To exercise the functions means I'd need to use them. I'm not going to melt down a machine or buy a spare drive just to try out the restore from network feature and see if it works.

    Certainly, there must be some detailed information available about how the product works and what it can and can't do. If someone can provide a helpful responses to my questions, I'd be most appreciative.
     
  8. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Let's see if this helps.

    If you make an image of your entire boot drive (that's all the partitions if it has more than one, not just the C boot partition), you can restore that image to a brand new drive that has never been out of the box (bare metal). You would need to boot from the recovery CD and have the image available on CDs, DVDs, an external USB or Firewire hard drive or on a network drive.

    You can make the image and store it in your desired location and then run CheckImage to see if it is good. You can boot from the recovery CD and confirm that you can see the location of the image and repeat the CheckImage. If the image is on a single disk (not on more than one CD or DVD), you can explore the image and confirm that you can copy data files from the image.

    If all those steps are successful, there is close to a 100% probability that you can restore the image and boot successfully. However, until you have done a restore, no one and no program can guarantee success.

    If you want to be absolutely sure that your backup will restore, you will have to restore it. If you don't want to risk having your main installation messed up, you will have to install a replacement drive and restore to that. When the restored image boots successfully, you will know you really have a backup system.

    Frankly, having a second drive is very desirable. You can either mount it internally and save your future backups there or put it in an external case and backup to it.

    Does that answer the question you asked?
     
  9. jimmytop

    jimmytop Registered Member

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    So there's two issues for you. First there is the software functionality issue. Second there is the hardware/network compatibility issue.

    For the software functionality, as stated previously, the features of TI are covered in the manual, and are demonstrated in the trial software. Does the software do what you need for it to do? I think you have enough information to determine that. Regardless of what definition of "bare metal restore" that you use, does TI software have the functionality that you need?

    As JMK stated, and as is pretty clear in the manual and by use of the trial version:
    I'm not sure what else you want, other than for someone to prefix that with "A Bare metal restore is..."
    So I think the first issue, software features, has been addressed (over and over... :p ) And you've seen it for yourself if you've used the Trial. There's no hidden features that I'm aware of.

    Which brings us to the hardware compatibility issue. Does the trial version boot CD see your network? If not, then there's your answer - if the trial doesn't work for you then the full version won't either.

    If it does see your network, then I agree with you that it still doesn't mean you'll be able to restore from it. As JMK stated, the only way to know for sure is to try it.

    See above. This has been provided and expanded upon (relentlessly...lol :rolleyes: )

    Whether or not TI is compatible with your specific hardware, either ask Acronis directly or post your hardware specs and there is an off-chance someone reading these forums uses the same hardware and can tell you if there's any problems.

    Also keep in mind what JMK stated,
     
  10. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Not sure how technical you want to get. Although written some time ago (circa True Image 6), this <Acronis technical article> explains in detail how TI goes about imaging a "live" system etc.

    For what it's worth, my definition of "bare metal" is a system that doesn't have an O/S installed on it or whose hard drive hasn't been partitioned and formatted yet.

    Regards
     
  11. iflyprivate

    iflyprivate Registered Member

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    I don't mean to sound arrogant here but I can't help it and I don't mean to offend anyone........

    This thread is a perfect example of the blind leading the blind. It amazes me that we can ask such open-ended questions based upon misunderstanding the product and find as many open-ended (well-meaning) answers which never satisfy the open-ended questions but wander all over the place until someone either gets disgusted and badmouths the product they were misinformed about in the first place and asked the open-ended questions about based upon their ignorance or until a well-meaning answerer gives up trying to communicate with the questioner because no answer ever seems to satisfy him/her.

    I wish more users and prospective users of this product would prepare themselves to LEARN what its capabilities are by reading the manuals, FAQ's and then TRYING it rather than rushing in to pose so many hypothetical what-if questions about what it might be able to do or not do under some far-out conditions or with some unique hardware/software setup or with a high level of misunderstanding the various terms and terminology used by Acronis and then, after becoming frustrated because no one can answer the hypothetical questions with any degree of specificity, they offer off-the-cuff criticisms of the product based upon their frustration and misunderstanding of its functions and capabilities and their inability to ferret out a specific answer to their non-specific hypothetical question.

    My advice to all potential/prospective/current users is to do what I and many others do.......TRY IT and see what happens. Just because it may be inconvenient to try an operation doesn't license us to criticize the product or ask endless questions about what it may do in the event we tried it, right?

    After you get a result you cannot figure out why you got it, come in to the forum and pose the specific question based upon your real-world attempt to put the product to actual use. You'll probably be much more satisfied with the answers you receive as well as the product's applicability and you'll learn something in the process. I know I have, many times over.

    Again, I don't mean to sound arrogant but I read these kinds of posts over and over and I can't help but wonder when the Acronis folks are going to burn out answering some of this stuff and what impact that might have on the more mainstream product support focus.

    One last thing and then I'll shut up for a spell.......

    I haven't been a very long-time user of TI8 but I have gotten REAL VALUE from it because of the many hours it has saved me in restoring hard drives after problems occured. But, I have noticed a trend in the last few builds that is provoking some thought on my part. That is TI8 seems to be getting more capable but also more bloated, slower in some minor functions and more complex, code-wise (I'm guessing about the code).

    Are we going to see a formerly lean and capable TI8 evolve into a big fat bloated feature-laden megamonster that tries to do so much for so many that it accomplishes so little after such difficulty? Remember your Microsoft products?

    I wonder where we're all headed if Acronis tries to accomodate all our requests by packing in limitless compatibilities and features into the basic app. Maybe it will become time some day to have a TI8 for Windows and a TI8 for Linux. I wonder.......
     
  12. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Some of us have a second, third or fourth computer that we can experiment on. It's easy to install new software and test it on a system that you don't have to have working. We can really use the trial versions of software to test its capabilities.

    Many users don't have that "spare" test machine, so they want a very simple question answered: "Will it work on my machine." Unfortunately, the answer is very complicated because PC setups are so varied. The "try it and see" response is justifiably scary to someone whose only computer might be messed up. So, we go around and around.

    The real problem is that using a computer isn't as easy as everyone would like. That isn't going to change soon.
     
  13. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    Every interesting question have 2 answers:

    1. The short and inaccurate.
    2. The long and vague.

    Pick one!
     
  14. S?ul

    S?ul Registered Member

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    If you don't have a 2nd computer to experiment on this program will be a godsend for you. It allows you to screw around with your system with no worries. It's used for training quite a bit so students aren't blowing up all the computers. ;)

    Virtual PC

    Free 45 Day Trial

    User Guide

    I hope everything goes well and you get the info you're looking for. :cool:

    Good Luck,
    Søul
     
  15. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup and Restore Software.

    I suppose the question concerning "bare-metal restore" term needs some official explanation.

    Using Acronis True Image you are able to restore the image to a brand new hard drive even if it doesn't have operating system, file system or even if it was just purchased an hour before. You may also add new hard disk using Acronis True Image tool called "Add Disk". All the features of Acronis True Image are available at our site.

    You may have a look at different reviews of Acronis True Image as well.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  16. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    I beg to differ with you, but most respectfully. I have frequently encountered answers which are
    3. Short and vague
    4. Long and inaccurate.
    Sometimes I find answers that are useful. Fortunately, I've found a lot of them in this forum.

    Enough philosophy for one day. :)
     
  17. cpnet

    cpnet Registered Member

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    I am trying to figure out the capabilities of the Bare Metal restore too. The software sounds vaguely promising, but after reading the stuff here and in the user manual, I'm still not clear if I can do the things I need to be able to do. Here's the basic functionality I'm looking for:

    - I have a Win2K3 SBS Server (with a Raid 0 IDE drive setup), a WinXP laptop, and a Win98 laptop
    - I will attach a USB drive to my Server
    - I want to do daily full system backups of all 3 computers to the USB drive (which will be swapped daily)
    - I need to be able to do bare metal restores of all 3 computers (this means that I'll need to be able to do a bare metal restore of the laptops from across the network).
    - I want the backups to be scheduled and occur automatically


    I'm not clear if Acronis would support this. Some of the stuff in these forums and the product literature imply I can. But, in the user manual I can find next to nothing about restoring from across a network. The manual seems to imply I should restore on a machine that already has Windows running (which doesn't sound like "bare metal" to me). I'm not clear on how Acronis handles the drives for my network cards on the crashed computers. I don't want to invest in the USB drives unless I know that Acronis supports such a scenario. I'm also not clear on which specific Acronis product(s) I'd need to accomplish this.
     
  18. noonie

    noonie Registered Member

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    http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/ATIESWin/

    http://www.acronis.com/cgi-bin/s.en.cgi?q=usb&ul=http://www.acronis.com/&tmpl=s.en.htm&ps=10

    http://www.acronis.com/cgi-bin/s.en...www.acronis.com/&tmpl=s.en.htm&ps=10&x=11&y=6

    http://www.acronis.com/cgi-bin/s.en.cgi?q=raid 0&ul=http://www.acronis.com/&tmpl=s.en.htm&ps=10

    http://www.acronis.com/cgi-bin/s.en...ww.acronis.com/&tmpl=s.en.htm&ps=10&x=14&y=10

    The above should give you all the necessary answers.
     
  19. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Here's an example of a "bare metal restore".

    A few weeks ago, I decide to use NTFS instead of FAT 32 on 9 of the 10 logical drives on a system.

    It is well known that using the built-in CONVERT command can lead to problems using such a converted drive, i.e., the best way to convert is to reformat each drive and restore the FILES, not the drive, to the drive.

    However, depending on your system setup, some drives cannot be reformatted online, so I came up with the following solution:

    1. I did backup of all DRIVES using GHost 10's Independent Recovery Set mechanism.

    2. I then booted with the Partition Magic rescue disks and reformatted the 9 drives.

    3. Then booted with GHost's CD-ROM, and did a recovery of FILES, not the drives, from the Ghost backup files.

    The ONLY remaining problem was to fix Office in each of the 4 OS on the system.

    For Office 2000 to Office 2003, I was able to do a detect and repair. For Office 97, I had to re-install.

    I've seen this same problem before. Even for those versions of Office that do not have an activation mechanism, it seems that reformatting drives somehow breaks Office.

    You likely could follow a similar process with TI. As I recall, I had only the demo TI at the time, but due to the bugs described here, I felt more comfortable trusting Ghost.

    P.S. I had also backed up the system using Retrospect 6.5, just in case, but I'm moving away from Retrospect, so I used Ghost.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2006
  20. PsfM

    PsfM Registered Member

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    How about just "Basic Restore".

    Hello to all and thank for the opportunity to join in the discussion.

    I am "trying to use" TrueImage 8, build 937 and TrueImage Server 8, build 1018. I did not try the "Trial Version" first -as I should have- but trusted the name Acronis and bought the product... "blind folded".

    This is my experience so far with both TI8 versions:

    Image creation, Scheduling work flawlessly, 100% of the time and situations.

    Restoration is a problem because:

    Restoring from the same disk (with windows "live") or a network disk to an allocated space or new but unused partition, results in a blue screen of death with this message:
    *** STOP: 0X0000007B (0XEB41B84C, 0XC0000034, 0X00000000, 0X00000000) "INACESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE

    Restoring from the Bootable TI8 CD, (or using the F11 Recovery Manager) is possible ONLY if the image is small enough to fit in a couple of CDs; no I do not think making 30+ Cds is practical or smart.

    However, when booted with the CD there is no way to connect to Networked drives, there is simply nothing listed under "Computers Near Me". Why?

    I have found Acronis Help of limited help with documentation of procedures being in my humble opinion insufficient.

    I trust Acronis has made a great software product, but I am in need of a much better "along the way" assistance, however.

    Please respond if you can, your help will be highly appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Dimitri @ PsfM
     
  21. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Re: How about just "Basic Restore".

    Hello Dimitri,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please do the following in order to enable mini-dumps:

    - Right click on "My Computer" and choose "Properties";
    - Go to "Advanced" tab;
    - Go to "Startup" and "Recover Settings";
    - Choose "Small memory dump" in "Write debugging information" box;
    - Close all the dialog windows by clicking OK buttons.

    Now, please reproduce the system crash and send us the mini-dumps created. This will allow us to investigate the problem thoroughly.

    Please create Acronis Report and Windows System Information as it is described in Acronis Help Post.

    Please create an account, then log in and submit a request for technical support. Attach all the collected files and information to your request along with the step-by-step description of the actions taken before the problem appears and the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with the solution.

    If no computers are visible on the network, but the "Computers near me" icon is found in "My Computer" on the Image Archive Selection screen, then please ensure that a DHCP server is running on your network. If you don't use a DHCP server, then please ensure that network settings accessible via the Options item in the Tools menu are correct. Please take a look at this FAQ article.

    Thank you.
    --
    Tatyana Tsyngaeva
     
  22. PsfM

    PsfM Registered Member

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    Thank you so much!

    Tatyana,

    I am most obliged for your prompt and meaningful response .

    First of all, I can't do what you're suggesting with the "mini-dump" since I can't even boot the PC at all!

    Anyway, I sincerely hope I did not bother you for nothing but I am afraid that what I am trying to accomplish is beyond Acronis' TI8 scope:

    I am the Business Manager and (since we cannot afford a REAL IT professional) the "Computer Person" of a small grocery chain. When I took over I realized that most of our workstation computers (Win 2000 Pro) and (unfortunately) our servers (Win 2000 Server) were running out of space and reaching the end of their useful life, hardware wise.

    Since then, more than 50% of my on-the-job time has been dedicated to transfer systems and data from "old" computers to "new" ones. Initially, I thought TI could create the image of any HD from an "old" computer and then restore it to a "new" one. Apparently this is not possible and I am not blaming Acronis for this. My only comment is that in the existing documentation it is not clearly stated that what I am trying to accomplish is probably impossible. After all Microsoft clearly states in this article (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=249694) that even when transferring a system/data to new hardware that is very similar to the "old" machine success is NOT guaranteed.

    In the last few days I have spent an enormous amount of time researching on the Internet and it appers that having a TI image as a back up is OK but (really) not practically useful since you can only restore it in the exact same machine where it came from. Unfortunately, this is hardly the case since most of the time either the "old" machine has died for good or is about to die, that's why you want to transfer to a "new" machine in the first place. So either there is indeed a way to use TI to make the transfer or the only remaining option is reinstalling from scratch. This last option would mean a huge amount of catastrophic down time for our business...

    At this point, I will follow the rest of the advice from your last post and report back to this forum asap. Please accept my apologies for the long message and let us be clear that I am in NO way attributing the difficult situation I am in to Acronis and its product line. On the contrary I am extremely thankful to all of you for your time and help, so far.

    On a different note, can you please direct me to the right department to resolve the following situation:

    Recently, I sent one of my business associates to the local "FRY's Electronics" in order to purchase a copy of Acronis' DiskDirector 10.0. Unfortunately, the product we bought will not run on Win2000 Server and all of our stores' servers run this OS. From a closer examination of the packaging I realized that for the average, non-technical individual there is not enough/clear information in order to tell that this box will not run on a "server" OS. Anyway, the packaging was opened and the CD was inserted into the CD Drive only to find that we had bought an incompatible product. Unfortunately, FRY's will now not accept the package back, since their policy on "opened" software is clear: NO returns or exchanges. I am wondering if you could help me in any way with this situation also? Can I send the package to you and pay the difference for the server version plus S&H? I would really appreciate it if you could help me. I paid 39.99+TAX (still have the receipt) for this package and the serial code I have is: <snip>

    Please feel free to contact me at the following email or phone number:

    admin@petesfresh.com

    773-927-4300

    Sincerely,

    Dimitri P. @ PsfM

    edited to remove serial number! Detox
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2006
  23. b_k

    b_k Registered Member

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    Re: Thank you so much!

    um, you know you shouldnt post Serials in a public forum?
     
  24. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Re: Thank you so much!

    Let me clarify.

    If you have a backup, you can indeed restore to another system, but, if the hardware is configured differently, then some the Windows stuff might not work.

    NO backup program can circumvent this problem.

    Read MSFT's info about the Sysprep program, that's the best you are going to be able to do.

    Anyway, tho time consuming, there are advantages to re-installing everything as that gets ridof the accumulated garbage in the registry and elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2006
  25. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Re: Thank you so much!

    Hello Dimitri,

    Please create an account, then log in and submit a request for support. Attach the information about your purchase of Acronis software (scaned copy of the receipt, invoice, etc. ) to your request along with the link to this thread. We will certainly provide you with the possible solution.

    Thank you.
    --
    Kirill Omelchenko
     
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