Ready to repartition, a few questions

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by noone_particular, Dec 27, 2012.

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  1. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    I've been trying out Mint Xfce and PCBSD on flash drives for a while now. Instead of choosing between them, I'd like to add both to my existing system if it's possible. This PC has one hard drive. No room in the case to add another. The screenshot below shows my present drive setup.
    pres-part.gif
    I have to keep the existing XP install. If necessary, I can reinstall 98 but would prefer to leave both as is. ATM, XP and 98 share a swap partition on the extended partition. Everything on the extended partition can be moved or deleted. The backup partition is empty. Data is backed up. The Virtual partition is expendable.

    If I understand it correctly, PCBSD needs to be installed on a primary partition. Can Mint be installed on a logical drive on the extended partition? Do I need to make separate swap partitions for both? Can these share any partitions?

    I'm presently using Grub4DOS, loaded from config.sys on 98. If possible, I'd like to keep it and not have linux install another bootloader. The last time I installed linux (don't remember which distro) it didn't detect Grub4DOS and installed its own (didn't ask), which made quite a mess. If I understand correctly, PCBSD does not install a bootloader. I'll need to add an entry to the existing loader for it, which is fine. Can I install Mint without it adding its own bootloader?
     
  2. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Can't answer all your queries, but can report just on the partition stuff:
    I have one harddrive in the laptop. Boot partition is windows system drive.
    Linux Mint MATE took unallocated space within an existing windows extended partition and made two partitions out of it.
    Here, the primary windows partitions are /dev/sda1 (boot), sda2 and 3. The extended partition became /dev/sda4, and within it I have two ntfs, windows, partitions sda5 and 6, followed by sda7 as ext4 - the main Mint partition and sda8 is linux-swap. I let Mint installer repartition, I did not have to, though could, specify sizes.

    Edit:added composite picture
    Partitions.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  3. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    On their wiki they're indeed adamant about needing a primary partition and when not having an SSD, you'll also want a swap space.
    When using PCBSD, you can choose ZFS. Afaik ZFS is a filesystem and volume manager so perhaps you can create a root partition and swap space in the PCBSD main partition.
    It offers options far beyond my horizon, better ask Mrk for tips on this.
    I'd use the extended partition for Mint only, unfortunately then you won't have room for a separate main (NTFS) data partition that can be used by all OS's.
     
  4. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I'm straining to remember, but I'm not sure... but Mint may not ask before installing grub. Some do ask if it's ok, and some just go ahead and blindly do it. One of the Mint experts around here may know for sure though.
     
  5. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the responses so far. It appears that I can install both so far. A few more questions for whoever can answer them.
    1, PCBSD itself appears to need a primary partition. Can its swap be on the extended partition?
    2, Does it matter which I install first?
    3, I've been using Mint on a USB drive, made with the Universal USB Installer, which also has a 2.5GB persistent file. If I install Mint from this USB drive, will it include the changes and additions I've added to the flash drive?
    TIA
     
  6. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    I assume you asked about OS installation sequence. If yes, I think it does matter in order for grub maker to see existing systems to include into its boot menu. I only had one system, XP. Not three that you need. But my guess is it'll work.

    Reviewing few of your earlier questions - I'm too new to this, so all I can do is incomplete notes review of how I was installing, but can't advise!
    There was no option to install Mint without its bootloader.
    There were three main options, hover for descriptions of default, warning, and some other.
    There were few questions such as: unmount partitions currently in use?(yes), install alongside Windows XP pro?(yes), which OS to boot?(I don't remember what I answered, likely default Mint) as well as an option for how to partition and sizing (on this one I took default and ended up with a silly big 20+g).

    One thing I did have to do later was to edit grub in order to increase the time to few minutes from its default 10 seconds when you read booting options (mint, memtest, XP). Without that change Mint would boot too fast for me. Got help here, see tail end of thread:
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=335066
     
  7. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Regarding:
    "Does it matter which I install first?"
    I was referring to PCBSD and Mint. Since PCBSD doesn't automatically install a bootloader, it would seem to me that I'd install it first and Mint last. This way, if Mint does add its own bootloader, all the operating systems will be there and (with some luck) might detect them all. My experience with bootloaders is limited. Most of it is with Grub4DOS.

    I've probably made more room than I needed to, with a 25Gb primary partition set aside for PCBSD and a 24GB logical for Mint. If it proves to be more than I need, I can always change it later.
     
  8. BrandiCandi

    BrandiCandi Guest

    From my experience I've learned that you can't use windows partitioners to create partitions for Linux. You need to use the Linux partitioners.

    If it were me, I would delete the backup and virtual partitions using the windows partitioner. Linux partitions will ideally be formatted ext 3 or ext4 instead of FAT32, so start blank and let Mint decide what format is best. Then I'd point Mint to that empty space to install on. When I triple-booted, I had to manually create a logical partition for the third OS before I installed it.

    I don't know why Mint couldn't be on a logical partition. Best to look at Mint's own documentation on that. From my limited experience with Mint, I found their documentation to S.U.C.K. But it's built on an ubuntu core, so you can probably use most of the Ubuntu documentation relatively safely.

    What would probably work out best is that you use grub to manage all your partitions. AFAIK, the windows boot managers don't play nicely with Linux, but grub is happy to accomodate Win and Linux. Grub works best when it's closer to the beginning of the hard drive. The further back it is, the longer it takes to boot and sometimes the computer will fail to find it at all upon boot.

    I'll do some searching for some documentation on what you're trying to do. IMHO you're FAR better off reading the docs before proceeding.

    edit: oh I just realized that you also want to boot PCBSD. I'm totally unfamiliar with it, but I'd recommend reading the offical docs for it, too. I'm fairly certain that Grub will play nicely with PCBSD.
     
  9. BrandiCandi

    BrandiCandi Guest

    Wait a minute... your current drive is formatted FAT32. Is that because that's the most modern file system it's capable of? I think that means you may only be able to do ext3 for the LInux partition. You may want to look into that a bit. At least look at the flash drives individually & see what file systems they use and make sure your hard drive is capable of supporting the same.
     
  10. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    I used Gparted to change the drive. Just used Windows for the screenshot. This is the drive repartitioned.
    new-part.gif
    I have looked through the documentation I could find. The PCBSD manual is pretty clear, save for the swap space. The Ext2 partition is set aside for PCBSD. If I understand the manual right, it will reformat the partition anyway, so I made it easy to spot. It also lists the entries I need for GRUB. The Ext3 logical is for Mint. If I need to, I can split it up. Both of the Ext partitions are empty in spite of the screenshot saying otherwise.

    Regarding FAT32, I chose it over NTFS, partially for 98/DOS compatibility. It's also a format that everything else can easily read and write to.

    Mint's documentation does leave a lot to be desired. That tutorial search is a bad joke. I saw very little on the bootloader and nothing on whether it's optional. I've had Grub4DOS installed for some time. If I understand it right, it uses the same syntax as legacy GRUB. On my old box, I use it to boot 98, 2K, Puppy, and a poor mans Knoppix install. I haven't tried GRUB 2.0. If Mint will let me, I'd like to keep using it as its easily accessible from 98 and DOS.
     
  11. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    On my Mint, grub is version 1.99.21 and other than timeout I do not touch it. Too scared.

    But as you're looking for Grub instructions, perhaps these will be useful to you:
    1. Full tutorial about 1.99 which appears to be the same as v2 - it's all clear as mud to me. But the tutorial looks pretty useful
    http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/grub-2.html
    2. Grub2 doc in its second paragraph says it applies to 1.99 as well.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2#Configuring_GRUB_2
    and it contains a link about customising things
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/CustomMenus

    I assume you will install PCBSD before Mint, I think you said so above.

    I don't know if it's ok that your Mint partition is before drive E. My unallocated space was at the end, so I can't comment on your sequence. I hope an expert will. It's probably ok. Also, grub bootloader being at the end (sda7) doesn't seem slow at all (that's related to what BrandiCandi mentioned).

    Ext3 - will that be correct for Mint?
    When Mint made its partition on my extended partition, it made it Ext4 type, though Acronis in Windows thinks it's Ext3. Go figure.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  12. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    I have installed PCBSD but haven't managed to make it boot yet. Trying to make sense out of the error message I'm seeing. So far, I haven't found it in any of the documentation.

    I'm not sure about Ext3 either. If Mint can't use it, I would think it should be able to reformat it. I'm about ready to just try it and see what happens.
     
  13. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    you need to install bootloader in both cases if you using 3rd party tool for booting then install the bootloader on its own / partition rather that on MBR and form your 3rd party tool you need to give the path to that partition to search for bootloader

    like example installing linux mint on sda 7 with root partition

    then on

    sda7 = your root partition = you need to install your bootloader as well there on sda7 root partition now you cannot boot or see mint unless you give the path/modify it from your 3rd party tool

    means you need to tell your dos tool (3rd party tool) that bootloader (kernel) and others files are on sda7 ...etc

    http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=50649&sid=3e160a2c4e91972fbb4dd685c131b791
     
  14. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    more i tell you easy way just use live cd and see your grub copy it and save it as file

    then in your menu list ..... paste the part work done

    here i am putting example of my old menu list

    Code:
    # grub.conf generated by anaconda
    #
    # Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
    # NOTICE:  You have a /boot partition.  This means that
    #          all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
    #          root (hd0,0)
    #          kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/sdc2
    #          initrd /initrd-[generic-]version.img
    #boot=/dev/sdc
    default=5
    timeout=10
    splashimage=(hd0,0)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
    hiddenmenu
    title Scientific Linux (2.6.32-220.4.1.el6.x86_64)
    	root (hd0,0)
    	kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.32-220.4.1.el6.x86_64 ro root=UUID=d3be6bbf-bde6-4f4e-a10b-c8224c8ac5ad rd_NO_LUKS rd_NO_LVM LANG=en_US.UTF-8 rd_NO_MD quiet SYSFONT=latarcyrheb-sun16 rhgb crashkernel=auto  KEYBOARDTYPE=pc KEYTABLE=us rd_NO_DM vga=788 rdblacklist=nouveau nouveau.modeset=0
    	initrd /initramfs-2.6.32-220.4.1.el6.x86_64.img
    
    title Linux Mint 10, 2.6.35-31-generic-pae
            root (hd0,5) 
    	kernel	/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-31-generic-pae root=UUID=52cdb4cb-d5b8-48dd-b283-a03ce9123d92 ro   quiet splash
    	initrd	/boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-31-generic-pae      
    
    title Microsoft Window Vista
    root (hd1,0)
    savedefault
    makeactive
    chainloader +1
    problem you face pasting grub 2 in grub 1

    http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/grub.html

    problem is Grub4DOS is grub so you need to install grub 2 in sda 7 and then write is as grub1 in the menu list of your tool

    better easy way is install grub 2 or above way little tricky but worth learning if you have time

    one more command would help you to know your UUID

     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  15. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Thanks for the sample menus and links. I used the first example as a pattern entry in grub4DOS. I'm not sure what's wrong yet. Mint begins booting, then drops to a shell. I don't understand Linux well enough to know why. I've tried using both a UUID and /dev/sda(X) (changed a few times). The results were the same.

    Referring to the last partition image I posted, the Ext3 partition has been made into 2. It's now hda7 formatted Ext3, and hda8 formatted as swap. I have reformatted and reinstalled Mint into this space more times than I can count. I've tried installing grub to almost every partition, and if I understand it correctly, to the device itself, selecting the entry that didn't include a partition number. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that mean it was installed to the drive before the first partition, and should appear when I boot? The interface isn't clear about this and the Mint manual doesn't address the topic at all. I've also tried to install grub separately from the live USB image with no success.

    So far, I've installed both PCBSD and Mint but haven't been able to boot either one. I'm out of ideas and apparently over my head here. XP and 98 still boot normally via grub4DOS.
     
  16. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    pc-bsd never used so cant tell about its grub format but as far linux mint its easy use live cd and go to your root partition inside it boot partition /boot/grub/grub.conf ( ie where you installed your linux mint boot loader copy grub and paste some where else as backup without messing with original one) copy paste grub.conf some where else as backup where you can open it from windows

    i didnt have time to use grub so i did shortcut my self by updating to grub 2 here my grub 2 configuration but if you want to use grub(grub1) then please do some editings

    now you see my grub file above

    from this if i have to add ubuntu in grub one i do that i am putting one example

    it make you boot your system from Linus Mint rest you can create auto scripts so every kernel update they auto update :)


    Code:
    #          all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
    #          root (hd0,0)
    #          kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/sdc2
    #          initrd /initrd-[generic-]version.img
    #boot=/dev/sdc
    default=5
    timeout=10
    splashimage=(hd0,0)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
    hiddenmenu
    
    title Ubuntu12.10, 3.5.0-21-generic
            root (hd0,6) 
    	kernel  /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-21-generic root=UUID=7be70ac4-1d5d-4eae-bf63-d6bd16a69e55 ro   quiet splash
    	initrd	/boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-31-generic-pae      


    please check x y value

    mostly xy value in grub are X = (n-1) and Y =(n-1) that is if you have hardisk 1 then X = 0 and if your partition is 7 then Y = 6


    and write

    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-21-generic root=UUID=7be70ac4-1d5d-4eae-bf63-d6bd16a69e55 ro quiet splash

    instead off

    linux /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-21-generic root=UUID=7be70ac4-1d5d-4eae-bf63-d6bd16a69e55 ro quiet splash


    ie use kernel word instead of linux

    i take value form above example

    or easy way is install grub 2 it auto update everything
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  17. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Wow! This will take some time to digest. The version of Mint I'm working with is Maya, LTS. The UUID is different, as is the version numbers for vmlinuz and initrd.img. I corrected these in Grub4DOS.
    Code:
    mint@mint ~ $ sudo blkid
    /dev/loop0: TYPE="squashfs" 
    /dev/sda1: LABEL="XP" UUID="4E66-A23D" TYPE="vfat" 
    /dev/sda2: LABEL="WIN98" UUID="1D0C-1EE8" TYPE="vfat" 
    /dev/sda4: TYPE="ufs" 
    /dev/sda5: LABEL="VIRTUAL" UUID="4F9F-438B" TYPE="vfat" 
    /dev/sda6: LABEL="DATA" UUID="4F9F-438C" TYPE="vfat" 
    /dev/sda7: UUID="e5fe47d3-0bae-4e40-8679-7f3fcffe0524" TYPE="swap" 
    /dev/sda8: UUID="1d65ca29-6631-44ea-ab72-5f05838bb70c" TYPE="ext2" 
    /dev/sr0: LABEL="gparted-livecd-0.3.3-0" TYPE="iso9660" 
    /dev/sdb1: LABEL="MULTIBOOT" UUID="FCD0-DB37" TYPE="vfat" 
    From my Grub4DOS conffiguration:
    Code:
    title Mint
    root (hd0,7)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0-23-generic root=UUID=1d65ca29-6631-44ea-ab72-5f05838bb70c ro quiet splash
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-3.2.0-23-generic
    When I try to boot Mint, the process starts but then drops to a shell. Using the Live USB, I browsed to /boot/grub/. grub.conf is not there, or anywhere else I can find.
     
  18. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    I'm watching with interest to learn few things. This is harder than brain surgery.
    Do you have to use grub4dos? If you were to restore MBR (maybe from an ancient Acronis image, I had to do that once) to just your two windows systems, then install Mint, perhaps Mint's grub would do the jobo_O
    Using grub inside functioning Mint, command is needed to do update-grub, otherwise grub.cfg is not built. Complete installer does build one, but you can't get there :( Whether that can be done when you hit the shell, I don't know.
    I'm attaching my entire grub.cfg (renamed so can attach) text in case it helps some. It's for XP and Mint only. And yes, uuid is different here as well.
    You can edit it with wordpad since they don't put carriage returns in linux.
    View attachment grub-cfg.txt
    When in LiveCD mode, do you see this directory
    grub-d-scripts.png
     
  19. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    It's not absolutely necessary that I stay with grub4DOS. AFAICT, the MBR hasn't been altered by Mint or PCBSD. It's the standard boot record installed by 98SE. If I bypass Grub, 98 boots. I don't have any full disk images. My Acronis backups are of individual operating systems. I don't have any other drives capable of holding a full disk backup. If I need to, I can reformat the PCBSD partition. It's installer specifically asked if I wanted a bootloader, and I said no.

    Mint's installer is very unclear regarding what it's doing IMO. I've been selecting the "along side" option. It then displays a space in which I can drag a boundary, which I assume is a partition boundary, but it doesn't specify what these are or where it wants to take this space from. From there I open the partition manager and point the install at the existing Ext3 partition, reformatting it each time. Since there is a 1.8GB linux swap already there, I've been selecting "/". I've done this each time. On the lower option regarding the bootloader, I've selected every OS partition available, plus the disk itself on different occasions, but have yet to see this bootloader or any evidence that it's been installed anywhere. Near the end of each install, I am seeing an error message regarding migrating settings from what I believe is the XP documents and settings folder. I don't have that error message available ATM, but if I remember, it said something about an invalid NTFS partition. I have no NTFS partitions, XP is on FAT32.

    I have to download the image again and make a new live USB of Mint. It has a persistence file but I think I may have installed too much on it. Not booting to the desktop any more. I badly overdid it with the installing.
     
  20. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Thanks for describing. Regarding this migration thing - SKIP it. I did. I read someplace it wants to do it but is not needed. Sorry, it's the only thing I can answer :(

    Edited:
    I just confirmed what this migration does
    From the terrible official manual:
    But can't find the reference where it said not to bother with it.

    Edit2:
    My Acronis backups are of individual partitions. Using their boot CD, I believe I selected MBR and deselected the C: system partition. But it was a while back.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  21. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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  22. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Interesting link. I had been using the first option, the one that link says does not work. What it shows in the edit partition images is exactly what I've been doing as well. I've also used /dev/sda for the bootloader installation. The only differences I see is that I'm installing to a logical drive instead of a primary partition, as I have none available and no room for another. Regarding /etc/grub.d this is present in the Mint install on sda8.
    gparted-current.png
    Some other differences I'm seeing between this and other examples, and my own setup's partitioning scheme:
    My boot partition is sda2
    None of the primary partitions are hidden from any version of Windows. All are accessible from each other.
    All Windows accessible partitions are FAT32.

    That error message regarding migrating settings from XP still has me wondering. It mentioned an NTFS partition, which doesn't exist. It makes me wonder if the bootloader installer may have also read the partitions wrong.
    For now, I'm going to leave it alone. I've had more than enough frustration for one day.
     
  23. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    I bet. This is really rough sledding.
    If you haven't yet thrown the computer out the window,
    take a look at my post #2 here. All my partitioning was done by Windows.
    The space which is now 2 Linux partitions was really unallocated and unformatted before Mint installation. Installer made the Mint and its swap jobs within that yet unused space (it's a new bigger drive).
    I was definitely on a logical drive. So the logical vs primary difference can't be the cause.
    OMG, what if this Mint installer has a bug which assumes windows is NTFS? Nah, can't be.
    Perhaps it doesn't like that Win98 is the boot partition located after XP? Perhaps it doesn't like LBA.
    Where are the experts ?!
     
  24. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    This is what I would do... if you just create some unallocated space on the drive, and then let the Mint installer partition that and install as it wants to, this should be so much easier than messing with all the other details. The only question then would be, will Mint installer handle the bootloader stuff properly, so the Windows booting options aren't lost. I have no idea on that.

    I also think throwing PC-BSD into the mix might be a mistake in that it's just too much to deal with on one drive for now. Maybe leave that off, and try it later, after Mint is set up.

    I don't know much about partitioning at all, so I can't help with all the above details. I usually just keep it simple, and let the linux installers handle things, and it always works out.
     
  25. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    That would have been my preference as well. If the installer had showed where it was taking space from or at least bothered to show what it was creating and where, I'd have done it that way. The sizes it displayed didn't always add up to the available space or the size of the ext partition. The last thing I wanted was to lose the existing operating systems, again. The last time I tried to install Linux, I ended up rebuilding everything, after slaving the drive into another unit and trying to recover the contents of the other partitions. Would be so much simpler if I had another drive big enough to back this whole drive up and eliminate the risks.
    That seems to be the difference between the linux section and the rest of the forum. Mack guy911 has tried, but much of his post is beyond my skills.
    I'm starting to consider the exact opposite, forgetting about Mint and reinstalling PCBSD, except this time letting it install its bootloader. At least PCBSD has a decent manual I can refer to. It would be interesting to see if PCBSD also has trouble with my partitioning or if it's just Mint.
     
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