Separate Partitions for Win XP, Programs, Data

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Hello. I'm about to clean install full XP Pro. If I create separate
partitions and drive letters for Windows, Programs and Data, will it
all work? Can there be a problem with programs or the OS trying to go
to the wrong drive?
24 answers Last reply
More about separate partitions programs data
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    jmarsh1000@hotmail.com wrote:
    > Hello. I'm about to clean install full XP Pro. If I create separate
    > partitions and drive letters for Windows, Programs and Data, will it
    > all work? Can there be a problem with programs or the OS trying to go
    > to the wrong drive?
    >
    >
    Should work fine, BUT
    I would recommend putting OS and programs on your boot partition C:
    If you have to wipe the OS partition in the future, you would have to
    reload program files anyway.

    I usually just do two partitions, C: for OS and programs
    and D: for data.
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Many thanks guys. You saved my bacon! The current OS is due to expire
    in a few hours' time... the man with a page full of numbers was no
    good. Lesson learned.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    <jmarsh1000@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1109700501.746351.316850@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

    > I'm about to clean install full XP Pro. If I create separate partitions
    > and drive letters for Windows, Programs and Data, will it all work?

    Usually. The main risk you take is with the free
    stuff that might not have been tested that much
    with the programs not in the same partition as Win.

    There isnt really any point in separating Win and
    programs tho, because if you need to reinstall Win,
    you normally need to reinstall the programs too.

    The main exception is if you regularly image the win partition
    before installing anything, so you can recover easily if it all
    goes pear shaped, the win partition will be significantly smaller
    and so faster to image and that may encourage you to do it
    before even the most trivial install. BUT its better to image both
    the Win and programs for the best recovery if it goes pear shaped.

    > Can there be a problem with programs
    > or the OS trying to go to the wrong drive?

    Only with programs that havent been properly tested. Should be rare.
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Wed, 2 Mar 2005 06:21:21 +1100, "Rod Speed" <rod_speed@yahoo.com>
    wrote:

    >There isnt really any point in separating Win and
    >programs tho, because if you need to reinstall Win,
    >you normally need to reinstall the programs too.

    The main exception I find to this is if you're an avid gamer and you
    do image backups, in which case it's good to put your games on their
    own partition. This avoids needing to backup many gigs of games with
    your Win/apps partition, which can really speed things up. I have
    separate partitions for Win/apps, games, and data, and don't bother
    backing up the games.


    --
    Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    > Hello. I'm about to clean install full XP Pro. If I create separate
    > partitions and drive letters for Windows, Programs and Data, will it
    > all work? Can there be a problem with programs or the OS trying to go
    > to the wrong drive?

    If the program lets you install on anything besides C: let it. But when its installing look to see if
    any parts are being installed on C:. If so, you might as well install the whole thing on C:. That way
    when you re-install your OS you know which programs are and aren't going to work. It may look like its
    installing fine on D: meanwhle may be puttin some files in the registry so if you re-install the OS those
    files will be wiped and the program won't work without a re-install. If you're moving large files like
    media, try not to have more than one partition since moving those files will take much longer between
    partitions. Using C for the OS, D for everything else, and a removeable E drive (or you could use
    optical media if the files are small enough) for a backup would complete the picture. Though I guess
    with the larger email allotments available these days and better compression utilities coupled with high
    speed connections, more and more people are encryptying and backing up files on to their web based email
    accounts.
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    > And modern incremental image backup will minimise the volume too.

    Does incremental mean you are only backing up files that have been changed since the last backup? Or
    does it mean you are doing complete backups of everything in a specific area at preset times and keeping
    them on file so you can go "backwards in time" in case the last backup has the same problems you
    presently have?
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Frank W <reply_to_newsgroup@please.ccom> wrote
    in message news:38mgisF5q1jahU1@individual.net...

    >> And modern incremental image backup will minimise the volume too.

    > Does incremental mean you are only backing up
    > files that have been changed since the last backup?

    Yep.

    > Or does it mean you are doing complete backups of everything in a specific
    > area at preset times and keeping them on file so you can go "backwards in
    > time" in case the last backup has the same problems you presently have?

    Nope.
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    > >>>> There isnt really any point in separating Win and
    > >>>> programs tho, because if you need to reinstall Win,
    > >>>> you normally need to reinstall the programs too.
    >
    > >>> The main exception I find to this is if you're an avid gamer and you
    > >>> do image backups, in which case it's good to put your games on
    > >>> their own partition. This avoids needing to backup many gigs of
    > >>> games with your Win/apps partition, which can really speed things up.
    > >>
    > >>There isnt really any point in separating Win and
    > >>programs tho, because if you need to reinstall Win,
    > >>you normally need to reinstall the programs too.
    > >>
    Shouldn't the backup software know (from your previous input) what its supposed to backup? If you have
    told it to ignore the games, its not going to backup the games or anything else deemed unnecessary.
    Isn't putting less important files on a seperate partition just admitting that you're not using smart
    enough backup software? Or not using its selectable options?
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Fri, 4 Mar 2005 09:51:02 -0600, "Frank W."
    <reply_to_newsgroup@please.ccom> wrote:

    >> >>>> There isnt really any point in separating Win and
    >> >>>> programs tho, because if you need to reinstall Win,
    >> >>>> you normally need to reinstall the programs too.
    >>
    >> >>> The main exception I find to this is if you're an avid gamer and you
    >> >>> do image backups, in which case it's good to put your games on
    >> >>> their own partition. This avoids needing to backup many gigs of
    >> >>> games with your Win/apps partition, which can really speed things up.
    >> >>
    >> >>There isnt really any point in separating Win and
    >> >>programs tho, because if you need to reinstall Win,
    >> >>you normally need to reinstall the programs too.
    >> >>
    >Shouldn't the backup software know (from your previous input) what its supposed to backup? If you have
    >told it to ignore the games, its not going to backup the games or anything else deemed unnecessary.
    >Isn't putting less important files on a seperate partition just admitting that you're not using smart
    >enough backup software? Or not using its selectable options?

    Here's my approach.

    If you're using imaging software (which I prefer, due to ease of total
    disk fail recovery), it backs up everything on the drive, though some
    programs will ignore the swap file and such.

    I don't really want my software deciding what to backup or not. Some
    people want to backup their games, savefiles, team stats, video rips,
    whatever.

    By keeping a separate games partition (I also keep an archive
    partition with videos, downloaded updates, and other stuff I don't
    really need to back up daily or weekly), I can decide which
    high-volume apps are low priority for me, in terms of time and space.
    For me, it's games I ignore, and I'm able to back up and recover my OS
    and critical (to me) apps in 1/4 the time it would take if I backed up
    the games as well. Other people will have other priorities.

    Yes, it requires a bit of extra management, and if you have enough HD
    space and dead time, it's no big deal to dump everything.

    There are backup programs that let you choose what to back up, and
    some people like those, but I've had problems with critical bits being
    in places you don't expect it to be, so I get the whole shebang.


    --
    Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    > >> >>>> There isnt really any point in separating Win and
    > >> >>>> programs tho, because if you need to reinstall Win,
    > >> >>>> you normally need to reinstall the programs too.
    > >>
    > >> >>> The main exception I find to this is if you're an avid gamer and you
    > >> >>> do image backups, in which case it's good to put your games on
    > >> >>> their own partition. This avoids needing to backup many gigs of
    > >> >>> games with your Win/apps partition, which can really speed things up.
    > >> >>
    > >> >>There isnt really any point in separating Win and
    > >> >>programs tho, because if you need to reinstall Win,
    > >> >>you normally need to reinstall the programs too.
    > >> >>
    > >Shouldn't the backup software know (from your previous input) what its supposed to backup? If you
    have
    > >told it to ignore the games, its not going to backup the games or anything else deemed unnecessary.
    > >Isn't putting less important files on a seperate partition just admitting that you're not using smart
    > >enough backup software? Or not using its selectable options?
    > I don't really want my software deciding what to backup or not. Some
    > people want to backup their games, savefiles, team stats, video rips,
    > whatever.
    >
    > There are backup programs that let you choose what to back up, and
    > some people like those, but I've had problems with critical bits being
    > in places you don't expect it to be, so I get the whole shebang.

    If one just puts the critical bits in one area, its no problem. Or puts the non-critical bits in one
    area. Then you just backup "around" that area. That's the least on my problems. I just want the
    software to remember and only backup changed files. Microsoft Backup didn't work at all for me. When I
    restored some files that it had supposedly backed up, it was the original files, not the updated ones.
    How can software make such a simple error? Microsoft Backup looks well laid out. Too bad it didn't
    work - or worked with errors which is the same. Unless I did something wrong. But it seemed very simple
    to set up.
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Hello again,

    Thanks for all the input. I think I've started something here! New,
    LEGAL Win XP went in on 2 March; drive C is for OS & programs; D is for
    My Documents, Pictures, Music. C currently has 12.5GB free, with most
    of the stuff we'll use already on it. (Original size=15GB). D has 9.7GB
    free. (Original size=10GB). Unformatted=11.87GB.

    Is it possible to just copy files, not entire partitions, to the empty
    space after it's been formatted? I also want to copy C and D onto
    DVDs. Any tips re. reliable, easy-to-use software to do these 2 things?
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    C original size 16GB.
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    jmarsh1000@hotmail.com wrote:
    > Hello. I'm about to clean install full XP Pro. If I create separate
    > partitions and drive letters for Windows, Programs and Data, will it
    > all work? Can there be a problem with programs or the OS trying to go
    > to the wrong drive?

    Data transfer rate of your Hard Drive will be slightly slow if you use
    different partitions for OS and Programs as the head has to do a
    butterfly stroke to access the 2nd partition every time you load a
    program. Whereas if they were in the same partition it will be a random
    or even linear if you defragment your hard drive often. This is because
    seek time of full/butterfly stroke is much higher for most drives
    compared to random cylinder access. A typical hard drive should have
    about 2-3 gigs of OS+Programs. So if you defragment it after
    installation you will get data transfer rate of almost linear cylinder
    access time of your hard drive.

    Otherwise it should work fine as far as functionality is concerned.
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Frank W <reply_to_newsgroup@please.ccom> wrote
    in message news:38ref0F5ih47jU1@individual.net...

    >>>>>> There isnt really any point in separating Win and
    >>>>>> programs tho, because if you need to reinstall Win,
    >>>>>> you normally need to reinstall the programs too.

    >>>>> The main exception I find to this is if you're an avid gamer and you
    >>>>> do image backups, in which case it's good to put your games on
    >>>>> their own partition. This avoids needing to backup many gigs of
    >>>>> games with your Win/apps partition, which can really speed things up.

    >>>> There isnt really any point in separating Win and
    >>>> programs tho, because if you need to reinstall Win,
    >>>> you normally need to reinstall the programs too.

    > Shouldn't the backup software know (from your
    > previous input) what its supposed to backup? If
    > you have told it to ignore the games, its not going to
    > backup the games or anything else deemed unnecessary.

    Thats an entirely separate issue to what happens when say
    the hard drive dies, you restore the OS partition, but not the
    games partition since it wasnt backed up at all, and then
    try reinstalling the games with the fragments of the original
    installs still in the registry in the OS partition. Sometimes
    that works fine, sometimes it doesnt, basically that depends
    on how the games install and what the install does about
    cleaning up old registry entrys for that particular game.

    Some programs get completely confused by the registry
    entrys for the program in the registry and refuse to install
    because they decide that the program is already installed.
    And you cant uninstall, because you cant restore the program
    from the backup, because you didnt include it in the backup.

    > Isn't putting less important files on a seperate partition just
    > admitting that you're not using smart enough backup software?

    Yes, but that is inevitable if you are using an imaging program
    for your backup, it has no smarts other than allowing you to
    specify which partitions you want imaged, not at the program level.

    > Or not using its selectable options?

    Imaging programs have few of those, mostly just the compression level.
  15. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    > Thats an entirely separate issue to what happens when say
    > the hard drive dies, you restore the OS partition, but not the
    > games partition since it wasnt backed up at all, and then
    > try reinstalling the games with the fragments of the original
    > installs still in the registry in the OS partition. Sometimes
    > that works fine, sometimes it doesnt, basically that depends
    > on how the games install and what the install does about
    > cleaning up old registry entrys for that particular game.
    >
    > Some programs get completely confused by the registry
    > entrys for the program in the registry and refuse to install
    > because they decide that the program is already installed.
    > And you cant uninstall, because you cant restore the program
    > from the backup, because you didnt include it in the backup.

    For those programs you can remove the relevant registry entries manually
    first, then install.

    > > Isn't putting less important files on a seperate partition just
    > > admitting that you're not using smart enough backup software?
    >
    > Yes, but that is inevitable if you are using an imaging program
    > for your backup, it has no smarts other than allowing you to
    > specify which partitions you want imaged, not at the program level.
    >
    > > Or not using its selectable options?
    >
    > Imaging programs have few of those, mostly just the compression level.
    >

    Some imaging software (GHOST) allow to skip specified directories during
    image save and restore.
  16. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Frank W." <reply_to_newsgroup@please.ccom> wrote in message
    news:38s58mF5p6hejU1@individual.net...
    >> >> >>>> There isnt really any point in separating Win and
    >> >> >>>> programs tho, because if you need to reinstall Win,
    >> >> >>>> you normally need to reinstall the programs too.
    >> >>
    >> >> >>> The main exception I find to this is if you're an avid gamer and you
    >> >> >>> do image backups, in which case it's good to put your games on
    >> >> >>> their own partition. This avoids needing to backup many gigs of
    >> >> >>> games with your Win/apps partition, which can really speed things up.
    >> >> >>
    >> >> >>There isnt really any point in separating Win and
    >> >> >>programs tho, because if you need to reinstall Win,
    >> >> >>you normally need to reinstall the programs too.
    >> >> >>
    >> >Shouldn't the backup software know (from your previous input) what its
    >> >supposed to backup? If you
    > have
    >> >told it to ignore the games, its not going to backup the games or anything
    >> >else deemed unnecessary.
    >> >Isn't putting less important files on a seperate partition just admitting
    >> >that you're not using smart
    >> >enough backup software? Or not using its selectable options?
    >> I don't really want my software deciding what to backup or not. Some
    >> people want to backup their games, savefiles, team stats, video rips,
    >> whatever.
    >>
    >> There are backup programs that let you choose what to back up, and
    >> some people like those, but I've had problems with critical bits being
    >> in places you don't expect it to be, so I get the whole shebang.

    > If one just puts the critical bits in one area, its no problem.

    Thats a lot easier said than done.

    And the last thing you need is to think you have done that, need to
    do a restore after a hard drive failure, and discover that what you
    thought was all the critical bits was not in fact all the critical bits at all.

    There's a surprising number of odd bits like
    digital certificates etc that are easy to overlook.

    > Or puts the non-critical bits in one area.
    > Then you just backup "around" that area.

    See above.

    > That's the least on my problems. I just want the
    > software to remember and only backup changed
    > files. Microsoft Backup didn't work at all for me.

    Thats likely something you stuffed up since it does handle that.

    > When I restored some files that it had supposedly
    > backed up, it was the original files, not the updated ones.

    Likely you restored from the wrong backup files.

    > How can software make such a simple error?

    It wasnt the software, it was you.

    > Microsoft Backup looks well laid out. Too bad it didn't work - or
    > worked with errors which is the same. Unless I did something wrong.

    Thats what happened.

    > But it seemed very simple to set up.

    Yes, but most likely the problem was with which
    backup files you restored from, not the setup at all.
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Peter <peterfoxghost@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
    news:38s3b4F5re29qU1@individual.net...

    >> Thats an entirely separate issue to what happens when say
    >> the hard drive dies, you restore the OS partition, but not the
    >> games partition since it wasnt backed up at all, and then
    >> try reinstalling the games with the fragments of the original
    >> installs still in the registry in the OS partition. Sometimes
    >> that works fine, sometimes it doesnt, basically that depends
    >> on how the games install and what the install does about
    >> cleaning up old registry entrys for that particular game.

    >> Some programs get completely confused by the registry
    >> entrys for the program in the registry and refuse to install
    >> because they decide that the program is already installed.
    >> And you cant uninstall, because you cant restore the program
    >> from the backup, because you didnt include it in the backup.

    > For those programs you can remove the
    > relevant registry entries manually first, then install.

    That isnt always easy to do and is dangerous
    if you dont know what you are doing.

    >>> Isn't putting less important files on a seperate partition just
    >>> admitting that you're not using smart enough backup software?

    >> Yes, but that is inevitable if you are using an imaging program
    >> for your backup, it has no smarts other than allowing you to
    >> specify which partitions you want imaged, not at the program level.

    >>> Or not using its selectable options?

    >> Imaging programs have few of those, mostly just the compression level.

    > Some imaging software (GHOST) allow to skip
    > specified directories during image save and restore.

    Nope, not with the standard user interface.
  18. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    > Data transfer rate of your Hard Drive will be slightly slow if you use
    > different partitions for OS and Programs as the head has to do a
    > butterfly stroke to access the 2nd partition every time you load a
    > program. Whereas if they were in the same partition it will be a random
    > or even linear if you defragment your hard drive often. This is because
    > seek time of full/butterfly stroke is much higher for most drives
    > compared to random cylinder access. A typical hard drive should have
    > about 2-3 gigs of OS+Programs. So if you defragment it after
    > installation you will get data transfer rate of almost linear cylinder
    > access time of your hard drive.
    >
    > Otherwise it should work fine as far as functionality is concerned.

    That is only true if OS and Programs disk partitions are located at the
    distant areas of the same hard disk and there are no other busy partitions.
    In most cases I would not see much of the "full/butterfly" problem if an
    80GB disk would be partitioned 5% OS, 10% Programs and 85% Data. But is
    still better to partition it 15% OS+Programs and 85% Data for other reasons
    that has been discussed in this thread.
    By the way, what do you mean by "data transfer rate of almost linear
    cylinder access time" ?
  19. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    > > That's the least on my problems. I just want the
    > > software to remember and only backup changed
    > > files. Microsoft Backup didn't work at all for me.
    >
    > Thats likely something you messed up since it does handle that.
    >
    > > When I restored some files that it had supposedly
    > > backed up, it was the original files, not the updated ones.
    >
    > Likely you restored from the wrong backup files.

    I can't seem to find out where the Restore files are restored? I
    asked it not to replace original files - so where do they get put?
  20. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Frank W." <reply_to_newsgroup@please.ccom> wrote in message
    news:38ubcgF5s0lfuU1@individual.net...
    >> > That's the least on my problems. I just want the
    >> > software to remember and only backup changed
    >> > files. Microsoft Backup didn't work at all for me.
    >>
    >> Thats likely something you messed up since it does handle that.
    >>
    >> > When I restored some files that it had supposedly
    >> > backed up, it was the original files, not the updated ones.
    >>
    >> Likely you restored from the wrong backup files.
    >
    > I can't seem to find out where the Restore files are restored? I
    > asked it not to replace original files - so where do they get put?

    I've lost track of what version of MS Backup and OS you are using.
  21. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    > >> > That's the least on my problems. I just want the
    > >> > software to remember and only backup changed
    > >> > files. Microsoft Backup didn't work at all for me.
    > >>
    > >> Thats likely something you messed up since it does handle that.
    > >>
    > >> > When I restored some files that it had supposedly
    > >> > backed up, it was the original files, not the updated ones.
    > >>
    > >> Likely you restored from the wrong backup files.
    > >
    > > I can't seem to find out where the Restore files are restored? I
    > > asked it not to replace original files - so where do they get put?
    >
    > I've lost track of what version of MS Backup and OS you are using.
    >
    :) sorry...Win2k w. latest updates.
  22. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    <jmarsh1000@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1110020811.032159.103310@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

    > Thanks for all the input. I think I've started something here!

    The death squad has its orders, you'll be soorree.... |-)

    > New, LEGAL Win XP went in on 2 March; drive C is for OS & programs;
    > D is for My Documents, Pictures, Music. C currently has 12.5GB free,
    > with most of the stuff we'll use already on it. (Original size=15GB).
    > D has 9.7GB free. (Original size=10GB). Unformatted=11.87GB.

    > Is it possible to just copy files, not entire partitions,
    > to the empty space after it's been formatted?

    Yes with My Documents, Pictures, Music

    No with the Program Files and Windows trees particularly.

    > I also want to copy C and D onto DVDs. Any tips re.
    > reliable, easy-to-use software to do these 2 things?

    Ghost and True Image are pretty decent. Ghost 9 is a
    bit more bulletproof, particularly with unusual hardware.
  23. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Tanmoy <datarecovery@hotpop.com> wrote in message
    news:1110039734.019933.21750@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
    > jmarsh1000@hotmail.com wrote

    >> Hello. I'm about to clean install full XP Pro. If I create
    >> separate partitions and drive letters for Windows, Programs
    >> and Data, will it all work? Can there be a problem with
    >> programs or the OS trying to go to the wrong drive?

    > Data transfer rate of your Hard Drive will be slightly
    > slow if you use different partitions for OS and Programs
    > as the head has to do a butterfly stroke to access the
    > 2nd partition every time you load a program.

    Nope, not necessarily.

    Its certainly true tho that separate partitions for OS and
    programs can prevent XP doing some of its location
    optimisation that it does with them both in the same partition.

    > Whereas if they were in the same partition it will be a random
    > or even linear if you defragment your hard drive often.

    No need with OS and programs which dont move around much.

    > This is because seek time of full/butterfly stroke is much higher
    > for most drives compared to random cylinder access. A typical
    > hard drive should have about 2-3 gigs of OS+Programs.

    Not very typical at all.

    > So if you defragment it after installation you will get data transfer
    > rate of almost linear cylinder access time of your hard drive.

    > Otherwise it should work fine as far as functionality is concerned.
  24. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Frank W." <reply_to_newsgroup@please.ccom> wrote in message
    news:38uvcfF5ql7a3U1@individual.net...
    >> >> > That's the least on my problems. I just want the
    >> >> > software to remember and only backup changed
    >> >> > files. Microsoft Backup didn't work at all for me.
    >> >>
    >> >> Thats likely something you messed up since it does handle that.
    >> >>
    >> >> > When I restored some files that it had supposedly
    >> >> > backed up, it was the original files, not the updated ones.
    >> >>
    >> >> Likely you restored from the wrong backup files.
    >> >
    >> > I can't seem to find out where the Restore files are restored? I
    >> > asked it not to replace original files - so where do they get put?
    >>
    >> I've lost track of what version of MS Backup and OS you are using.
    >>
    > :) sorry...Win2k w. latest updates.

    Sorry, dont run it anymore. Moved on to XP now.
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