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LINUX SETUP

Posted on 2000-02-29
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Hi All,
Need some help with LInux setup. I would really appreciate help in this.
LINUX RED HAT 6.1 VERSION WITH CD..

* I Have WIN98 96MB RAM, 8GB HARDDISK 400 MHZ SYSTEM

* I USED PARTITION MAGIC 4.0 AND CREATED A PARTITION OF 5 GB AND 3 GB.

* MY 5GB CONTAINS WIN98 AND IS AN ACTIVE PART

* MY 3GB DOESNT CONTAIN ANYTHING.. NOT EVEN MSDOS

* I GOT INTO WINDOWS.. GOT INTO CDROM DRIVE IN DOSUTILS.. COPIED RAWRITE IN
C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND, COPIED BOOT.IMG TO C:\

* THEN I WENT INTO DOS PROMPT.. IN C:
AND RAN A COMMAND --
RAWRITE BOOT.IMG

* IT ASKED ME FOR DISK.. I PUT IN THE DISK.. IT DID SOME PROCESSING..

* THEN I REBOOTED THE MACHINE WITH THIS DISK..( I THINK THIS IS A BOOTABLE DISK FOR LINUX)

* IT GOTINTO THE PHASE OF INSTALLING LINUX..

* IT GAVE ME NUMBER OF OPTIONS -- FULL INSTALLINTION, GHOME WORKSTATION, KDI WORKSTATION, SERVER INSTALLATION.. SINCE IT IS MY FIRST ATTEMPT ON LINUX  I OPTED FOR GHOME WORKSTATION..(NOT SURE I DID RIGHT OR WRONG..)

* IT ASKED ME FEW H/WARE QUESTIONS.. WHICH I DID REPLIED OKAY..
THEN IT STARTED INSTALLING LINUX WITHOUT ASKING ME IN WHICH PARTITION I WANT TO INSTALL MY LINUX. I WAS KINNA SCARED THAT IT WIPE OFF MY WIN AND INSTALL LINUX ON IT..

* WHEN IT CAME TO VIDEO CARD SETTINGS.. I WAS NOT ABLE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH THIS.. SO I JUST CLICKED A BUTTON ON SCREEN  "TEST CONFIGURATION"
IT SCREWED UP MY SCREEN.. AND I WAS NOT ABLE TO SEE ANYTHING ON THE SCREEN.. BUT STILL IT WAS WORKING.. IT WAS INSTALLING THE LINUX..

* AFTER IT INSTALLED EVERYTHING..
ASKED ME TO EXIT.. AND I DID.. AND REMOVED MY DISK .. AND CD..

* IT REBOOTED THE SYSTEM..AND I GOT SOMETHING LIKE  

LILO BOOT

I PRESSED ENTER.. AND GOTINTO LOGIN AND PASSWORD.. AND I ENTERED IN.. PLAYED WITH LINUX A BIT..

THEN I WANTED TO GO BACK TO WIN.. BUT HOW..??? WHENEVER I REBOOTED MY SYSTEM NOW.. IT ALWAYS TAKE ME BACK TO LINUX..
I GOT SO FRUSTATED.. AND SO I PUT IN THE WIN98 STARTUP DISK AND REBOOTED THE SYSTEM.. IT TOOK ME A:/ IN COMMAND PROMPT..
I WENT INTO C:/WINCD
AND EXECUTED SETUP.EXE..
IT RECOVERED BACK MY WIN98 AND NOW I CAN GO BACK TO WIN98..
BUT NOW I CANNOT GO TO LINUX ..
I WANT A KINNDA OPTION OR WAY TO SWITCH MY OPERATING SYSTEMS EASILY..

I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE IF YOU CAN HELP ME WITH THIS...

BEST Regards

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Question by:rnarang98
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Expert Comment

by:kiffney
ID: 2569268
When you see the prompt 'lilo boot'
try hitting the TAB key. You should see a couple of names - one is probably linux, and the other may be dos, or whatever name you gave to the windows partition when you set up linux.  Type in that other name, dos or whatever, then press enter.  Your windows system should boot.  if you DON'T see any other choice other than linux, you will need to go ahead and boot linux, then (as root) edit /etc/lilo.conf and add
an entry for your dos partition.  That can be more involved and if you do it wrong it's possible nothing will work, so try the steps above and repost if they don't work; be sure and include the output of "fdisk -l /dev/hda" and your /etc/lilo.conf.
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by:kiffney
ID: 2569287
On rereading your message I see that you reinstalled windows.  OK, you are not going to be able to boot linux until you reinstall linux, because reinstalling windows trashed the boot sector information that lets your computer 'see' where Linux is.  When you do reinstall Linux, there will be a part where you're asked to name the partitions.  Note the name for the windows partition - it might be dos, or you can change it to something else.  You obviously installed correctly the first time so just do that again and then follow the instructions about what to do when you see 'lilo boot' again.  
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Author Comment

by:rnarang98
ID: 2569305
* my windows partition doesn't have any name
* now whenever i reboot -- i straight go to windows..
do you mean i should reboot using boot disk of LINUX????  I tried that.. and it starts installing LINUX AGAIN..
do i need to install LINUX again???

regards


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Author Comment

by:rnarang98
ID: 2569343
but
#1  my windows partition doesn't have any name

#2 I very well remember that insalling LINUX GHOME WOKRSTATION doesn't ask anything about PARTITION -- It just asks about hardware -- KEYBOARD, MOUSE ETC ETC.. And then starts the installation.. I don't know how .. but it installed the LINUX on my other partition ..(which was not having WINDOWS on it..)

ohh forgot to mention this---

When I created other partition -- I chose EXT2 filesystem  (for LINUX).. if this is of any use with this installation..

Regards
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Expert Comment

by:freesource
ID: 2569634
Don't worry, you don't have to reinstall Linux again, and you don't need lilo.  Just use to boot disk you made with boot.img.  When you get to the prompt where you normally press return "boot:" type in something like this:

boot: root=/dev/hda2

Note: Because I don't know which partition you installed Linux on, I am just assuming it is on the second (hda2) partition.  But, it may be on the third (hda3) or fourth, etc., depending how you set it up.  That should solve your problem.  Don't play with lilo until you really know what you are doing.  Booting from a floppy or loadlin are good alternatives for new Linux users (even experienced users).
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by:rnarang98
ID: 2569820
Adjusted points to 100
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by:rnarang98
ID: 2569821
Thanx alot freesource.. I will try this ..
before installing LINUX -- I just had hda1

Linux didn't asked me where should it install on my machine.. I don't know how it got installed on my EXT2 partition.. and then itself did hda2, hda3 and hda4..

I don't know hda2, hda3 and hda4 means though.. But mount points (which I don't know what this means...) for
hda2 is "not set"
hda3 is "not set"
hda4 is "SWAP"

Linux itself created this all with my 3GB partition...

Furthur, as you said.. I put in bootable LINUX Floppy..
when I get boot:
I should write : root=/dev/hda2

May be I will get back to LINUX.. but then how to go back to WIN98..

I will really appreciate the reply..

Best regards
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by:freesource
ID: 2569857
When you want to get out of linux just type in "shutdown -r now" from the command line and press [Enter], and make sure your boot disk is removed from the floppy drive, then your computer will boot up again and you will be back in Win98.
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by:rnarang98
ID: 2570198
this shutdown -r now is I guess nothing but switching off the system and starting it again...

I tried cntrl-alt-del
it also restarts the system.. but it brought me back to LINUX.. I believe -- that since LINUX didn't asked me anything while I was insatlling GHOME workstation -- like which partition I want to write to.. or anything.. it just writing in my MBR (MASTER BOOT RECORD).. so whenever i start the system, it starts with LINUX..
WHEN I boot the system with my windows start up disk, seems like it sets back MBR to windows.. and so
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by:rnarang98
ID: 2570199
this shutdown -r now is I guess nothing but switching off the system and starting it again...

I tried cntrl-alt-del
it also restarts the system.. but it brought me back to LINUX.. I believe -- that since LINUX didn't asked me anything while I was insatlling GHOME workstation -- like which partition I want to write to.. or anything.. it just writing in my MBR (MASTER BOOT RECORD).. so whenever i start the system, it starts with LINUX..
WHEN I boot the system with my windows start up disk, seems like it sets back MBR to windows.. and so i get my windows back..
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by:rnarang98
ID: 2570250
this shutdown -r now is I guess nothing but switching off the system and starting it again...

I tried cntrl-alt-del
it also restarts the system.. but it brought me back to LINUX.. I believe -- that since LINUX didn't asked me anything while I was insatlling GHOME workstation -- like which partition I want to write to.. or anything.. it just writing in my MBR (MASTER BOOT RECORD).. so whenever i start the system, it starts with LINUX..
WHEN I boot the system with my windows start up disk, seems like it sets back MBR to windows.. and so i get my windows back..
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by:freesource
ID: 2570382
You are confusing us marang98.  O.k., when you are back in Linux you will need to edit /etc/lilo.conf .. add these lines to the end of the file:

other = /dev/hda1
  label = WINDOWS                  
  table = /dev/hda


If you don't know how to edit a file just do this:

echo "other = /dev/hda1" >> /etc/lilo.conf

echo "label = WINDOWS" >> /etc/lilo.conf

echo "table = /dev/hda" >> /etc/lilo.conf

On the command line type "lilo" [Enter]

Reboot Linux, when you get to the lilo prompt, type in WINDOWS, and you will be back in Windows98.  
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by:tibori
ID: 2570692
rnarang98: First of all(to the best of my knowledge) Linux always asks what partition it should install to, and will even format that partition. Of course partition names are a bit different than in Windows/DOS. They're named hda1 hda2 etc. for partitions on your main(master) hard drive and hdb1 hdb2 etc for a second hard disk and so on. By default Linux makes a couple of partitions on the hard disk that you told it to install. Mainly it needs a place to put the root directory, and a swap partition which is like virtual memory in Windows. Since on your machine it says "not set" it looks like you didn't tell it the mount point. You should have at least one mount point defined(root) = / and to be safe and correct you should have a /usr and a /var too. These are just partitions that Linux uses and recognizes.
 Now, towards the end of the install, there's a question about lilo, specifically it asks if you want to install it. If you say yes, then it replaces the MBR with lilo(linux loader) which by default boots into Linux.
As long as you didn't format any of your Windows partitions when installing Linux, you should be able to boot into Windows as well if you just press the TAB key when you see the lilo boot and choose the second option not the linux one. It is also possible to set Win as the main OS you should boot into instead of Linux and change the timeout to longer so you can choose.
It looks like when you rebooted with the Windows disk it replaced the MBR and removed LILO. That's why you can't back to Linux..only Windows.
What I suggest is reinstall Linux and either say yes to Lilo then press TAB whenever you want to boot to Windows, or just create a boot disk and always boot to Linux with that. That way your MBR won't change, but you'll have to use the disk to get into Linux.
Hope this helps.
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Author Comment

by:rnarang98
ID: 2571217
ok Just a WIN 98 question so that I don't feel scared doing this LINUX STUFF.. I prepared startup disk using
cntrl panel--add/remove programs..
id i reboot my system using this disk.. it takes me to dos after giving me 3 options --
1) if i want cd rom support or something
2) if i don't want cd rom
3) to view help file

I chose 1
takes me to a:/
I want to go windows.. i typed win

doesnt work..
how can i got back to windows with my startup disk.. I don't have win98 cd

pls help .. i would really appreciate this..
best regards
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Author Comment

by:rnarang98
ID: 2571442
I ACTUALLY TRIED TO REBBOT MY SYSTEM USING THIS BOOTABLE DISK ..
WHEN I TYPED IN C:/WINDOWS  WIN

I GOT ERROR AS

VFAT COULDNOT FIND RESOURCES -- SYSTEM HALT.. AND IT HALTS MY SYSTEM..
I HAVE TO REBBOT MY MACHINE.. CANNOT GO TO WINDOWS USING THIS BOOTABLE DISK..


REGARDS
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by:tibori
ID: 2571588
Ok, what exactly happens when you try to boot without a boot disk. More importantly are you able to get back either to the lilo boot prompt, or to Dos/Windows without a boot disk? If neither than your MBR is messed up. It should still go back to the original Win98 configuration, if you boot from a bootable dos disk and type fdisk /mbr. For this to work the boot disk needs to contain fdisk, which Win98 boot disks by default don't I think.
Let me know what your status is(without boot disks) and we'll go from there.
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by:rnarang98
ID: 2572900
thanks tibori..
okay status is something like this--

* if i start my system -- "WITHOUT" ANY BOOT DISK IN THE DISK DRIVE.. It takes me to WIN98 and everything works fine..

* Now I made a startup disk for WIN98..
I made startup disk like this.. going to control panel-- add/remove programs-- create a disk..

* If i start my system -- "WITH" this startup disk, it brings for me a MENU--

1) if i want cd rom support or something
2) if i don't want cd rom
3) to view help file


I actually just want to make sure that I can go to windows if i mess up my MBR doing that LINUX Exercise..

So just trying to get a boot disk (start disk ) for windows --- and trying to start up system using this boot disk instead of allowing my system to use information stored at MBR..

In the Menu-- If I chose 1 -- I get a dos prompt.. and then if I go to
c:/windows and type WIN .. It looks for E: drive( cd drive) and gives me an error since I don't have WIN 98 CD..

If I chose 2 -- and do the same -- going to c:/windows and typing WIN..
IT GIVES ME ERROR MESSAGE LIKE --

VFAT COULDNOT FIND RESOURCES --
SYSTEM HALT..

AND THEN IT HALTS MY SYSTEM..

I Have to switch it off since CNTRL-ALT-DELETE also doesn't work..
But If I reboot my system without this startup disk -- My system works fine .. and it takes me to WIN98 perfectly..

Second thing I tried is with LINUX Boot disk which I made something like this---
I went to cd of LINUX -- dosutils directory-- copied rawrite in c:\windows\command..

Then I went into dos prompt -- and gave command --
rawrite boot.img
This way  I got a boot disk for LINUX

I tried to start up my System with this BOOT DISK -- It takes me to the prompt where it says boot:
I typed : root=/dev/hda2 on this prompt as suggested by "freesource"
It gives me error --
Couldnot Kernel on root = /dev/had.2

I tried different combinations --
root = /dev/hda3
root = /dev/hda4
root = dev/hda2
root = dev/hda3
root = dev/hda4

always it comes up with same error.. so I am unable to go back to Linux to even change my lilo.conf file as suugested my FreeSource..

Hope you will able to help me with this without going into the mess of installing LINUX AGAIN..

Best Regards


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Expert Comment

by:tibori
ID: 2573452
So you can get into Win98 without a boot disk. That's good. At least you won't have to reinstall it. As far as Linux goes you may. As far as the "root=/dev/hda#" it is really important that you type it with the first forward slash included. Also, if you have a SCSI hard drive instead of an IDE it'll be root=/dev/sda# Before trying to do that though, I would press the TAB key at the boot prompt and see if you see something called vmlinuz2.2-15.20 something like that. If you do then just choose it, and it should boot you into Linux.
BTW, what happens if you just press Enter at the lilo boot: prompt, or do nothing? It should boot into Linux after a while without doing anything.
Once you get into Linux, you can put back lilo on your MBR, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend that.
If you can't get anywhere from the lilo boot prompt I would recommend reinstalling Linux, but watch out about how you set up your partitions. Make sure each hda# has a mount point. The mount points I would suggest are:(no quotes on any of these
1. "/" (for root=about 200Mb is more than enough for this)
2. "/home"(for user accounts) you don't need much for this unless you have a lot of users maybe 100Mb to be safe
3. "/usr" for software people will install
4. "/bin" for system software besides the kernel(operating system)
5. "/var" for system logs and things(~500Mb to handle everything)
6. swap (for virtual memory)-this should be about twice the size of the actual physical ram you have available)
7. "home1"(for other things, software downloads mp3's things like that"(the rest of the space that's left.

It's good to have a lot of partitions in case something goes wrong with either the OS or you just want to clean up your hard disk. This way you won't have to clear your whole Linux and all the software you downloaded for it, you can just clear one partition.

Also watch out at the end of the install, when it asks you to install lilo--DON'T, just create the boot disk from that point. Then if you boot with that disk you should be able to get into Linux, and if you boot without, then Windows.
Hope this helped
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Author Comment

by:rnarang98
ID: 2573543
Hi again tibori,
Okay, first thanks alot for such a detailed explaination.. I really appreciate your help..
 
1) I have IDE hard drive. And I did put slash before dev.. I tried both--

root = /dev/hda2

and

root = dev/hda2

Both could not find the kernel..

and also hda3, hda4

I don't know what you mean when you write "lilo boot"

I just get boot: on my system with a menu like

PRESS F1 OR ENTER FOR INSALLATION OR UPGRADING OR LINUX

PRESS F2 FOR GETTING INTO LINUX EXPERT MODE OR TYPE LINUX EXPERT ETC..

Now if I press enter, it starts installing the LINUX again..

at this prompt I typed
boot: root = /dev/hda2

and gives me error --
Couldnot find kernel at root = /dev/hda.2

and takes me back to boot prompt..

I didn't tried TAB.. this time I WILL try that too..

Thanks alot
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Expert Comment

by:tibori
ID: 2573650
Sounds like you're using the install boot disk for Linux, which is different than that boot disk that the installation creates when you tell it to. However, I think it's possible to get into linux even with this disk. You just have to find out which partition the kernel is installed on. Have you tried root=/dev/hda1. I would still suggest making a regular boot disk by redoing the install. Installing lilo like you had the first time, should work too, except then you have to press TAB each time at the lilo boot prompt and choose "dos" which boots you into windows. Either way should work.
Just for reference, you're installing Redhat right? It shouldn't make a big difference, but just so I know.
Let me know how it all turns out.
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Author Comment

by:rnarang98
ID: 2573729
I think you are write... I am using install disk .. I didn't knew boot disk and install disk are different.. sorry about that..
I didn't troed root = /dev/hda1
because i guess in hda1 is my windows.. I was just worried that i may screw up my windows again..

Yes I am installing "REDHAT 6.1"

Gosh.. I will have to install everything again??

atleast if you can help me getting to windows with boot disk if I screw up my MBR again.. I would really appreciate this..

Regards
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Author Comment

by:rnarang98
ID: 2573736
I think you are right... I am using install disk .. I didn't knew boot disk and install disk are different.. sorry about that..
I didn't troed root = /dev/hda1
because i guess in hda1 is my windows.. I was just worried that i may screw up my windows again..

Yes I am installing "REDHAT 6.1"

Gosh.. I will have to install everything again??

atleast if you can help me getting to windows with boot disk if I screw up my MBR again.. I would really appreciate this..

Regards
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Expert Comment

by:tibori
ID: 2573898
/dev/hda1 is most likely your windows partition. But doing a root=/dev/hda1 will not damage it. However reinstall is still the best. Just make sure you make a boot disk, and say NO to lilo during the end of the process and say YES to the boot disk.
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Author Comment

by:rnarang98
ID: 2573921
tibori : can you please help me getting into windows with bootdisk just in case if I screw up my MBR again.. I would really appreciate this..
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Expert Comment

by:tibori
ID: 2574072
Sure no problem. Make sure you keep your Win98 boot disk, and maybe try to obtain a copy of Fdisk(old msdos/win95) program before trying to do the install. Let me know if you have any questions during the install.
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Accepted Solution

by:
error earned 100 total points
ID: 2574073
well...I had once the same problem as you did:) ...and my solution was this;

First of all I never used a bootdisk, I just booted from cd (with RH6.0 and now with RH6.1) to do that, you must have the bootsequence set in the bios to; CDROM - C - A or something else, but the cdrom must be first. Or if you use a scsi-cdrom, you need an adapter that support bootable cds (but most of them do) normally this cant be a problem for a 'new' pc (at least a P1) but since I read that setup linux was no problem...(you installed it) I will stop here about that.

Second, about booting windows or linux, that...is very easy...:) ...you have 2 options;

1) you ALWAYS start booting windows, and from windows you can boot into linux if you like without restarting youre pc (nice when u work most of the time in windows)

2) You always boot from the linux partition, but here you have a choice (at the lilo prompt) where you can choose between LINUX and WINDOWS...

I will continue to explain situation "2" ...for situation "1" you can find info on the RHcd  (there is a utility and the needed info to boot from windows2linux)

After installing linux, youre pc will auto. start with linux, after you logged in, you fire up the disktool "fdisk" there are others also, but I use fdisk:) then u select the hda u want (since you have one hd, that should be: /dev/hda ..syntaxis;
[root#] fdisk /dev/hda
when you did this, you are in the fdisk prompt, then you print the partition table by pressing "p" and enter, you wil then see how youre hd is divided, you remeber the hdx (where x stands is a number) with a win95fat32 or win95fat16 filesystem...in other words, the windows parition:) if you got that information, you exit fdisk by pressing "CTRL+C" ..next you load the lilo config, by doing this; SYNTAXIS:
[Root#]cd /etc
[Root#]pico lilo.conf

(note: before messing with this, you should take a safty copy from it)

then you put this under the text there already is;

label=windows
root=/dev/hdax

where hdax is, you put the number from the windows partition. next you exit the texteditor with "CTRL+X" and after that you save the file by pressing "Y"

Now it could be that this is not all, but thats all I remember that I did, and since my box runs linux (and not both of them anymore) I cannot test it for you either, but this is the way to do it:))

after changing the lilo.conf, you have to run the "lilo" command, it will then tell you if there are errors or not, and if there are none, it will update the bootinformation, and tell you wich bootpartitions lilo added. you do this by typing "lilo" after you made changes to the lilo.conf. When you reboot, you can press the "TAB" in the lilo prompt to see wich boot options you  have (when verytthing goes well, there should be WINDOWS and LINUX, you oot in linux by typing linux and to go in windows by typing windows:) ..

Note1: if it doesnt work, you micght consider to read this;

[root#]man lilo
[root#]man 5 lilo.conf

Note2; the '[root#] ' is the prompt assigment of my box, you just ignore this and type everything that comes after it:) ex.

[root#]man lilo

you should only enter: man lilo
in youre prompt:)

See ya=)

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