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Using Retail WinXP for OEM re-install

Posted on 2004-09-29
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Last Modified: 2013-12-03
Greetings Experts,

On reading http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21138231.html I am of the impression(hopefully) that a retail matching version of Win XP cam be used to re-install an OEM's XP if one uses the "sticker code" on the client machine, thus not losing the original license of the retail XP.
If this is true, it would be great for tech work on OEM machine clients who have lost their CD's.

So, is this true?
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Question by:Fermion
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by:pjcrooks2000
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Yes this is true sire, but a word of warnig before you.  If you planning to install it on a Laptop or any other machine make sure you have all of the drivers that will be required under XP.

You can actually just put the Disk into the machine if you already have an operating system installed on it and run the compatability wizard to check to see what you will need to download.

Also when you do install it you will want to install a good firewall before before you connect to the internet in order to install all of your windows updates.  Download a free version of Zonealarm for this from http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list_za.jsp

Once you have the firewall installed you will be safe to go online without getting bombarded by worms that attack XP vulnerabilities.  Once you get online install all of the Microsoft crital updates and recommended updates ASAP.

Next advice, obviously Backup your files before you wipe the machine.  

When you install the XP disk make sure you set the Machines BIOS to boot the CD rom drive from start up first and have the CD inserted into the drive before you boot the machine.  But please do all o fthe above first before you do an install.

Best of luck to you

pjcrooks2000
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by:Wilson_Phillips
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You may or may not be able to use the original CD key that came with the OEM version that was preloaded on the PC. Most OEM versions come pre-activated and use a different type CD key. If you have to use the CD key from the Retail Version, it will require Activation and that CD key will be tied to that PC forever.

You can always try getting a replacement CD from the manufacturer if needed. Don't hold your breath though. ;-)
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by:Fermion
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Thanks, pj.
I am, painfully, aware of the need to make note of all drivers. Certainly the #1 thing to make sure of.
Indeed, even after a recent Compaq XP restore disk scenario I was thankful that I had noted(written down) the relavent entries in Device Manager prior to Recovery. As it was, that particular OEM Recovery disk did not recognize a USB chipset driver and had to deal with it on the web. But that's OK.
You said that the answer is "yes". Allow me to nail this down a little:

Let's say that I have a clients computer, a HP pavilion a600n (WinXP home edition)that needs a complete restoration with regards to the WinXP OS. Now, that machine is OEM, has a Windows license sticker on the side of the case, but no restore disks whatsoever.

Noting the driver and BIOS boot issues you mentioned, is it possible for me to use a retail WinXP Home edition CD and load WinXP from my retail CD, but using the "sticker" code for activation?

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by:Fermion
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Thanks Wilson. I posted before reading your post.
You say that "You may or may not..."
How absolute is this? That is, there MUST be an answer, one way or the other, even if conditional.
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by:Fatal_Exception
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This will depend on the version installed on the machine.  It has been a while since I worked on an HP box, but some manufacturers use a custom version of XP and the Product Key on the COA will not work with a retail version.   You are left with using the new Key, or ordering a New Recovery CD from HP...

FE
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by:Fatal_Exception
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For instance, take a look at this discussion:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21055188.html
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by:pjcrooks2000
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Fermion

If the machine key does not work then jsut use the key for the retail version anyway.  It will not matter what your product key is as long as the machine in question has the Licence key on the side of it.   You pay for a license to use the software and if the Laptop has a licence key on it for XO then it will be licenced no problems.

You could install any version from a CD if you liked, ah perhaps if the Laptop was licensed with XP Home and the Retail Was XP Professional.  Anyroad check that out before you install it.  It will actually still work anyway but its juts that the Laptop will only be licensed for XP Home ... I hope they are both the same version of XP

Good luck to you

pjcrooks2000
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by:pjcrooks2000
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The point is I am trying to make you can install any Version of XP on any machine as long as you have the drivers and the licence keys are legitimate.  In this case it does not matter what key you put into the machine as long as the Software versions are the same.

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by:Fatal_Exception
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Hmm.. actually, that is not quite correct...  OEM versions sell with hardware only.  These licenses are not transferable once installed.  Only full Retail licenses can be used in this way legally.

Here is a good breakdown from another discussion:

OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM can only be purchased with a new PC. License is not transferable to another PC. This license must live and die with the PC it was purchased with. OEM licenses can be upgraded, for example, from windows 2000 to Windows XP.

Retail - Usually ships with extra worthless stuff like documentation. Microsoft does not support Retail you must contact the company you bought this license from for any technical help. The license can be transferred from one machine to another. Retail licenses cannot be upgraded. For example if you owned a licenses of windows 2000 retail you could not upgrade to windows XP you would need to purchase a new license for XP.

Bulk Licensing - This is a general term used when talking about open licensing and Software assurance.

Open Licensing - Open licensing is basically retail licensing in bulk quantities. It follows the same rules as bulk licensing does. The license can be moved from one computer to another but is not upgradeable just like retail.

Software assurance - Is bulk licensing on a software subscription service. As long as you pay your yearly maintenance fees you are entitled to the latest and greatest of the software your license under software assurance. Software assurance It is bulk licensing on a subscription service.
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by:w00pie
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Full Retail will not work with Compaq/HP systems from my experience.  Have tried doing many installs with them using a retail disk and it will say invalid key basically when you go to type the key in, its easier to order the recovery cd's from them  1-800-okcompaq or 1-800-hpinvent for hp and compaq stuff.  Recovery cd will have all the software that came preloaded on it also, and with newer machines can rebuild the Recovery Partition of retail machines

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by:Sam Cohen
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sure it will work
and if it doesnt(which i never had problems)
you can always switch product keys later with certain programs
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by:Wilson_Phillips
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OEM versions are different and will not accept the Retail XP product key. If it won't accept it durring the install, it won't let you change to an invalid CD key later. Doesn't matter what hack you use to try it.

Only the large OEM's use this version of Windows XP.

Go legit and ask the mfg to send you a new CD.
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by:Wilson_Phillips
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Either it will accept the key on the side of the PC or it won't. All you can do is try it.
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by:Sam Cohen
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ok'
I was fixing a friend computer who lost his cd that cam with the computer, he also had and oem xp Coa sticker
, so Ive used the retail winxp to install on his sys, when it ask me for the product key, i enter the info on the sticker and it worked!!!!!!
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by:pjcrooks2000
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I think everyone needs to get this right.  He is transferring a copy of the Retail version to the laptop that previously had the OEM on it.  Not the other way around!
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by:Fatal_Exception
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And as Wilson mentions, try it and see if it works..  either it will or it won't..  Hard to give a definitive answer here, but I have a feeling it won't...
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by:Sam Cohen
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just be sure you wont beable to have any programs that might come with the oem ver
Also you can order a another copy of the OEM at Cmpaq/Hp (if you have) for about 10 bucks or something
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by:w00pie
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the windows OEM versions even with HP/Compaq/Dell don't add any programs in any that i've seen.  They all usually ship with Application and Driver recovery CD's.   I can almost guarentee you it will not work though if your using Retail CD to install and OEM Key to use on it.  HP is around 24.95 all the way to 129.95$ for the recovery disks depending on models.  Sometimes bestbuy's online partsearch will have those listed for models as far as cost.  if not 1-800-HP-Invent and 1-800-ok-compaq are the ones i know off top head
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by:Fermion
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OK everyone, some say that it is possible, some say that it is not. There MUST be an answer to this.
Point blank: Can I use a retail version of WinXp to reload WinXp on an OEM machine, using the "sticker code" of the OEM to activate the retail install without losing the retail license?
Having no violation of copyright under these tech conditions, I would see no problem. But, can this be done?
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by:pjcrooks2000
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Not entirely sure about the OEM licence as it will probably not match to the CD upon installation.  You can still install the retail version and use the retail version CD key until it is installed.

Then once it is installed you can change your product key to another that you may purchase by going to this link http://labmice.techtarget.com/windowsxp/articles/changeID.htm

I think it will be safest to assume that you cannot use the OEM key on your retail install, as if you do install it and it does not work then, well you won't be too happy.   I think my point throughout has been that you can install the retail version and use the key that is on that one without any problems.  

So answer is No don't do it unless your going to do as I suggest.  If in any event your going to reinstall then you can try it and if it does not work just use the retail key and have done with it.

Cheers

pjcrooks2000
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by:Fatal_Exception
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If you cannot use the OEM COA key on the install, then you will not be able to change it afterwards.  I believe the OS will reject it.

I am still sticking with my theory that this will not work.  Been there done that sort of thing.  But, again it all depends on the version that HP put on the box.  Worst case scenario is that the user will have to either purchase the retail version, or get a new Recovery CD from HP..

FE
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by:centerv
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If you're talking HP it most likely won't. Very likely!
The hp install from recovery has an install number different from the box sticker.
If you recover, you will not need to licence it.
If you reinstall from the i386 folder, you will need the box sticker number and licence it.
Check it out with key finder.
Why not just make the client a windows cd by copying the i386 folder and use the box number.

Cheers
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by:Fatal_Exception
Fatal_Exception earned 300 total points
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Fermion, there may be a way around this, however I have never attempted it with an install.  Petri outlines it in an article regarding the setup.ini file which is located in the i386 directory of your Retail CD.  He also notes that this may not be legal, and I also wonder whether or not to even copy it here, but since MS has not said specifically that it cannot be done, I will throw it out for discussion.

This requires an edit of the setup.ini file, and then you would copy the i386 folder to a separate Cdrom.  Installations from that point on would require a boot to DOS, then a command of winnt.exe from the D:\i386 folder for installation of the OS.

First, find your setupp.ini file in the i386 directory on your Windows XP CD. Open it up, it'll look something like this (this is my setup.ini file):  

[Pid]
ExtraData=786F687170637175716954806365EF
Pid=55274OEM

The Pid value is what we're in this for. What's there now looks like a standard default, but that is no good. There are special numbers that determine if it's a retail, OEM, or volume license edition. First, we must break down that number into two parts. The first five digits determines how the CD will behave, i.e. is it a retail CD that lets you clean install or upgrade, or an OEM CD that only lets you perform a clean install? The last three digits determine what CD key it will accept.

You are able to mix and match these values. For example you could make a Windows XP CD that acted like a retail CD, but then yet accepted OEM keys.

So the bottom line is to change the last three digits on the PID line, then save the file back into the folder.  Here are the changes:

Retail =335

Volume License =270

OEM =OEM

In other words, if you are using a Retail version, and want to use an OEM key, you would change the last three digits to OEM and save the file.

FE



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by:pjcrooks2000
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Good Answer FE if it works :)
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by:Fatal_Exception
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Thanks...   It would make sense that it would.  I am still a little worried about the legality, but since MS has not strictly forbade it, and made the file accessible, I see no reason not to use this method.  

FE
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by:Fermion
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Great suggestion Fatal. This does not seem illegal to me, since the OEM sticker in effect proves the license to be valid. I will have to try that sometime.
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pjcrooks2000 earned 200 total points
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Well i have been searching and have not found anything that suggests doing this is ilegal in any way.  I found articles that explained that Both OEM and Retail are exactly the same product apart from the installation differences.

So on that basis, unless the Product Key is related to the PID then it should work.  I doubt very much the PK will be related to the PID so that is not a problem is what I am trying to say.

Good luck with it :)  And again good anser FE that was interesting!
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by:Fatal_Exception
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thanks to you both...  if I had an OEM box around that needed an install done, i would try it myself to test the theory.  

FE
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by:pjcrooks2000
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Hey Fermion, can you email your computer and CD to Fatel_exception ?  Or do we not have that technology yet ;)
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by:Fermion
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PcAnywhere does :))
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by:Fermion
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OOps. I meant for FE to be the accepted and PJ assisted. The point split reflects this.

Could a MOD jump in and adjust please?

Thanks everyone!
Fermion
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by:pjcrooks2000
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Hi Fremion. go here http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/

ask a 0 point question and link back to this question asking a Mod to change me to Assisted and FE over to  Accepted answer and leave the point as they are.

Actually just copy and paste this block into your question:

Can someone please visit this question http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21150289.html
I acidentally Awarded pjcrooks2000 as the Accepted answer and FE as the assisted answer when it should have been FE as Accepted answer and pjcrooks2000 as assisted answer, they point are to left as they are.

There you go ;)

Thanks for the points ;)

 
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by:Fatal_Exception
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Thanks...  hope we all learned something here.  Have a great weekend everyone..!!

FE
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by:pjcrooks2000
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Ok Fermion now its time for you to close it again :)
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by:Fatal_Exception
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*grin*
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by:pjcrooks2000
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Heh .... you were right FE yours was the best answer no argument :)  You big tart :P  
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by:Fatal_Exception
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*grin* again...
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by:pjcrooks2000
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:)  
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by:Fermion
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Ummm... there is no ability here for me to close for correction. It is still listed as a PAQ. Oh well, not that big of a deal.
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by:pjcrooks2000
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Can you do a split points at all?  Perhaps redoning that.  Not sure you get the chane to correct I think you casn just split them again in the same way.  If not get back onto admin i thinks.  I am sure FE will appreicate it ;)
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by:Fatal_Exception
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The idea of splits are that so users who have done a search can rapidly review the comments for the answers.   For instance, when I look for an answer to a question, I read not only the Accepted answer, but the Assisted one too.  So, it really does not matter to me at all how it is accepted.  I think the point is that it is a potential listed solution.

So, I would not worry about it pj and Fermion..  I know I won't..  :)

FE
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by:pjcrooks2000
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Aye very true... I always think that way myself when searching for solutions so I guess it does not matter.  I think EE however should allow the Asker to make a final comment that is highllighted in lets say red.  It could be called final thoughts and the asker can provide useful information regarding their individual problem and how the achieved the remedy.  That way us question searchers can look at it and imediateley which answers to go for.  As you knwo some people sread split poitns to anyone who makes a comment, not necessarily providing the solution.

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by:Fatal_Exception
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A very good suggestion and worth looking into here..!!  Perhaps you need to address this in the Lounge, eh?  It should also be easy to implement too..

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by:pjcrooks2000
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Aye shall we do it together?   Wheres the lounge ?  got a link! :)  Actually i had a few suggestions, that need to be implemented such as folder options to saves our own history in too...
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by:Fatal_Exception
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Actually, they have a Suggestion Area...

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/Suggestions/

The Admins watch this carefully...  Anything that you think might improve the site is worth posting there.

FE
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by:pjcrooks2000
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Ok cool i will ge ton there!
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by:tnesupport
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This solution works.  Here's a blog describing more...

http://xcorats-tech.blogspot.com/2008/08/installing-xp-oem-with-retail-key-or.html
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by:sstire
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I Found  a fix for this, just tested and it worked.

I had a legit xp home license lable on the bottom of a compaq presario laptop. I didn't have the restore cd's or recovery partition. I Had a copy of xp home retail that I tried to install. Didn't accept the label key on bottom of laptop.

I downloaded a copy of XP Home and used the key that came with it..Upon first boot I immediately changed the key with XP Key Changer, to the key on the bottom of the laptop sticker.  It worked!!!!

I then registered and activated the copy of xp home successfully.
 
 I hope this helps you guys out!  I know it's definitely going to be useful for me as well...
 
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