Easy way to PXE Boot Windows

Step 2: Setting up a TFTP Server.

  1. Install TFTPD
  2. Create the following directory c:\OUTPUT\pxelinux.cfg\ (i.e. go to c: right click, select create new directory, name it OUTPUT, open OUTPUT, right click, select create new directory and name it pxelinux.cfg)
  3. In the c:\OUTPUT\ directory download pxelinux.0 memdisk menu.c32 bartdisk.IMA (Download the files and put them in this directory)
  4. In the C:\OUTPUT\pxelinux.cfg\ directory, create a text file that you’ll name default, (not default.txt, easiest way to do this is open notepad, copy and paste the details below, click save, navigate to C:\OUTPUT\pxelinux.cfg and name it “default” including the quotes) containing:
  5. DEFAULT menu.c32
    TIMEOUT 300
    PROMPT 0
    MENU TITLE PXE Boot System
    LABEL BartBoot
    MENU LABEL ^Bart Network Disk
    kernel memdisk
    append initrd=bartdisk.IMA
    LABEL BootNormal
    MENU LABEL ^Boot Normal
  6. Launch TFTPD (if you get “unable to locate configuration file Boot Failed: press a key to retry, or wait for reset”, then you have NOT named the default file correctly) and configure it the following way:
  7. Tip : if you close and reopen TFTP32 and the Current Directory defaults to your home directory rather than to C:\OUTPUT, right-click your TFTPD32 shortcut, go to Properties, and set the Start in textbox as C:\OUTPUT.
  8. switch to the tab “DHCP Server” and fill in your network setup. Note that the PC you want to boot must be in the same Subnet. Enter pxelinux.0 as the boot file. The Screenshot below shows my setup. (IP pool starting address is the ip addresses the DHCP server can start from, size of pool is the amount from the starting address, in my example the DHCP server can give a client an address from –
  9. Dont forget to SAVE.
1 2 3

Related Posts


  1. tsula7
    September 23, 2010, 12:08 am   / 

    when i type net use x: \\hostname\share then there us message: The Command completed successfully. then i type x: and it shows on commmandline x:\>
    but when i type SMARTDRV.EXE – Bad Command or File name.
    whats the problem? in my share directory there is that file.
    please help me.

  2. dawgweeze
    September 2, 2010, 1:50 am   / 

    i found this info about network driver
    “10/100/1000 BASE-T LAN” anyone here now what is the similar driver for this lan driver?

    thanks in advance


  3. dawgweeze
    September 2, 2010, 1:32 am   / 

    hi to all, im noob in this procedure,
    but this is my 2nd time to install windows over pxe following this easy procedure,
    but in this Nec VY11FBHET laptop, i dont know what is the driver fits in this model, i also tried adding “whatnic” in level-1, everytime i type “whatnic” it only shows like this


    can anyone have the correct driver for this NEC VY11FBHET model..
    help much appreciated, thanks in advance


  4. wilvan
    April 12, 2010, 3:55 am   / 

    Very good and useful tutorial worked for me. The only issue now is the NIC card driver face ‘Error 7321: Network-card drivers failed to load’, I will be looking into ‘Maarten’ post.

    In the begining I was encountering error ‘unable to locate configuration file’ wich is “default”. Did some research and found another post basically with same tut, but tut did not mention the quotes, so I went back into “default” and removed the quotes and worked fine.

    Thanks all.

  5. uknown identity
    March 31, 2010, 3:54 pm   / 

    thank you kode for the great job, but i have this problem with the step 20 when i type SMARTDRV.EXE it says “bad command or file name”, i wish you help me with this, you can see how close i am from making this thing done, please help and thank you again.

  6. joost
    March 12, 2010, 11:54 pm   / 

    I have been struggling with this for three evenings now. I first tried the WINNER program, got problems with finding the data and via the helpforum ended up on your website. You give a for many people helpfull workaround with “Step 5: The last bastion of hope”. However this workaround failed for me (with the same problem as this method failed). I then found this easier method and started over. My Realtec driver was not installed but the reply from Maarten helped me out with that. I get a fast ethernet board’s address. So I think this works ok.

    I dont know if where I end up is good. I am asked for my password as its empty. Then it sais:
    The command completed successfully.

    MSNET:Type “ipconfig” to view TCP/IP settings…
    MSNET:Type “msnet” to connect a drive to a network share…

    ADMINISTRATOR being my login name and bigcomputer my computername. If these messages are already wrong I would like to hear that.

    If I now type c: I do get the message
    Invalid drive specification

    The exact same thing happened with the other method. I cant acces a c-drive, or any letter except a: and b: (or q: with this method and n: with the other one) but for those drives the remainder of the guide also doesnt work.

    I can start fdisk and see my local drives which I could thus delete, but I dont dare to do this. My computer still works and I dont wanna end up with a completly useless machine.

    If I skip the fdisk part and start from step 12 from page 3 I get stuck at step 17 for the same reason as above “Invalid drive specification”.

    I hope I am making some sense. I would really appreciate any help, my computer does not start from usb and the cd-drive is broken, I dont know how else to reinstall it. The emailadress I gave you is my real one :)

  7. dualcoreduron
    March 1, 2010, 8:08 am   / 

    so, I have an Acer aoa150 netbook. I can get pretty close to the end however my Ethernet adapter isn’t on the provided list with Bart Network Disk. I’ve tried manually installing some intel drivers and an acer driver that maarten posted, however none of these seem to work. Any help would be very appreciated. I’m at wits end.

    • dualcoreduron
      March 2, 2010, 7:37 am   / 

      I actually ended up doing a usb install. Thanks anyway

    • nickmacaulay
      May 31, 2010, 6:07 pm   / 

      I get PXE-E53 No boot filename when I try this.

      What should the NIC settings on the client computer be?

      The host won’t send anything to it.

    • nickmacaulay
      May 31, 2010, 7:02 pm   / 

      I can’t get the client computer to even detect the boot file.

      • Kode
        June 22, 2010, 12:54 pm   / 

        Make sure that the correct drivers for your NIC are in the Bartdisk network image

  8. stormwarestudios
    February 20, 2010, 1:41 am   / 

    One issue I had with my Dell Latitude L400, was that the process would continually hang immediately following step 3.15. The last message in the sequence is:

    “Initializing TCP/IP via DHCP”

    In order to bypass this, I had to configure a static IP address (which involves, during step 3.13, to configure the net adapter statically rather than DHCP), which got me by the hang-up.

    Hope this helps!
    - Peter Kingsbury

  9. facom
    February 14, 2010, 10:56 am   / 

    Please Help me…

    Show : “Error 5: Access has been denied.”

    When :

    Q:\NET>net use x: \\STAR\WINSTALl enter
    The password is invalid for \\STAR\WINSTALL.
    Type the password for \\STAR\WINSTALL: enter

    Error 5: Access has been denied.

    For your information, my desktop use windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 and I never use password in my desktop. I setting my desktop (include TCP/IP & Hostname) as you show.



  10. jacopo
    February 4, 2010, 1:17 pm   / 

    Hi, this is the first time I visit your site; may I ask you a question about this tutorial, even if you posted it years ago?
    I’m trying to install Windows Xp on an Acer Aspire 1692WLMi laptop, using a desktop pc running Windows Vista Ultimate as server; after I launch Tftpd32 and switch on the laptop, the dhcp server assign to the laptop a valid IP address, but when it launches the tftp request it doesn’t receive any reply from the server.

    This are the messages shown on the laptop:
    Client IP: Mask: DHCP IP:
    PXE-E32: TFTP open timeout
    PXE-E32: TFTP open timeout
    PXE-E32: TFTP open timeout

    These are my current tftpd32 settings:
    IP pool starting address:, Size of pool: 30, Boot File: pxelinux.0
    WINS/DNS Server:, Default router:, Mask:

    In the tftpd32.ini file I’ve forced the server static IP to and the client static IP to
    The two computers are directly connected by an Ethernet crossover cable, and I’ve also disabled Windows firewall to avoid any security block.

    I’ve tried these operations a lot of times without any results, and I don’t know what else I can try; only one time I have successfully reached the Bart Network Boot Disk menu, but after restarting the laptop I couldn’t reach it again.

    Can you please suggest me a way to verify if the tftp server works correctly or some possible mistakes I could have done?

  11. nodje
    January 11, 2010, 12:10 pm   / 


    I’m trying to pxe boot an old Toshiba Satellite P30-107. It uses a Realtek RTL8139(X)/8130/810X PCI v2.13.

    It can auto detect the PCI driver and non from the provided list is suitable for the network card.

    I’ve followed the tutorial blindly and I don’t understand where the drivers come from. I guess tftpd is not responsible for that.

    How can I add a driver to the install process?


  12. reeljag
    November 5, 2009, 2:40 pm   / 

    Thank You Kode, this worked great. Any thoughts on running this on a RAM Disk? I’m brand new to all of this so any hints would be appreciated.

    • reeljag
      November 11, 2009, 5:34 pm   / 

      Also does anyone have any thoughts on converting this to a gPXE server?

  13. oneiroo
    November 4, 2009, 10:28 pm   / 


    I have problem :)

    In my laptop a have NIC Broadcom 440x. In support NIC I don’t see me network card. Of course I haven’t working network :/

    In site:

    I can download driver for DOS (extension dos), but how lunch it?

    I do this that:
    Download Knoppix (I haven’t linux od hdd)
    Lunch Knoppix from CD
    Mount partition where is “bartdisk.IMA” file
    Mount bartdisk.IMA

    I thing now I make error…

    Replace from ne2000.cab file ne2000.dos to B44.dos (driver 440x) and rename to ne2000.dos

    When I tray lunch computer via PXE, I get AUTO, of course it don’t work. I select manual NE2000 and don’t work :/

    In screen I see, that “Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Controller DOS NDIS2 Driver v3.12 (051216) Copyright (C) 2002-2005 Broadcom Coropration. All right reserved”

    and below

    “Can’t find DriverName in PROTOCOL.INI. The driver failed to load”

    Error 7306: The driver failed to initialize

    Could some one put correct driver? Or told me how do this properly?

    Best regards, Krzysiek

    PS.Sorry for my English :/

    • oneiroo
      November 4, 2009, 10:55 pm   / 

      I read Maarten post form 19 may and I get the same that Wiltse form 27 August. But He write in another comments, that it work, but different drivers….

      Ok In screen I see:

      “Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Controller DOS NDIS2 Driver v3.12 (051216) Copyright (C) 2002-2005 Broadcom Coropration. All right reserved”

      Error loading device driver B44.DOS.

      Error 7306: The driver failed to initialize. B44.DOS was not loaded.

      Error 7321: Network-card drivers failed to load.

      MSNET: aborded….

      I modifying oryginal “bartdisk.IMA” according Maarten instructions. I download driver from http://www.nu2.nu/download.php?sFile=b44.cab and don’t work. How to cook good disk image?

      BR, Krzysiek

  14. herts2201
    October 29, 2009, 4:52 pm   / 

    hi!thanks for the wonderful paper. i am stuck at the last bit.when i type winnt it says bad command or file name.what could be wrong? thanks in advance

  15. ammar
    October 23, 2009, 5:32 pm   / 

    Ok, after I type WINNT it goes to a blue screen and says “Setup needs to know where the Windows XP files are located.
    Enter the path where Windows XP files are to be found.”
    It shows X:I386 but when I hit enter it goes to another screen saying that Windows XP requires a hard drive volume with at least 605 megabytes of free disk space……Setup cannot continue…”

    plz plz i m stuck here.i have also formatted but the problem persists.Any ideas?
    plz do me a mail at


  16. BRHAMS
    October 19, 2009, 3:30 am   / 

    pls help!!! I do like you said “if you close and reopen TFTP32 and the Current Directory defaults to your home directory rather than to C:\OUTPUT, right-click your TFTPD32 shortcut, go to Properties, and set the Start in textbox as C:\OUTPUT. ” but same message Unable to locate…. What can i do?!?

  17. weldan
    October 14, 2009, 8:50 pm   / 

    hi guys, to fix error 51/53, you must supply the actual hostname for the server. to get over this:

    1. open cmd prompt
    2. type hostname


  18. Kode
    September 29, 2009, 5:04 pm   / 

    Jane, i tried to email you but as you decided to use a false email address i will respond here.

    The important part of the statement is “network disk”, that has nothing to
    do with a CD, i wrote the tutorial using a laptop that had no cd drive, if a
    cd drive was needed it would have been pointless.

    I’m not sure if the failure is on your part to follow instructions (the TFTP
    Server is what sends the network disk to the computer via pxe), or a failure
    on my part to adequately explain the process, though the countless people
    who have successfully completed the process suggests the former.

    I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the failure is on
    my part and apologise for my inability to sufficiently explain the process
    to you.

    If you could give a bit more detail as to where you are going wrong i’ll try
    to help.

  19. Jane
    September 29, 2009, 3:36 pm   / 

    Please clarify page three ‘boot the bart pe network disk’ how exactly am i meant to do this without a CD drive ?

    The whole idea is to install using pxe ????????

    If i had a cd drive i would ignore the 3 pages of instructions and boot the bloody thing!

    what a swiz.

  20. September 24, 2009, 6:33 pm   / 

    [...] link explains how to use "PXE boot" to install an operating system from a network share. http://www.lockstockmods.net/2008/04…-boot-windows/ [...]

  21. ricolopez
    September 7, 2009, 3:21 am   / 

    This is one of the best info I’ve gathered in the internet. Worked flawless. Thank you very much and more power to you. God bless!

  22. Wiltse
    September 2, 2009, 8:08 pm   / 

    Was able to get around the protocol.ini problem by downloading an open source DOS driver for my NIC and injecting it into the BartDisk. The original driver I tried to inject did not support DOS.

    A word for the wise that might be trying to do this with Windows XP Tablet Edition. You need to copy the CMPNENTS folder from the Windows XP Tablet Edition CD into the WININSTALL directory alongside I386 and then run winnt.exe /2 to enable makelocalsource:all or else the tablet components will not be installed.

  23. Wiltse
    August 27, 2009, 9:49 pm   / 

    Had problems with NIC driver, used WinImage to inject a driver I downloaded and modified to get it to load. I’ve got past the initial driver loading and was able to configure the lmhosts, but as soon as I do that I get the error:

    Microsoft Protocol Manager version 2.2
    PRO0008E: Invalid decimal digit in PROTOCOL.INI file
    Error loading device driver PROTMAN.DOS.

    Error 7306: The driver failed to initialize.

    MSNET: aborted…

    I also get this error when trying to run the net use command and after hitting Y to start the WORKSTATION service.

    Any suggestions? I can’t seem to location the protocol.ini file to even see what might be wrong.

  24. vin
    August 5, 2009, 10:53 am   / 

    I finally got working this default file in pxelinux.cfg.
    Copy Paste the code in the notepad then save it as “default”. include the two double apostrophe in default when saving it from notepad. Nice Tutorial btw :D

    • Kode
      September 29, 2009, 4:49 pm   / 

      Thanks vin i updated the tutorial (I actually updated the tutorial before i noticed this comment, but thought id thank you anyway)

      • eager2know
        February 13, 2010, 9:09 pm   / 

        Hi.1 qstn on your tutorial do i have to inject NIC drivers applicable to my machine into the bart-file or will it work in available config. If i do have to inject drivers what else do i have to change in the bart-file and how do i do that (using WinImage).
        thanx a lot

  25. vin
    August 5, 2009, 7:40 am   / 

    Step 2: Setting up a TFTP Server. Explain #2, #3 and #4

    tftpd32 configuration under DHCP Server

    IP Pool Starting Address???

    • Kode
      September 29, 2009, 4:54 pm   / 

      Hi Vin, i have updated the tutorial with explanations, hope they are clear enough

  26. yoruk
    July 27, 2009, 11:19 am   / 

    Thanks a lot for the tutorial and also to Maarten! :) It worked fine for me!

  27. Simon Hova
    July 24, 2009, 11:22 pm   / 

    Kudos! Great tutorial, one of the few that actually made a difficult operation easy to follow and had no errors. Very impressive.

  28. Josh
    July 17, 2009, 7:10 am   / 

    Wow. I got to say, this really did the job. I was fussing around with the boot file in TFTPd32 for a long time until this tutorial. Thank you for providing all of the necessary files. After following your instructions everything booted perfectly except for the network drivers. To get around this I used winimage to add a BIOS update from the target computer’s manufacturer into the bartdisk image. Once bartdisk booted up, I ran the BIOS update at the command prompt. With the BIOS updated, now supporting USB storage booting, I plugged in my WinPE build, because it has USB support, and initiated the Windows installation from my USB HDD.

    Excellent work. Improvements…? Either, include USB support in the bartdisk or offer another image that does, so that USB storage can be accessed at the command prompt, OR include better or universal network drivers in the bartdisk or offer another image that does.

    Thanks a million!

    When I bring my friend back his laptop he’s going to wonder how I did it with no CD or floppy drive.

  29. Leon Emmen
    July 16, 2009, 10:46 pm   / 

    Great tutorial!!!!!!!!!!
    I am not a wiz kid but i succeeded. it was quit a puzzle
    first i got the default wrong remark 21 really helped me, then i had trouble with the driver of the pci adapter. Remark 67 from Maarten helped me with that one. So.. THANX, THANX, THANX!

  30. Dimas
    June 29, 2009, 12:55 pm   / 

    @Maarten: Great tut on the driver injection. Saved my life.

    Many thanks to everybody contributed to this tutorial, especially to the author.

  31. June 25, 2009, 2:09 pm   / 

    [...] PXE Boot Windows – the easy way

  32. Marc
    May 27, 2009, 6:05 pm   / 

    Thanx for this tutorial, it worked flawlessly!

  33. Maarten
    May 19, 2009, 1:20 am   / 

    Thank you very much for this tutorial. My XP cd was damaged so my laptop would not boot from it.
    With this tut at hand i was able to reinstall my XP. Cheers !


    Bartdisk was unable to load drivers for my network card. I had to download and inject ‘m into the bartdisk.IMA to make it work. Here’s how (for people reading this and have the same problem):

    - Download your driver from http://www.nu2.nu/bootdisk/network/makedisk-old/#niclist

    - Download and install WinImage trial from http://www.winimage.com/ (you can use it for 30 days without cost)
    - Open bartdisk.IMA with WinImage
    - In WinImage, go to \lib\ndis. You’ll see a bunch of .cab files.
    - Choose Image->Inject… and browse for your newly downloaded driver file. Click YES to inject it into \lib\ndis\.
    - Now goto \etc\ and right-click on _msnet.nic
    - Choose Extract and save it on your desktop.
    - Open the file on your desktop with notepad.
    - Delete the last line in it and replace it with your driver info. You’ll need to replace the last line, otherwise your driver will not show up in bartdisk menu.
    For instance if your NIC is a VIA Rhine (you should have downloaded and injected fetnd.cab into \lib\ndis) you’ll want to enter:
    FETND VIA Fast Ethernet NIC
    - Save _msnet.nic and inject it back into bartdisk.IMA, overwriting the original.
    - Save bartdisk.IMA and close WinImage.

    You should now be able to select your NIC in the bartdisk menu.

    • wilvan
      April 13, 2010, 5:52 am   / 

      Great Tutorials worked fine, only adjustment I needed to do was the quotes in “deafult” removed quotes.
      Also injected a FETND VIA Fast Ethernet NIC, now ecountering the following.

      MAC0006: Network Interface Hardware Not Found or Not Responding
      MAC0001: Initialization failure

      The command completed successfully
      MSNET: loading NETBIND
      MS-DOS Lan Manager v2.1 Netbind
      Microsoft Netbind version 2.1
      Error: 33 unable to bind
      MSNET: loading high UMB
      MSNET: loading high TCPTSR
      NET0125: NETBIND must be executed before TCP/IP TSR module is loaded.
      Unloadable TCP 1.0 not loaded.
      MSNET : aborted

      Any solution or/and advice on the above issue would be higjly appreciated.

      Very useful tutorials, take care all.


  34. May 15, 2009, 6:37 pm   / 

    Hi and thank you very much for the wonderful article.

    I tried this on my Acer Travelmate 4402wlmi with no problems until I came to the PCI network driver screen and my NIC card was not listed. Is there a way to inject the driver? I do have the standard one downloaded from the Acer website. But I have no clue on how to do this.

  35. rief
    April 10, 2009, 4:44 pm   / 

    thx ….
    its work…

  36. ricardo
    April 9, 2009, 2:54 am   / 

    i get stuck on the loading drivers. It doesnt seem like its supporting my laptop NIC, get a fails to load driver error any suggestions

  37. festim
    April 3, 2009, 11:04 pm   / 

    thanks u so much for this tutorial. i successfully installed xp pro. barts network boot disk has also been invaluable help coz i managed to load my network drivers on the boot disk.

    thanx a lot again!

  38. March 31, 2009, 5:12 pm   / 

    i not shure how many times i have visted this site in the last week or so but i am please to say it paid off the the long run my dell ls400 is once more up and running i had a little trouble with the (default file) but we got there in the end

  39. March 22, 2009, 4:12 pm   / 

    Having troubles connecting via a router? I struggled with it for hours: My Solution, that may help you was to go into your routers homepage and log in, make sure your routers DHCP server is only set to give out ips from x.x.x.3 to x.x.x.199
    and then uncheck the box that says enable dhcp server, so your effectively disabling the routers dhcp server. Then, go into the port forwarding section of your routers web page, and forward the following ports: 4100 ,4109, 68, 69 on UDP to the computer that is running tftpd32.
    Tftpd settings that worked for me: Ip Pool Starting address:
    Size of pool: 40
    win @ default router:

    Settings button at bottom of tftpd: TFTPD Security: None, untick ping address before assignation

    and thats about it :D

    Hope that helps people that are struggling like i was,

    Adam Lloyd


  40. Andrew
    March 21, 2009, 2:31 pm   / 

    Ok, after I type WINNT it goes to a blue screen and says “Setup needs to know where the Windows XP files are located.
    Enter the path where Windows XP files are to be found.”
    It shows X:\I386 but when I hit enter it goes to another screen saying that Windows XP requires a hard drive volume with at least 605 megabytes of free disk space……Setup cannot continue…” Any ideas?

    It’s because you haven’t formatted at least one of your HDD partitions.

  41. Andrew
    March 21, 2009, 2:26 pm   / 

    Thanks! Working good! :o))

  42. Kuba Markiewicz
    March 15, 2009, 2:29 am   / 

    Thanks a lot!

    It works fine on my Toshiba Portege M200, good job!

  43. cfernandes
    March 8, 2009, 1:16 am   / 

    Never mind… I solved this issue by enabling “Allow \ as Virtual root” in the advanced settings. Thanks for the tut!

  44. cfernandes
    March 7, 2009, 9:17 pm   / 

    I get a weird message “Could not find kernel image: linux” when I boot the client. Not sure what´s happening…

  45. Ola Olajide
    March 4, 2009, 8:19 pm   / 

    It works perfectly for my portege m200. It be noted that default text file can be created by going to my computer – tools – folder option, and uncheck Hide extension for known file types. With this your default text file will show .txt and you can rename it. Else pxe will show cannot find configuration file.

  46. Charles
    February 25, 2009, 3:49 am   / 

    Worked great for me. Thanks!
    I was able to determine that my drive was bad and since my laptop is a toshiba protege 2000 (yes it’s old but great for movies) and I don’t have a CD/DVD-ROM I’m now able to install via PXE (once I replace my bad drive)

    Thanks again!

  47. Richard Lake
    February 18, 2009, 12:44 pm   / 

    One thing to note is that fdisk does not overwrite the master book record unless it is invoked with the /mbr switch. This will sometimes need to be down is, for example, grub was installed.

  48. DP
    February 10, 2009, 5:21 pm   / 

    For errors 51 and 53
    try this
    In the host computer
    go to my network places
    you should see the files being shared on the network
    Place your mouse pointer over the WINSTALL folder that is being shared.
    A small box will popup telling you the actual name of the host
    use that name when you setup the lmhosts file

  49. February 2, 2009, 4:17 pm   / 

    [...] I have a very good experience in booting my father’s laptop, Toshiba Dynabook SS 2000M. I think the laptop is almost the same with Toshiba Portege 2000. The problem started it failed to boot from hard drive. A system file was corrupted so the Windows XP couldn’t start. It is easy problem to solve if it has one or more usual way to repair or reinstall XP. Unfortunately, I don’t have the original CD ROM drive nor the floppy drive. Booting from USB devices is also impossible. How about taking the hard disk and connect it to another PC? Its 1.8” hard drive won’t fit the regular 2.5” notebook hard disk enclosure. This was a terrible situation. The only way it could communicate with outer world is by using LAN (PXE)  boot. After googling for information and trying several programs, I found a very good tutorial here: http://www.lockstockmods.net/2008/04/26/easy-way-to-pxe-boot-windows/ [...]

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