Oracle® Fail Safe

Release Notes

Release 3.4.2 for Microsoft Windows


May 2010

This document describes the new features in this release, software errors fixed, software compatibility, hardware compatibility, and notes about installation and deinstallation.

2 Certification Information

The latest certification information for Oracle Fail Safe is available on My Oracle Support (formerly OracleMetaLink) at:

Support for Microsoft Windows Server 2008

Oracle Fail Safe is certified on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 starting with the patch set for 32-bit and for 64-bit.

To ensure that only trusted applications run on your computer, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 provides User Account Control. If you have enabled this security feature, then depending on how you have configured it, Oracle Universal Installer prompts you for either your consent or your credentials during the install.

3 Installation

Due to necessary changes in the format of Oracle Fail Safe home directory structure, previous versions of Oracle Fail Safe must be deinstalled. However before deinstallation, the cluster information stored in the Fail_Safe_Home\fs\fsmgr\bin\FsClusters.txt file must be backed up and restored to the same home during the new installation of Oracle Fail Safe.

4 New Features

This release of Oracle Fail Safe provides the new features described in the following sections:

4.1 Oracle Fail Safe Manager Now Supported on Microsoft Windows x64

The Oracle Fail Safe Manager is now supported on Microsoft Windows x64.

4.2 Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Support

Starting with release, Oracle Fail Safe is supported on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 operating system on platforms, Microsoft Windows (32-Bit) and Microsoft Windows x64.

4.3 IPv6 Support

IPv6 is supported in this release.

5 Software Compatibility

This section describes software compatibility for this release of Oracle Fail Safe.


Oracle Fail Safe does not support Automatic Storage Management. Oracle Fail Safe Server is only supported on Windows Server systems, it is not supported on non-server systems such as Windows XP and Windows Vista. Oracle Fail Safe Manager may be installed on all Windows platforms except for Itanium based systems.

5.1 Software Compatibility for Microsoft Windows

Oracle Fail Safe release 3.4.2 supports automatic clusterwide configuration of highly available databases and applications on Windows 2003 R2 and Windows 2008 clusters with one, two, or more nodes.

This release includes Oracle Fail Safe Manager which is not compatible with the previous releases of Oracle Fail Safe. If you must continue to access older versions of Oracle Fail Safe, then you must use a separate home for the older Oracle Fail Safe Manager.

Oracle Fail Safe Manager is compatible with the following operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows 7

  • Microsoft Windows Vista

  • Microsoft Windows XP

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2

Oracle Fail Safe Server is compatible with the software listed in the following table:

Software Release or Version
Oracle Database (Standard and Enterprise editions) Oracle Database 10g Release 2 (10.2)

Oracle Database 11g Release 1 (11.1)

Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (11.2)

Oracle Management Agent Release 10.2

(A Management Agent release for Microsoft Windows only.)

Oracle Application Server (32-bit only) Release 10.1.2
Microsoft Windows Platforms Windows Server 2003 R2

Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 R2

6 Disk Space Requirements

The following table describes the disk space requirements for each installation type:

Installation Type Disk Space (MB)
Typical 228
Client Only 75

7 Hardware Compatibility

Consult your hardware vendor to ensure that the hardware you intend to use with Oracle Fail Safe is certified for use with Microsoft Cluster Server software.

8 Installation and Configuration

This section includes the topic about Oracle Fail Safe installation.

For complete installation and deinstallation instructions, see Oracle Fail Safe Installation Guide.

8.1 MSCS Cluster Administrator Displays Problems With Fail-Safe Resource Types

Sometimes, after completing an Oracle Fail Safe installation, you see problems with the fail-safe resource types (such as databases) in MSCS Cluster Administrator. MSCS Cluster Administrator denotes the problem by displaying an Oslash symbol (Ø) over the resource type name.

If this occurs, follow these steps:

  1. If you forgot to restart the cluster nodes after installing Oracle Fail Safe, do so now.

  2. Make sure that the PATH environment variable includes the Oracle Services for MSCS path. (In the MS-DOS command prompt, enter PATH.) The Oracle Services for MSCS path (ORACLE_HOME\fs\fssvr\bin) must be included. If it is not included, add it, and then restart the nodes on which the Oracle Services for MSCS path is missing.

  3. Make sure that the Oracle Fail Safe resource DLL, FsResOdbs.dll, is installed in ORACLE_HOME\fs\fssvr\bin.

    If the resource DLL is not there, reinstall Oracle Fail Safe.

  4. Use Oracle Fail Safe Manager to verify the cluster (on the Troubleshooting menu, select Verify Cluster), then restart each cluster node, one at a time. The Verify Cluster command automatically verifies registration of Oracle resource DLLs. You must not restart all cluster nodes. After you restart one node, check MSCS Cluster Administrator to see if the Oslash symbol has been removed from the resource type names. If the Oslash symbol is gone, you must not restart all cluster nodes.

9 Oracle Database

This section includes information about Oracle databases. It includes the following topics:

9.1 Errors During Execution of Verify Standalone Database Command

In some cases (perhaps due to another program updating the file), Microsoft Windows may determine that the initialization parameter file for the database is locked by another user and not allow the file to be temporarily renamed or opened for read or write access. This can cause problems when the Verify Standalone Database command is executed and may result in somewhat cryptic error messages being reported. If you encounter error messages that are similar to the following when executing the Verify Standalone Database command, verify if you can temporarily rename the initialization parameter file for the database without getting an operating system error message:

FS-10890: Oracle Services for MSCS failed during the Verify Standalone operation
FS-10818: The Oracle Database resource provider failed during preparation for configuration processing for resource TESTDB1.US.ORACLE.COM
FS-10160: Failed to verify standalone Oracle database TESTDB1.US.ORACLE.COM
FS-10611: Failed to open file d:\oracle\database\initestdb1.ora for read
0xB: An attempt was made to load a program with an incorrect format

If another application appears to have control of the file, you can resolve the problem by restarting the cluster node that owns the disk where the file resides (be sure to move any cluster disks that contain database files back to the node that hosts the database after you restart).

9.2 Create Sample Database

Oracle Fail Safe includes a Create Sample Database command that installs a preconfigured sample database on a cluster disk specified by the user. The sample database has limited functions and is intended only for testing purposes and for use with the online Oracle Fail Safe Tutorial; it must not be used for production. To create a database for production, use Oracle Database Configuration Assistant or create the database manually.

9.3 User Name For Database Must Be SYS

If your database does not use operating system authentication, then the database user name must be SYS to ensure the success of all Oracle Fail Safe operations. If operating system authentication is used, then Oracle Fail Safe does not use the SYS account.

10 Disk Resources

Oracle Fail Safe allows the use of EMC SRDF/CE disks, formerly known as EMC GeoSpan. However, if you attempt to add a resource to a group and an EMC SRDF/CE disk used by the resource that is not present in that group, then Oracle Fail Safe returns the error FS-10203, and rolls back the operation.

If this occurs, add the resource to the group that contains the EMC SRDF/CE disk that the resource requires.

11 Virtual Addresses

If an MSCS network name contains trailing spaces and you attempt to have Oracle Fail Safe Manager add a virtual address to a group, the operation fails and the following error is returned:

NT-5045: The cluster network was not found

The workaround to this problem is to rename the network name using MSCS Cluster Administrator to remove the trailing spaces.

12 Problems Fixed

This section includes information on Oracle Fail Safe problems fixed. It includes the following topics:

12.1 FSCMD Will Now Prompt For Password

In this release of Oracle Fail Safe, authentication information (domain, user name or password) for the fscmd utility is optional. If no authentication information is supplied, then fscmd attempts to connect to the server using its default local authentication information. If any authentication is specified on the command line (domain, user name or password) but an item is missing, then fscmd prompts for the missing information. For example, when an fscmd command is issued, if the /domain and /username switches are present but the /password switch is not provided then fscmd displays a prompt asking for the user to supply the password; the password does not echo to the console.

12.2 ORA-1017 Errors Using Password File Authentication When Not in ORA_DBA Group

If an Oracle database is setup to use a password file, that is, operating system authentication is not enabled, and the Oracle Fail Safe user is not included in the ORA_DBA or ORA_sid_DBA Windows user groups, Oracle Fail Safe server displays an ORA-1017 error when attempting to connect to the database. This problem only occurs when using Oracle Database 11g. Oracle Database 10g Release 2 (10.2) will not display the error.

Oracle Database 11g introduced a new authentication mechanism that is incompatible with the older database API, used by previous releases of Oracle Fail Safe. This release of Oracle Fail Safe utilizes the OCI interface to access databases.

12.3 Verify Cluster Displays Warning When Optional Software Was Not Installed

The Verify Cluster command has been changed to only display a warning status for "software not installed" messages if there is a cluster resource that actually utilizes the software product that is not installed. If no resource uses that product, the message is displayed as an informational message instead of a warning as was done in previous releases. Thus, on a typical system, you see messages like the following displayed as informational rather than warning messages:

FS-10658: The Oracle Management Agent software is not installed on any of the cluster nodes 

In this release of Oracle Fail Safe, when the Verify Cluster command completes, it does not display the message "The cluster verify has produced some warnings" when an optional and unneeded software product is not installed. The "Completed successfully" message is displayed, instead.

12.4 Could Not Change Database SYS Password Using Oracle Fail Safe Manager if REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE Parameter Was Set to SHARED

In prior releases of Oracle Fail Safe, if a password file was enabled and the database parameter REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE was set to SHARED, attempts to change the SYS user password through the Oracle Fail Safe Manager fails. For Oracle9i databases the change appears to succeed, but the password does not actually change. For later Oracle database releases, an "ORA-28046: Password change for SYS disallowed" message is displayed.

This problem can be avoided by using the following steps:

  1. Access the database offline.


  3. Bring the database back online.

  4. Change the password.

  5. Access the database offline.

  6. Change the REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE parameter to SHARED.

  7. Bring the database back online.

Oracle Fail Safe now checks to see if the REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE parameter is set to SHARED, and if it is, then the password update is queued until the database is restarted. That is, the actual password change is done the next time the database is taken offline and then placed back online. A message is displayed to inform the user that the password cannot be changed at that point and time and the password change occurs later when the database is restarted.

12.5 Oracle Fail Safe Did Not Accept Node Names More Than 15 Characters Long

In the past Oracle Fail Safe restricted network node names to NetBIOS format, that is, node names cannot be longer than fifteen characters in length. With this release, node names may be up to 63 characters long.

12.6 Server Crashed When Many Resources or Groups Defined

If a cluster had many resources or groups defined, Oracle Fail Safe server could malfunction when Oracle Fail Safe Manager requested a list of the resources and groups for the cluster. The actual number of resources required to cause the problem varied, but in general if there were more than about 200 resources it could cause a buffer overrun to occur in the Oracle Fail Safe server, potentially causing looping, or termination due to an access violation.

The message exchange protocol used for sending cluster configuration information from the server to Oracle Fail Safe Manager has been corrected to use a dynamically allocated buffer rather than a fixed sized buffer.

12.7 Database Got IsAlive Timeout Error When IsAlive Timeout Was Disabled

In rare circumstances it is possible for a database resource to be forced offline due to an IsAlive timeout error even though IsAlive timeouts are disabled. The Windows Application event log shows an entry like the following, indicating that IsAlive polling is disabled for the database resource:

Oracle Fail Safe IsAlive polling has been disabled for resource ORCL.

Later on the log shows that the database has timed out:

Oracle Fail Safe IsAlive thread for resource ORCL has exceeded the duration of the IsAlive interval.
Oracle Fail Safe is forcing resource ORCL offline.

This problem is due to a small timing window that allows the IsAlive mechanism to be triggered even though it is disabled. The problem is more likely to occur when the system has a heavy processing load This problem is corrected. IsAlive polling no longer occurs after it is disabled.

12.8 User Names Longer Than 20 Characters Truncated by Security Setup Tool

The Oracle Services for MSCS Security Setup tool truncates any domain name, user name, or password string to 20 characters. If an existing name on the system happens to have the same 20 initial characters, then the tool is successful but does not setup authentication for the intended user account.

This problem has been corrected. The Oracle Services for MSCS Security Setup tool has been changed to accept domain name or user name strings up to 65 characters long and password strings up to 32 characters long.

12.9 English Messages Displayed When Language Set to Japanese

If the Client only option was chosen when installing Oracle Fail Safe and the selected language for the installation was Japanese, Oracle Fail Safe Manager would not display Japanese messages - all messages would be in English. This problem only occurred in releases, and

This installation issue is fixed in this release.

12.10 Verify or Add Resource of Standalone Database Failed With FS-10061

When using Oracle Fail Safe release to access a standalone database that was not created by Oracle Fail Safe, the following error messages was displayed and the operation failed:

FS-10890: Oracle Services for MSCS failed during the get_data operation 
FS-10153: Failed trying to query database information for orcl 
FS-10061: Unable to find the corresponding Oracle Net service name orcl

Oracle Fail Safe was not properly recognizing databases that had been created outside of Oracle Fail Safe. This problem has been corrected.

12.11 Add Resource For Management Agent Did Not Secure Agent

When adding an Oracle Management Agent resource, Oracle Fail Safe ignores the step to secure the agent using the emctl secure agent command. This causes the Add Resource command to hang waiting for confirmation from the Oracle Management Service (OMS). If an emctl secure agent command is issued from a separate command window, then the Add Resource command proceeds.

The Add Resource command has been corrected to prompt for an OMS password and use that password to secure the new Management Agent when it is created.

12.12 Oracle Fail Safe Server Loops When Accessing GPT Disk Resource

If a cluster is configured with GUID partitioning table (GPT) disks (new in Windows Server 2008), Oracle Fail Safe server loops when it attempts to list all disks in the cluster.

This problem is corrected. Oracle Fail Safe now properly recognizes GPT disks.

12.13 FS-10032 Error When Starting Database Using on 64-bit Platform

When using Oracle Fail Safe, attempts to start a database sometimes fails with an error similar to the following:

ERROR : FS-10032: Failed to start the database orcl

If Oracle Fail Safe Server tracing is enabled, then the trace log will have an entry similar to the following:

[nodename] DB_RES Event start 
OCI routine OCIServerAttach returned error -2 - OCI_INVALID_HANDLE 
[nodename] DB_RES Event end 
[nodename] DB_RES Out FsOciConnect with status: -2

This problem was caused by 32-bit arguments being passed to a 64-bit subroutine. The offending routine has been corrected to always pass 64-bit parameters to subroutines.

12.14 Could Not Use Silent Installation

Oracle Fail Safe release 3.4.1 is sometimes not properly configured to allow a successful installation of Oracle Fail Safe server using the silent installation option. The Oracle Services for MSCS Security Setup configuration tool does not execute successfully, leaving the installation with no valid user defined for Oracle Fail Safe server.

The installation kit has been corrected to properly start the Oracle Services for MSCS Security Setup configuration tool when a silent installation is done.

12.15 Database Would Not Come Online When Listener Resource Was Offline

If the database listener resource is not started when the cluster resource monitor attempts to start a database, the database does not start. The Windows Application event log shows errors similar to the following:

Oracle Fail Safe is bringing resource orcl online.
Oracle Fail Safe successfully forced resource orcl offline.
Oracle Fail Safe is forcing resource OFS11106 offline.
Oracle Fail Safe caught an unexpected error 5 (0xC0000005) in module odbs.c at line 1281.
Oracle Fail Safe caught an unexpected error 5 (0xC0000005) in module ..\FscLib\FsDdbsUpi.c at line 5181.
Oracle Fail Safe caught an unexpected error 5 (0xC0000005) in module ..\FscLib\FsDdbsUpi.c at line 4194.

The problem can be avoided by ensuring that the listener starts before attempting to start the database. A resource dependency can be created with the Windows Cluster Administrator utility to force startup of the database listener before starting the database.

This release includes a new database interface subsystem based on OCI that does not encounter this problem.

12.16 Oracle Fail Safe Server Crashed When Disk Had Many Partitions Without Drive Letter Assigned

If a disk on the system is partitioned and many of the partitions are not assigned drive letters, Oracle Fail Safe Server may fail or loop when attempting to fetch the disk letters in use in the cluster. If Oracle Fail Safe tracing is enabled, output similar to the following is seen in the trace file:

[nodename] CLUSTER_MGR FscCluResDisk::IsPathOnThisClusterDisk DriveNameBuf contains 160 chars: 
[nodename] CLUSTER_MGR  "M:" 
[nodename] CLUSTER_MGR  "N:" 
[nodename] CLUSTER_MGR  "L:" 
[nodename] CLUSTER_MGR  "R:" 
[nodename] CLUSTER_MGR  "Dis" 
[nodename] CLUSTER_MGR  "k4P" 
[nodename] CLUSTER_MGR  "art" 
[nodename] CLUSTER_MGR  "iti" 
[nodename] CLUSTER_MGR  "on5" 
[nodename] CLUSTER_MGR  "" 
[nodename] CLUSTER_MGR  "sk4"

Oracle Fail Safe only expects to find drive letters A-Z when requesting drive names from Windows, and a buffer overflow results when there are many disk partition names returned by the system call. Oracle Fail Safe now anticipates and properly handles disk partition names.

12.17 Database Operations Failed If Home Directory Name Started With "bin"

If an Oracle database home is created in a directory that started with the letters bin, for example, c:\oracle\bin3_database11g, Oracle Fail Safe database operations fails. For example, a Create Standalone Database operation fails with the following error:

FS-10374: S089A7620 : Gathering cluster information needed to perform the specified operation
** ERROR : FS-10791: The Oracle Database resource provider failed while gathering cluster information for resource test
** ERROR : FS-10890: Oracle Services for MSCS failed during the createStandalone operation
The clusterwide operation failed !

If Oracle Fail Safe Server tracing is enabled, the trace file will contain messages similar to the following:

[nodename] HOME Event start 
FscHomeBase::LoadHomeInfoPath - Found = 0 
Home Name = , Path = 
[nodename] HOME Event end

When Oracle Fail Safe searches directories for database software binary files, it is confused by the home directory name that started with bin and incorrectly concludes that no executable files are associated with the database home. This problem can be avoided by not using a home directory name that starts with bin.

Oracle Fail Safe has been corrected to properly parse directory names when searching for executable files.

12.18 Administrator Not Recognized When Membership Granted Indirectly

When Oracle Fail Safe checks to see if a user is a member of the Administrators user group, it claims that a user is not a member if the membership is granted indirectly through another group. That is, instead of a user being a direct member of the Administrators group, the user is a member of another group which is a member of the Administrators group.

This problem may be seen when executing the Oracle Services for MSCS Security Setup tool, or when executing an fssvr /getsecurity command. For example:

fssvr /getsecurity
  User account specified for OracleMSCSServices is domain\ofsaccount
  ** User does not have proper local Administrator privileges **

Oracle Fail Safe was using an older Windows system service to obtain the group membership for the user account. That facility did not recognize indirect memberships. Oracle Fail Safe has been updated to use the newer Authz API to obtain group membership information.

This problem can be avoided by assigning the Oracle Services for MSCS account directly to the Administrators group.

12.19 Logical Standby Database Would Not Start

The databases that were configured as logical standby databases failed to come online. If tracing was enabled, an error similar to the following was found in the trace file:

Sat Sep 12 15:26:30 [nodename] <DB_RES> Event start upiosq returned error ORA-00922: missing or invalid option

This problem was caused by incorrect syntax being used by Oracle Fail Safe to start logical standby apply. The syntax is corrected in this release.

13 Known Issues

This section includes information on Oracle Fail Safe known issues. It includes the following topics:

13.1 Oracle Fail Safe Manager Lists Incorrect Oracle Enterprise Management Agent During Cluster Verification

The version of Management Agent displayed by the Verify Command may not be accurate. For instance, Oracle Fail Safe displays the version found in the image oranmemso.dll, which is not always updated with each Management Agent release.

13.2 Documented Procedure For Use With Oracle Application Server Does Not Work Correctly

The procedure for installing Oracle Application Server with Oracle Fail Safe described in Oracle Application Server Installation Guide is not completely correct. In a typical Oracle Application Server environment the database software is installed on a shared disk, but Oracle Fail Safe requires that each node have an identical copy of the database software installed on a local disk. For Oracle Fail Safe to work properly there must be a database home installed on a local disk for each node in the cluster.

13.3 Security Setup Tool Must be Run With Administrative Privileges

If a user is not logged into an account with administrative privileges and they start the Oracle Services for MSCS Security Setup utility (FsSvrSec.bat) from the Windows Start menu, the utility executes and reports that it ran sucessfully, even though it did not actually succeed in changing the account or password for the OracleMSCSServices service. The Windows Application event log shows the following events (note that error 5 is ERROR_ACCESS_DENIED, "Access is denied"):

Failed to open Service Control Manager with error: 5
Unable to set the user account for OracleMSCSServices service.
Unable to open cluster on local node.
Failed to open cluster with error 0 
Failed to register Oracle Services for MSCS server with error: 10007.
Failed to create NT registry key AppID\{239D150B-FA41-11D1-BF40-00805FE9145B} with error: 5
Unable to set RunAs for OracleMSCSServices DCOM component. 

To successfully run the tool, it is necessary to login to an account that has administrative privileges, or the FsSvrSec.bat file must be started from an MS-DOS command prompt that has been started with the Run as administrator option selected.

13.4 Must Disable IsAlive Polling Before Enabling Real Time Apply

Currently, Oracle Fail Safe does not provide the ability to enable the Data Guard real-time apply feature. That option can only be enabled by manually stopping managed recovery and then starting real-time apply. However, if Oracle Fail Safe notices that apply has stopped, it forces the database offline and attempts to restart or failover the database.

This problem can be avoided by temporarily disabling IsAlive polling when enabling real-time apply feature. After real-time apply is started polling may be resumed. This can be done through the FSCMD command-line interface or from Oracle Fail Safe Manager client GUI.

13.5 Oracle Fail Safe Manager Fails to Update the System Registry on Start Up

If Oracle Fail Safe Manager client is started without Administrator privileges, it may display the following error message:

Failed to update the system registry. Please try using REGEDIT.

This issue occurs when Oracle Fail Safe Manager attempts to update the common registry entries, which it may not have the authorization to update.

To work around this issue, enable the Run as administrator option in the Oracle Fail Safe Manager start menu.

13.6 Oracle Fail Safe Manager Help Menu Item Fails on Windows Vista or Later

On systems running Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7, when selecting the Help Contents item from the Oracle Fail Safe Manager Help menu, the following error message is displayed:

Failed to launch help.

This issue occurs because the format of the help files that are included with Oracle Fail Safe Manager is not compatible with the newer versions of Windows operating systems. The help file format used by Oracle Fail Safe will be upgraded in a future release.

For more information, see

14 Documentation Updated for This Release

See the following documentation, which was updated for this release and is included in the kit, for additional information:

  • Oracle Fail Safe Concepts and Administration Guide

  • Oracle Fail Safe Installation Guide

  • Oracle Fail Safe Error Messages

  • Oracle Fail Safe Tutorial

The documentation that comes with the kit is provided in HTML and PDF online formats. Viewing the PDF files requires Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 or later. You can download the latest version from the Adobe Web site at

15 Additional Information About Oracle Fail Safe

Refer to the following Web sites for more information about Oracle Fail Safe:

16 Documentation Accessibility

Our goal is to make Oracle products, services, and supporting documentation accessible to all users, including users that are disabled. To that end, our documentation includes features that make information available to users of assistive technology. This documentation is available in HTML format, and contains markup to facilitate access by the disabled community. Accessibility standards will continue to evolve over time, and Oracle is actively engaged with other market-leading technology vendors to address technical obstacles so that our documentation can be accessible to all of our customers. For more information, visit the Oracle Accessibility Program Web site at

Accessibility of Code Examples in Documentation

Screen readers may not always correctly read the code examples in this document. The conventions for writing code require that closing braces should appear on an otherwise empty line; however, some screen readers may not always read a line of text that consists solely of a bracket or brace.

Accessibility of Links to External Web Sites in Documentation

This documentation may contain links to Web sites of other companies or organizations that Oracle does not own or control. Oracle neither evaluates nor makes any representations regarding the accessibility of these Web sites.

Access to Oracle Support

Oracle customers have access to electronic support through My Oracle Support. For information, visit or visit if you are hearing impaired.

Oracle Fail Safe Release Notes, Release 3.4.2 for Microsoft Windows


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