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Author Topic: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]  (Read 25132 times)

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Well, if you wondered if you can your BIOS with Linux?
Yes you can!

First install the package flashrom (I presume you know a bit about Linux and know how to root)
I use Ubuntu 32bit in my example.

apt-get update
apt-get install flashrom

Now check if flashrom knows your BIOS chip! Do not skip this step.

Simply execute flashrom (in CLI-screen!) and the output should be something like this:

Quote
root@Workstation:/home/bas/Bureaublad/7550v1E# flashrom
flashrom v0.9.1-r946
No coreboot table found.
Found chipset "AMD SB700/SB710/SB750", enabling flash write... OK.
This chipset supports the following protocols: LPC,FWH,SPI.
Calibrating delay loop... OK.
Found chip "Macronix MX25L8005" (1024 KB, SPI) at physical address 0xfff00000.
===
This flash part has status UNTESTED for operations: ERASE
Please email a report to flashrom@flashrom.org if any of the above operations
work correctly for you with this flash part. Please include the flashrom
output with the additional -V option for all operations you tested (-V, -rV,
-wV, -EV), and mention which mainboard or programmer you tested.
Thanks for your help!
===
No operations were specified.

As you can see, it knows my chipset and more important my flash-chip.
Now simply download the MSI-BIOS package you need, BEWARE TO HAVE THE EXACT RIGHT ONE!!!
Flashing the wrong one probably kills your board!!!

Well you have the exact BIOS file, extract the .rar/.zip anythere you want.

Now the real flashing part, for my board the DKA790GX Platinum:

flashrom -w A7550AMS.1E0

And wait until it's done, IT WILL TAKE A WHILE!! BE PATIENT!!

Quote
root@Workstation:/home/bas/Bureaublad/7550v1E# flashrom -w A7550AMS.1E0
flashrom v0.9.1-r946
No coreboot table found.
Found chipset "AMD SB700/SB710/SB750", enabling flash write... OK.
This chipset supports the following protocols: LPC,FWH,SPI.
Calibrating delay loop... OK.
Found chip "Macronix MX25L8005" (1024 KB, SPI) at physical address 0xfff00000.
===
This flash part has status UNTESTED for operations: ERASE
Please email a report to flashrom@flashrom.org if any of the above operations
work correctly for you with this flash part. Please include the flashrom
output with the additional -V option for all operations you tested (-V, -rV,
-wV, -EV), and mention which mainboard or programmer you tested.
Thanks for your help!
===
Flash image seems to be a legacy BIOS. Disabling checks.
Writing flash chip... Erasing flash before programming... Erasing flash chip... SUCCESS.
done.
Programming flash done.
COMPLETE.
Verifying flash... VERIFIED.

After to verify again to be 100% sure:

flashrom -v A7550AMS.1E0

When it has been VERIFIED, reboot your system and check your settings.

Quote
root@Workstation:/home/bas/Bureaublad/7550v1E# flashrom -v A7550AMS.1E0
flashrom v0.9.1-r946
No coreboot table found.
Found chipset "AMD SB700/SB710/SB750", enabling flash write... OK.
This chipset supports the following protocols: LPC,FWH,SPI.
Calibrating delay loop... OK.
Found chip "Macronix MX25L8005" (1024 KB, SPI) at physical address 0xfff00000.
===
This flash part has status UNTESTED for operations: ERASE
Please email a report to flashrom@flashrom.org if any of the above operations
work correctly for you with this flash part. Please include the flashrom
output with the additional -V option for all operations you tested (-V, -rV,
-wV, -EV), and mention which mainboard or programmer you tested.
Thanks for your help!
===
Flash image seems to be a legacy BIOS. Disabling checks.
Verifying flash... VERIFIED.   

Works for me without a hitch.

IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING, THEN DON'T DO THIS, USE >>Use the MSI HQ Forum USB flasher<< INSTEAD UNDER WINDOWS!!



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msidude

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #1 on: 21-February-11, 18:15:45 »

Perfect, this saved my board from a bad flash.  I kept getting errors based on cmos errors after a recent bios update. I decided to boot to a linux partition and reflashed using your directions.


Thanks,


msidude

 :bonk:
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maltray

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #2 on: 27-March-11, 10:36:55 »

This works in Fedora 14 64 bits?, is it secure?
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Ex Forum User 3

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #3 on: 28-March-11, 12:00:10 »

This works in Fedora 14 64 bits?, is it secure?

Do a test run to see if the BIOS chip is recognized at all.
I have a few boards where it doesn't know the chip.
But the boards where it did know the chip it worked perfect.
Is it secure? No idea, it works for a lot of people.
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ddurdin

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #4 on: 06-April-11, 14:48:16 »

I have a MCI motherboard (MS-7549) and I would like to flash the BIOS. I also run Ubuntu 10.10. I was able to download flashrom and it does indeed find my BIOS chip correctly. But when I unzip the downloaded BIOS file I get a Windows(DOS) exe file (LiveUpdate.exe). What do I need to do to get this into a form that the flashrom program can use??

Thanks,

Doug
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Stu

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #5 on: 06-April-11, 19:24:38 »

Which 'MS-7549' board do you have exactly?
http://eu.msi.com/service/search/?kw=ms-7549&type=product

And what BIOS file did you download? I don't think you downloaded the BIOS file, sounds like you downloaded LiveUpdate (which is for Windows anyway).
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ddurdin

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #6 on: 06-April-11, 19:57:28 »

The motherboard is MSI 785GTM-E45. When I went to this website (http://www.msi.com/product/mb/785GTM-E45.html#/?div=BIOS) I was presented with two options: LiveUpdate Online or LiveUpdate (Offline). I picked the offline one where you download a zip file that contains LiveUpdate.exe. Is there somewhere else I can find the actual BIOS file?

Thanks
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Stu

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #7 on: 06-April-11, 20:21:37 »

You can ask MSI Support if they can send you the correct BIOS file: http://support.msi.com

However, with a lack of BIOS release notes for this board, why do you want to flash the BIOS? If you're having no problems, then leave it alone.
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Svet

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #8 on: 07-April-11, 04:25:17 »

The motherboard is MSI 785GTM-E45. When I went to this website (http://www.msi.com/product/mb/785GTM-E45.html#/?div=BIOS) I was presented with two options: LiveUpdate Online or LiveUpdate (Offline). I picked the offline one where you download a zip file that contains LiveUpdate.exe. Is there somewhere else I can find the actual BIOS file?

Thanks

Your board S/N is....?
+ what's current BIOS version installed?

username_

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #9 on: 10-April-11, 19:46:17 »

thx.

works for me.

board 890GXM-G65 v. 1.0 | bios from 1.6 -> 1.9
sys Arch Linux x86_64

bad news: unlock cpu still is not work :(
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Ex Forum User 3

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #10 on: 11-April-11, 13:19:08 »

The unlock only works if the CPU has stable cores to spare.
Not all CPU's have.
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Mike

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #11 on: 12-April-11, 00:55:09 »

...and some CPUs have the cores laser cut so there is absolutely no way to unlock them.
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linuxvinh

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #12 on: 21-May-11, 10:56:46 »

MSI Big Bang Xpower motherboard
openSUSE 11.2

# flashrom
flashrom v0.9.1-r710
No coreboot table found.
Found chipset "Intel ICH10R", enabling flash write... OK.
This chipset supports the following protocols: LPC,FWH,SPI.
Calibrating delay loop... OK.
No EEPROM/flash device found.
If you know which flash chip you have, and if this version of flashrom
supports a similar flash chip, you can try to force read your chip. Run:
flashrom -f -r -c similar_supported_flash_chip filename

Note: flashrom can never write when the flash chip isn't found automatically.

-----

Does anyone know if there's a similar flash chip that I can specify to allow flashrom to work?

Also, I'm intending to install A7666IMS.160, which looks to be the latest.

Thanks!
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Ex Forum User 3

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #13 on: 21-May-11, 14:53:24 »

Contact the programmers of Flashrom, maybe they can help.
Don't gamble!!!

Create a DOS boot CDRom and put the DOS flasher + bios file on it and flash that way.

Or run Windows and use >>Use the MSI HQ Forum USB flasher<<, don't use flashrom as your chip isn't found/supported!
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linuxvinh

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #14 on: 22-May-11, 14:54:01 »

Info about the Big Bang Xpower has been sent to the flashrom mailinglist.  Hopefully I'll hear back soon.
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Ex Forum User 3

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #15 on: 22-May-11, 18:42:02 »

Else put an XP on a partition (don't activate and it will work 30 days) and use our tool.
I hope for you they add support, but it's a privateers project so don't expect it too quickly.
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linuxvinh

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #16 on: 23-May-11, 20:33:39 »

I received a reply and a developer suggested that I try the latest version v0.9.3 since it may already be supported in that version, even though the hardware compatibility list doesn't have the motherboard listed specifically.  Unfortunately for me, I can't just get a pre-built package for that version in openSUSE 11.2.  I would have to compile from source, which I could do, but I'm going to upgrade from openSUSE 11.2 to 11.4 anyway.  11.4 has flashrom v0.9.3 pre-built.  I'll try again once I have 11.4 safely installed.  I'll report back...
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Ex Forum User 3

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #17 on: 23-May-11, 20:55:13 »

Stupid question, but why do you want to flash at all?
Any problems?
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linuxvinh

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #18 on: 25-May-11, 03:40:08 »

Not a huge issue, but the system sometimes locks up...  mouse works, but no keyboard or further interactions with the GUI.  This could be a software issue, but I've yet to experience it on my netbook with the same version of openSUSE 11.2.  I am overclocking the CPU on the Big Bang Xpower from 2.80 GHz to 3.10 GHz, which isn't much, but I'm wondering if it's a problem related to the BIOS and any microcode associated with it.

First step would be to use openSUSE 11.4 and see if I experience the same lock ups.  If so, then I'll update the BIOS for sure; otherwise, it can wait, I guess.  Of course, I'd like to aid in the testing of flashrom as well...
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linuxvinh

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #19 on: 25-May-11, 10:06:24 »

Make that 2.80 GHz -> 3.78 GHz...

I have openSUSE 11.4 installed now and ran flashrom 0.9.3-r1246 with the -V flag.  It reports back that WRITE hasn't been tested yet.  I posted to the flashrom mailinglist to see if I should give it a go or try a newer development version.
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linuxvinh

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #20 on: 25-May-11, 10:18:33 »

I checked the BIOS version on my Xpower and it says 1.2.  I downloaded BIOS 1.2 from this site.  I then did a flashrom -v A7666IMS.120 (which compares the ROM against the file A7666IMS.120) and got this...

...
Flash image seems to be a legacy BIOS. Disabling checks.
Verifying flash... VERIFY FAILED at 0x00000000! Expected=0xff, Read=0x70, failed byte count from 0x00000000-0x003fffff: 0x2cd88

Any chance the 1.2 BIOS on the motherboard being different from the file?  Are there sub-versions not reported in the 1.2 number?
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Ex Forum User 3

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #21 on: 25-May-11, 11:29:29 »

Do not do that!!

If your system locks up sometimes, that is not a typical BIOS symptom.

It could well be something else but the BIOS, but as we know nothing: >>Posting Guide<<

Stop playing with that flasher, you probably end up killing the board (and a bad-flash is NOT warranty!)
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capoeira

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #22 on: 09-August-11, 17:58:57 »

btw, there is a backup option "--read" one could use before flashing
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panzzer

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #23 on: 12-October-11, 21:40:46 »

I have problems with K9MM-V VT8237R, sometimes does not load the usb peripherals sata HD or even crashes if not removed the usb in use. :bonk:
I checked with flashrom and detects the correct version of the chipset and shows me this.

Quote
ezequiel@ezequiel-desktop:~$ sudo flashrom -v
flashrom v0.9.1-r946
No coreboot table found.
Found chipset "VIA VT8237", enabling flash write... OK.
This chipset supports the following protocols: Non-SPI.
Calibrating delay loop... OK.
Found chip "Winbond W39V040B" (512 KB, LPC) at physical address 0xfff80000.
===
This flash part has status UNTESTED for operations: PROBE READ ERASE WRITE
Please email a report to flashrom@flashrom.org if any of the above operations
work correctly for you with this flash part. Please include the flashrom
output with the additional -V option for all operations you tested (-V, -rV,
-wV, -EV), and mention which mainboard or programmer you tested.
Thanks for your help!
In the page of the manufacturer is the firmware v1.7 but only for windows in. EXE file(compressed into a .ZIP), where I can locate the firmware ready to load (not EXE) whit flshrom???????
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Ex Forum User 3

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #24 on: 13-October-11, 10:52:29 »

Just de-compress it with 7zip.
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bill_mcgonigle

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #25 on: 14-October-11, 01:40:49 »

I was able to pull the very latest flashrom from SVN and build it (easy co, make) to flash an A75MA-G55 [MS-7696 PCB v1.0].  I used the latest beta from the forums as it looks like MSI doesn't let end-users download flash images anymore (and I didn't have time to wait for tech support e-mail).

MSI doesn't really seem to be interested in linux users, which is too bad because I like the board and it could be very popular among enthusiasts.

I've pinged the flashrom list to see if they'd be interested in adopting some of the logic from the Windows flash tool available here for downloading flash images in qflashrom (their GUI tool).  A flashrom LiveCD with that kind of support would make life very easy.

I'm still not entirely clear though as to whether the Windows flash tool from the forums will download flash images on the MSI boards for which there are no webpage downloads.  I don't have a Windows system to test this.
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Ex Forum User 3

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #26 on: 14-October-11, 13:28:25 »

Hardly any manufacturer ever cared about Linux people.
MSI is no different about this.

BTW, you can simply use Virtualbox, install a Windows XP or up in there, forward the USB-port and use: >>Use the MSI HQ Forum USB flasher<<
In there, no problem at all.
You can install W7 without key and have a 30-day testing version in Virtualbox.

Flashrom is far behind anyway and doesn't flash all boards.
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capoeira

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #27 on: 23-November-11, 03:22:05 »

this boot cd has a mini-xp wich one can boot from cd: http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd
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capoeira

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #28 on: 23-November-11, 03:51:09 »


Flashrom is far behind anyway and doesn't flash all boards.

I don't know if it is: http://flashrom.org/Supported_hardware
there are not many new mainbords tested but for exemple in my case it recognizes the flash-chip wich is listed on the page as "working":

Code: [Select]
flashrom v0.9.4-r1395 on Linux 3.0-rt (i686), built with libpci 3.1.7, GCC 4.6.1, little endian
flashrom is free software, get the source code at http://www.flashrom.org

Calibrating delay loop... OK.
sh: dmidecode: comando não encontrado
dmidecode execution unsuccessful - continuing without DMI info
Found chipset "Intel H61".
This chipset is marked as untested. If you are using an up-to-date version
of flashrom please email a report to flashrom@flashrom.org including a
verbose (-V) log. Thank you!
Enabling flash write... OK.
This chipset supports the following protocols: FWH, SPI.
Found Winbond flash chip "W25Q32" (4096 kB, SPI) at physical address 0xffc00000.
No operations were specified.
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Xplorer4x4

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #29 on: 21-October-12, 13:54:58 »

Worked great for me on Kubuntu 11.04 Precise Pangolin!
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OS: Kubuntu 12.10/Windows 8 Pro x64
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Lemonzest

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #30 on: 21-July-13, 20:49:24 »

Worked great for me with Fedora 19 and a MSI 990FXA-GD80
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MSI 990FXA-GD80 13.4, AMD Phenom x6 1090T, A-Data 16GB (4x4GB) 1333Mhz, Radeon HD 6670 1GB, Fedora 19 x86_64

pcallahan80

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #31 on: 13-August-13, 04:39:15 »

Worked great on 890FXA-GD70 in MEPIS  M12 11.9.92...a heck of a lot easier than hassling with USB flash drive through M-Flash
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searchfgold6789

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Re: Flash your BIOS, the Linux way! [beware the dangers!!]
« Reply #32 on: 21-September-13, 16:18:07 »

Worked Great! I was even able to downgrade my BIOS despite not being able to do that with normal procedures.
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