FAQ – PCIe Expansion Enclosures


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Q: How do you access the mounting screws on the side of the ports? Is there a way to power on the Mac mini through the unit?

A:  The following web-link will direct you to a video that tells the users how to set up the NA338TB3 with the Mac mini computer. In the video, it shows how to remove the screws; also, it gives directions on how to power on the Mac mini through the unit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ochm2fHyG3k

Mac mini (Late 2018) and previous Mac mini models are compatible with the NA338TB3.



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Q: Can a “standard USB Type-C 3.1 Gen1/Gen2 port” work with NA611TB3?

A: No, it cannot.


Q: Can an Apple bi-directional Thunderbolt 2 to 3 adapter be used to connect the NA611TB3 to TB2 port on a late 2013 Mac pro? Will the speed decrease?

A: Yes, an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter can be used to connect NA611TB3 to Thunderbolt 2 port on a late 2013 Mac Pro for work, although the data speed will be decreased and be limited to Thunderbolt 2’s bandwidth.

One only use Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter in this setup because only Apple’s TB3 to TB2 adapters bidirectionally supports TB2 (host) to TB3 (device).

Click to view Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter

Other third-party TB3 to TB2 adapters, which are not bidirectional, can only support TB3 (host) to TB2 (device), and does not support TB2 (host) to TB3 (device).


Q: Will NA611TB3 work with PCIe 3.0 x 4 NVMe SSD?

A: Yes, NA611TB3 also works with M.2 PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 SSDs such as Samsung 970 PRO and Samsung 970 EVO M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs.

It should be noted that there are two M.2 slots on the backplane within the NA611TB3; each M.2 slot on the backplane is PCIe 3.0 x2 bandwidth.

So if the user only installs one Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD in NA611TB3, the max throughput the user can get between host computer and NA611TB3 is up to PCIe 3.0 x2 (around up to 1600 MB/s).

When the user installs two Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSDs in NA611TB3 and have set up the two 970 EVO M.2 SSDs as a RAID 0 volume, the max throughput the user can get between host computer and NA611TB3 is up to 2300 MB/s. The below site has the related info about it:




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Q: Will NS372TB3 support a 5.25 inch half height Quantum LTO 8 with a mini-SAS interface?

A: Within the NS372TB3 enclosure, it utilizes an ATTO ExpressSAS H644 host bus adapter to connect with the 5.25” half-height LTO tape drives.

The ATTO ExpressSAS H644 host bus adapter within the Netstor NS372TB3 storage enclosure does support a 5.25-inch half-height Quantum LTO-8 tape drive with SAS 6Gbps SFF-8482 connector.

The following image shows the diagram of the SAS 6Gbps SFF-8482 connection between LTO tape drive and ATTO H644 host bus adapter within the Netstor unit. [Last update Jan 31, 2019]



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Q: We have just received the NA250A-GPU and I have a question about the cards installation layout in my Mac Pro as well as the NA250A-GPU. The following are the details of my system and PCIe cards. Please advise what would be the best configuration of cards installation in both devices in order to achieve the best performance.


  • Mac Pro early 2009
  • El Capitan OSX 10.11.5

PCIe cards:

  • GT 120 for UI
  • GTX 780 for Cuda processing
  • Titan X for Cuda processing
  • Red Rocket card
  • Black magic decklink card
  • USB 3 card

A: Please see the following for the suggested cards arrangement in both Mac Pro and NA250A-GPU. Since you are using GTX 780 and TITAN X for CUDA processing, we would suggest you to visit http://www.nvidia.com/object/mac-driver-archive.html and download/ install the latest Mac CUDA driver for the two GPU cards that working with Mac OS X 10.11.5. [Last update July 1, 2016]

Mac Pro (Early 2009), OS X 10.11.5
Slot PCIe card model
4th PCIe slot (x4 signal) USB 3.0 card
3rd PCIe slot (x4 signal) Blackmagic DeckLink card
2nd PCIe slot (x16 signal) NA250A host card
1st PCIe slot (x16 signal) Nvidia GT 120 graphics card (for GUI)


Slot PCIe card model
SLOT2 Nvidia GTX 780 GPU card
SLOT3 Nvidia TITAN X GPU card
SLOT4 Red Rocket card


Cards arrangement












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Q: We specialize in Forensic Computers for the Military and law enforcement and is currently looking to purchase the NA255A-XGPU. The followings are the PC specs and requirements:

Host PC:

  • Motherboard: ASUS X99-E WS/USB 3.1 Socket 2011-v
  • CPU: i7-5820K 3.3GHz
  • RAM: 32GB DRR4 2133MHz
  • PCIe Slots: 7 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (single x16 or dual x16/x16 or triple x16/x16/x16 or quad x16/x16/x16/x16 or seven x16/x8/x8/x8/x8/x8/x8)
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit


  • Motherboard: ASUS Z10PE-D8 WS Socket 2011-v3
  • CPU: 2x Intel Xeon E5-2630v4
  • RAM: 64-128GB DRR4
  • PCIe Slots: 7x PCIe 3.0
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit

GPUs to be installed in the NA255A-XGPU are 4 x GTX 980 or 4 x GTX1080.

Please help to verify if the NA255A-XGPU is able to support 4 x GTX 980 or 4 x GTX1080 simultaneously with the computer specs provided. Besides, if it is possible to get an upgrade to 1500W power supply instead of 1200W, or can we purchase without a power supply?


A: For your reference, we had provided a real case with a similar scenario as yours:

A customer installed four Nvidia GTX 980 GPU cards in his NA255A. The host computer he uses is Asus X99-E WS motherboard installed with Intel Core i7-5960X CPU; he installed eight 8GB DDR4 RAM modules on the motherboard, so totally there’re 64GB RAM on his Asus X99-E WS. The customer reports the four GTX 980 cards in NA255A work properly with Asus X99-E WS.

We have confirmed the above setup from the customer is workable. However, you mentioned the CPU you used for the Asus X99-E WS/USB 3.1 motherboard is i7-5820K. But from our success case, the CPU used on Asus X99-E WS is a higher end model of i7-5960X.

Please note that the max number of PCIe lanes for i7-5820K is only 28 lanes, but the max number of PCIe lanes for i7-5960X is 40 lanes.

(1) i7-5820K:


(2) i7-5960X:


Furthermore, your RAM for Asus X99-E WS/USB 3.1 motherboard is 32GB DDR4, but, from our success case the RAM is 64GB DDR4. The size of RAM on the motherboard may also have an influence on the number of GPU cards workable with motherboard.

Therefore, four GTX 980 GPU cards in NA255A should also work with your Asus X99-E WS/USB 3.1 motherboard. But most importantly, the CPU model and size of RAM must be considered since the i7-5820K CPU only has 28 lanes and motherboard only has 32GB in size.

As we mentioned, the ASUS X99-E WS can support up to 4 GPUs; however, the Z10PE-D8 WS can only recognize up to 2 GPUs. We suggest to choose the GTX-1080 because this GPU requires less power and offers better performance.

Currently we don’t have the 1500W power supply option available. And due to its elaborate design, we don’t recommend using any different power supply other than the one included in the case. [Last update July 8, 2016]



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Q: We currently have an old Mac Tower(No thunderbolt), and we are looking to expand PCIe slots for Pro Tools HDX cards. Need PCIe-expansion that is quiet, low fan noise. Can NA211A-GPU meet this need? Is this item still available?


A: NA211A-GPU is a PCIe 2.0 product which is no longer in production.For the end-user’s situation, he can use NA211A-G3 which is a PCIe 3.0 product also compatible with the tower Mac Pro (non-Thunderbolt model), and the Pro Tools HDX card can work with NA211A-G3 meeting the need. Click to view the NA211A-G3 site. [Last update Jan 31, 2019]


Q: I’m interested in purchasing the NA211A-GPU PCIe expansion chassis for my 2009 Mac Pro computer. I need it specifically for the DaVinci Resolve software, which relies heavily on GPU Cuda core processing. I plan to use the chassis for a second processing card, as well as a Red Rocket card. Is there any reason why the expansion chassis would not work with Resolve?


A: The DaVinci Resolve definitely works with the NA211A-GPU PCIe expansion chassis. However, you would not be able to install both the GPU card and a Red Rocket into the NA211A-GPU at the same time as the NA211A-GPU has only one open type PCIe x8 slot available for the PCIe x16 card. We would suggest that you install the GPU card and a PCIe x4 card (moved from your Mac Pro) in the NA211A-GPU, and keep the Red Rocket card in your Mac Pro for best performance.

Please take note that either one of the following combinations of PCIe cards would work in the NA211A-GPU.


1 x GPU card

1 x low speed PCIe x4 card


1 x Red Rocket

1 x low speed PCIe x4 card

We would recommend the NA250A-GPU (/product/pcie-expansion-enclosure-na250a/) should you need to install two or more PCIe x16 cards at the same time. [Last update May 23, 2016]



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Q: How to convert the NA211A to Thunderbolt PCIe expansion enclosure, NA211TB?


A: The following video link demo how to convert the NA211A to Thunderbolt PCIe expansion enclosure, NA211TB.
http://www.netstor.com.tw/_05/video/NA211A%20into%20NA211TB.html [Last Update April 16, 2013]



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Q: Can the NA265A hold 4 double wide PCIe FPGA accelerator boards? Can it also provide a Gen3 x16 connection to each accelerator board?



Yes, NA265A can hold four (4) double-wide PCIe, graphics, or FPGA accelerator cards; in other words, four double-wide cards can be installed within the NA265A enclosure for work.

On the NP952AG3 backplane within the NA265A enclosure, SLOT 2, SLOT 3, SLOT 4, and SLOT 5 are the downstream PCIe slots for the users to install the third-party PCIe card and GPU (graphics) card. The SLOT 2, SLOT 3, SLOT 4, and SLOT 5 are physically in x16 form factor, and each slot among SLOT 2 ~ SLOT 5 is x8 signal. You can get this information by visiting the following webpage:


Click on the Specs tab, and on the item of No. of Slot, it has indicated so.

The performance difference is only around 1% when GPU/PCIe card is installed in between PCIe 3.0 x16 slot and PCIe 3.0 x8 slot as shown in the following test results conducted by the professionals. [Last update March 17, 2019]


Q: The description states that PCIe 3.0 x4 slots will be available when upstream port working under PCIe 3.0 x8 mode. Does this mean that if I am running at PCI-e 3.0 16x mode I will not have access to the PCIe x4 connectors?


A: If the upstream is running under PCIe 3.0 x16 mode then the two PCIe x4 connectors will not be available. The maximum bandwidth that host interface can support is up to 128 Gbps external PCIe 3.0 x16 between host and NA265A. [Last update April 16, 2013]



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Q: Does NA221A-NB (Laptop Package) work with Lenovo T530 Laptops running Windows 7 64-bit?


A: NA221A-NB works with laptops that come with ExpressCard 34/ 54 slot. For older laptops that support only PCIe 1.0 ×1 spec, the bandwidth is up to 2.5 Gbps (2.5 Gbps from 1.0 × one lane = 2.5 Gbps) when NA221A-NB is connected with the laptop. However, for newer laptops with Intel Sandy Bridge micro-architecture (w/ PCIe 2.0 ×1 spec), the bandwidth will be 5 Gbps (5 Gbps from 2.0 × one lane = 5 Gbps) when you connect NA221A-NB to the laptop. [Last update Jan 4, 2013]



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Q: For our holographic products, I’m interested in using your product for hosting multiple GPUs outside of a host PC box, but I’d also like to use your Host Adapter card to connect a custom external backplane or FPGA to a host PC. Is that possible?

I’m essentially looking for the fastest way I get data off of a GPU and into an externally located FPGA. It seems to me that your Host Adapter would do the trick. However for the particular application I have in mind, the NA255A-GPU box is not required. I would rather connect your Host Adapter card directly to my FPGA via the external PCI-e cable OR I could create a custom backplane that my FPGA card sits in. In this case, I would just need to know how the Host Adapter interacts with the upstream port. Or another possibility would be whether you manufacture smaller backplanes than the one in the NA255A-GPU chassis.


A: Our pin assignment for the upstream port and the Host Adapter are following the standard specs from the PCI associate as shown onhttp://www.pcisig.com/home.
I believe you are referring to the application as the following image and the example at (http://www.dinigroup.com/new/DN2076k10.php). We also have a smaller 3 slots board that is available in PCIe 2.0 version only. [Last update Jan 3, 2013]


Q: I’m looking to use NA255A-GPU for heavy multi-GPU computational purposes. Is the Host Adapter PCIe card that plugs into the host PC a simple “data pass through” layer? Does it add any additional latency when transferring large amounts of data between GPUs and host system memory? Is the upstream port slot inside of the NA255A box a special slot? Or is it a standard PCI-E slot? If I were to connect the Host Adapter card to a custom backplane not manufactured by you guys, say a backplane with a custom FPGA, does that custom backplane and FPGA still get recognized by the Host PC’s bios? I only ask because:

1. The entire system is very attractive for what we do here at Zebra. We do a lot of GPU intensive computations and your product’s ability to give us 4 GPUs in a single box is very attractive.

2. We have custom FPGAs and backplanes with both our static and dynamic holographic display products. We currently connect to these using much lower bandwidth protocols (ex: ethernet and USB). I’m curious if it would be possible to use your Host Adapter card to connect directly to our custom FGPA cards or backplanes so they are directly accessible to the host PC.


A: The NA255A is a standard multiple PCIe slots expansion enclosure. It only require a free PCIe x16 slot from the host PC and doesn’t need any software installation for the enclosure itself. Of course, if the third-party’s PCIe cards that to be installed into NA255A require driver installation then the driver installation procedure is just the same as you plug the PCIe card into your host PC. So, the NA255A is a “data pass through” PCIe slot expansion. Just imaging the NA255A let your single PCIe slot of host PC to be multiple PCIe slots.

The upstream slot is pre-installed with a target PCIe adapter in order to connect with the host adapter board of the host PC. If the FPGA is also a standard PCIe interface that can be installed into a standard PCIe slot of the host PC then it can also be installed into any expansion slots of NA255A as well but not in the slot of upstream port. [Last update Jan 3, 2013]



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Q: What is the bandwidth provided when TurboBox NA210A is connected with a laptop or a desktop PC?

A: The TurboBox NA210A is PCIe 2.0 spec, providing throughput 5 Gbps per lane.
For desktop PC users, since both host card and target card are PCIe 2.0 ×4 spec, when TurboBox NA210A is connected with desktop PC, the bandwidth provided is 20 Gbps (5 Gbps × 4 lanes = 20 Gbps).
For laptop users, since current technology of laptop supports only PCIe 1.0 ×1 spec, when TurboBox NA210A is connected with laptop, the bandwidth is 2.5 Gbps (2.5 Gbps from PCIe 1.0 × one lane = 2.5 Gbps). However, after the release of laptop with PCIe 2.0 ×1 spec (Intel Sandy Bridge microarchitecture) in the first quarter of 2011, when TurboBox NA210A is connected with laptop, the bandwidth will be 5 Gbps (5 Gbps from PCIe 2.0 × one lane = 5 Gbps). [Last update Dec 2, 2010]


Q: If three third-party PCIe cards are plugged on TurboBox NA210A, will the bandwidth provided between TurboBox NA210A and laptop/desktop PC be enough for the three PCIe cards?

A: Yes, the bandwidth for those three PCIe cards will be enough. An example of using an ATTO 8 port external 6Gb/s SAS/SATA RAID controller card and two Avid Pro Tools HD3 cards is given in the following:
For desktop PC users, when eight SATA hard disk drives are used with ATTO 8 port external 6Gb/s SAS/SATA RAID controller card, the RAID controller card consumes only 500 to 600 MB/s bandwidth which is approximately 5 to 6 Gbps. As for the other two Avid Pro Tools HD3 cards, their bandwidth is around 2 Gbps; therefore, the bandwidth for the three PCIe cards between TurboBox NA210A and desktop PC is about 7 Gbps, which accounts only one-third of the total bandwidth 20 Gbps that is provided.
For laptop users, since current technology of laptop supports only PCIe 1.0 ×1 spec, when TurboBox NA210A is connected with laptop, the bandwidth is 2.5 Gbps (2.5 Gbps from PCIe 1.0 × one lane = 2.5 Gbps). When an ATTO 8 port external 6Gb/s SAS/SATA RAID controller card and two Avid Pro Tools HD3 cards are used on TurboBox NA210A, they consume about 7 Gbps bandwidth. In this circumstance, an ATTO 8 port external 6Gb/s SAS/SATA RAID controller card and two Avid Pro Tools HD3 cards can still be used; just the performance of the three PCIe cards would be limited due to the PCIe 1.0 ×1 spec on laptop; however, PCIe 2.0 ×1 spec (Intel Sandy Bridge microarchitecture) on laptop will be released in the first quarter of 2011, and the bandwidth will be 5 Gbps then (5 Gbps from PCIe 2.0 × one lane = 5 Gbps). At that time, the performance for the three PCIe cards will be improved. [Last update Nov 17, 2010]


Q: How do I know the third party PCIe cards plugged on TurboBox NA210A are recognized by computer?

A: For users of Windows operating system, please check “Device Manager” from Computer Management. As for users of Mac OS X, please check “About This Mac” under the Apple icon to see if the third party PCIe cards are recognized by computer.
For detailed information about the verification of third party PCIe cards, please check the user manual and see the ninth section “Verify Installation” at the third page of the user manual. [Last update 2010]


Q: After I connect the TurboBox NA210A to laptop/desktop PC, the TurboBox can not be recognized by computer. What can I do to solve this problem?

A: If the TurboBox NA210A is not recognized by computer, it can be BIOS’ problem. Please update your laptop/desktop PC to the latest BIOS from the Web site of your laptop/desktop PC manufacturer. After updating the laptop/desktop PC to the latest BIOS, the TurboBox can be recognized by computer. [Last update 2010]


Q: Wondering if your Model# NA210A can support a KONA 3 and/or Red Rocket card(s)? I want to use this with a MacBook Pro.

A: Only MacBook Pro(Unibody Model ID 5,1) has problem on its ExpressCard interface compatibility; others models of MacBook Pro are working well with NA210A.
The spec. of Red Rocket card(s) is no problem working with NA210A but the spec. of KONA seems to ask for PCIe x4 bandwidth. Since Laptop is only provide PCIe x1 bandwidth so when KONA 3 works with a Laptop then I suppose it cannot reach full performance. SD will work but I cannot make sure on HD. [Last update Jan 24, 2011]


Q: My system is: Macpro (8-core) 2×2.8 Quad intel Xeon. I am using Protools Accel cards a total of three PCie cards are already installed and a video card a total of 4 slots. I need to use the video card inside the expansion box so i can use the slot for the host card.  I will be using a UAD card inside the expansion box and one video card. Would this be possible?

A: Yes, NA210A is no problem working both Video and Audio cards and the bandwidth from DT will be fairly enough for handle those two cards together. UAD’s engineer has tested NA210A with their 2pcs of UAD-2 Duo and the result is workin well. UAS will announce this news after they finish their big project of new products. [Last update Jan 26, 2011]

Q: I’m running a mac pro 2.66ghz quad core intel nehalem processor with 16gb of 1066mhz ddr3 ram. The mac OS is 10.6.6. I want to run the NA210A-L (DT) loaded with two UAD 2 quad cards and a Sonnet tango express card, or quite possibly, three of the UAD2 quad cards.

A: Yes, it is workable. UAD’s engineer has tested NA210A-L(DT) with 3* UAD2 Duo cards and the result will be announced on UAD’s website soon. [Last update Jan 26, 2011]



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Q: What is the bandwidth provided when NA220A is connected with a laptop or a desktop PC?

A: The NA220A comes with PCIe 2.0, providing throughput of 5 Gbps per lane. For desktop PC users, since both host card and target card are PCIe 2.0 x4 spec, when NA220A is connected with desktop PC, the bandwidth provided is 20 Gbps (5 Gbps x 4 lanes = 20 Gbps).
The older version of laptops only support PCIe 1.0 x1 spec, when NA220A is connected with laptop, the bandwidth is 2.5 Gbps (2.5 Gbps from PCIe 1.0 x one lane = 2.5 Gbps). However, after the release of laptop with PCIe 2.0 x1 spec (Intel Sandy Bridge micro architecture) in the first quarter of 2011, when NA220A is connected with laptop, the bandwidth will be 5 Gbps (5 Gbps from PCIe 2.0 x one lane = 5 Gbps). [Last update Oct 4, 2010]

Q: Does the NA220A support the: UAD-2 QUAD DSP Accelerator?

A: Yes, NA220A works with UAD-2 QUAD. Moreover, UAD-2 QUAD only consumes 10W , and the NA220A is providing 80W output power which is sufficient. [Last update Mar 9, 2011]

3 thoughts on “FAQ – PCIe Expansion Enclosures

  1. Hi we have msi z270 xpower motherboard with i3 7100 CPU. This mother board has 4 full PCi slots. Three slots are used for 3×1080 GPUs the 4th slot is used for netstor na255a box adapter Out turbobox holds 4 x 1080 cards, we want total of 7 GPUs but when we start windows 10 it only see 3×1080 cards and not seeing netstor box with its 4 cards. When we go to device manager it shows 4th cards as 1080 with an exclamation mark. So is it motherboard cannot see more than 4 GPUs or our CPU does not support enough PCI lanes ? Thank you

    1. Hello Greg,

      My apologies on the late response, but we are relaying the solution from our NetStor Technicians.

      The solution is as follows:

        1. Visit the MSI BIOS Download Page to download and update your MSI Z270 Gaming MoBo to the latest BIOS version 7A58v12 released on April 11, 2017.

        2. First, make sure to not have any card installed in slot 2, slot 3, and slot 4 on the MSI motherboard before proceeding.

        3. Install NA255A host card on MSI’s motherboard’s PCIe slot 1 for signal of electrically x16

        4. Connect the monitor to MSI motherboard’s onboard HDMI interface for screen output so the monitor will utilize Intel Core i3-7100’s integrated HD Graphics 630 processor. In MSI’s MoBo BIOS settings, set i3-7100 integrated HD Graphics 630 as the top priority screen output processor.

        5. Power on your PC, and then the NA255A will be powered on along automatically. When the PC boots into Windows 10, the GTX 1080 gpu cards in NA255A will be recognized by WIN10’s Device Manager correctly.

      If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to email us.

      Thank you,


  2. Hi I got this ASUS ROG RAMPAGE VI EXTREME motherboard and 3 top PCIe slots are used for 3 X 1080s the bottom 4th one is for netstor turbobox na255aadapter card.

    When I connect netstor turbobox na255a to this PC, with just 2 cards in nestor, computer boots up fine. But adding the 3rd and the 4th video cards to netstor computer won’t even boot to the bios. I need total of 7 GPUs 3 in the main PC and 4 in the netstor. 4G decoding is enabled. I am not sure what to do. Does anyone know what can be done. I was also installing one card at a time to the netstor box.
    This is the BIOS for ASUS ROG RAMPAGE VI EXTREME https://youtu.be/tmvpO068XX4?t=19s Do I need to tweek anything else or since the mother board only has 5 PCIe slots that’s why I can only have 5 GPUs. My CPU is i9-7900x Windows 10 64 bit

    Please advise what should I do. Why cannot I have 7 GPUs

    Thank you

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