If you have a relatively new Sony Xperia handset and want to free its system from the factory restrictions now you can start the unchaining procedure by learning how to unlock the bootloader of your phone. This method can be applied on almost all the Sony Xperia devices (not only on the Android based smartphones), so you have nothing to worry about; furthermore the present tutorial will show you which is the official and universal operation that can be used for unlocking the bootloader of your Sony branded gadget, all the info needed being explained and detailed during the lines from below.

Anyway, even though this is the official method used for unlocking the Sony Xperia devices bootloader, you still have to be careful as by completing the same you will void the warranty of your smartphone. So, as you can see it is really improper to say that we are dealing with an official operation since the warranty will be lost. Anyway, surprisingly or not, Sony had decided to create a dedicated webpage that can be used by those who are looking forward in unlocking the bootloader of their Android based (or not) Xperia devices.

Therefore, today I will teach you how to easily use the Sony “unlock bootloader” web page and also how to prepare your handset for the complex and also risky operation that will follow. You see, even though there is an official way made available by Sony for unchaining the internal system of your Xperia device, the actual procedure is quite hard to complete there being a lot of stuffs to take care of. That’s why most of the users are still having troubles (and often they are ending up in bricking their smartphones) in unlocking the bootloader, but the unpleasant situations can be avoided if a dedicated and suitable step by step guide, just like the present one, is being followed.

But, first let’s talk a little bit about the general aspects related to the bootloader term. Well, the bootloader is a small program that runs each time you power up your Sony Xperia device. The bootloader is located in the ROM memory and basically when it runs the OS and its programs are loaded into the RAM memory. So, you can associate your phone’s bootloader with the program that runs each time you power up your computer or notebook. Now, when you first buy a device it will be delivered with a locked bootloader, so unlocking it it’s your job.

A locked bootloader is actually a factory restriction, which means that while your handset is having a locked system you can’t perform operations like: root, install custom apps from outside the Google Play coverage, or update with custom ROMs firmware. As you can see, if you want to take full advantage of your Sony Xperia device you must first learn how to unlock its bootloader. By setting free your phone, you will be able to make customization and optimization procedures in order to power up the performances of your gadgets. On an unchained system you will be able to remove inbuilt programs for gaining speed, deactivate processes for improving the battery life and a lot more.

But, because you will be making changes into the internal system of your device, by unlocking the bootloader you will void the Sony warranty. Unfortunately, this aspect can’t be avoided, so try not to mess things up as if something wrong happens and you somehow damage your phone, there will be nobody to help you out. Anyway, the warranty can be restored as soon as you update your device with an official or stock firmware, or if you reset the flash counter. Now, as mentioned before, you do have to prepare your smartphone or else you will not be able to safely complete this tutorial. So, apply the next list where I have detailed the pre requisites:

  • Backup the data which is being saved on your handset, because you can lose all of your personal info and saves.
  • You can use our backup and restore guides for learning on how to easily save the contacts, messages, call logs, market apps, internet settings, calendar info and even the current ROM.
  • Then, a Windows running computer with internet connection enabled must be near you.
  • Also, the Sony Xperia smartphone and its USB cable should be there.
  • On the computer first deactivate the security programs like antivirus and Firewall protection.
  • Then, get and install the Android SDK on your computer; also install the fastboot drivers from here.
  • If you notice that your handset has less than 60% power left, before heading to the next steps, charge its battery; else the phone might get turned off in the middle of the unlocking procedure.
  • Enable the USB debugging option on your device.
  • Take note as if you unlock the bootloader you will no longer receive OTA updates.
  • Apply this method only for the Sony Xperia devices.

How to Unlock Bootloader of Sony Xperia Devices (official and universal tutorial)

  1. Go here and check whether your smartphone is on the “unlock bootloader” list or not. If your phone is not listed there it means that you cannot use this guide for unlocking the system.
  2. Also, on your handset type and dial: *#*#7378423#*#*; then go to “Service info -> Configuration -> Rooting Status” and check if the “Bootloader unlock allowed” says yes. If the “no” answer will be displayed then you will not be able to unlock the bootloader of your device.
  3. Now, extract the file named “downloadinf.zip” (which has been downloaded before) on your computer.
  4. Then, copy the obtained file (“android_winusb.inf”) to path c:\android-sdk\extras\google\usb_driver.
  5. Click yes if asked to overwrite something.
  6. Type *#06# on your phone and get the IMEI number; write it down as you will need it a little bit later.
  7. Now, go here.
  8. On the first page click on “Yes, I’m sure”.
  9. Agree to Sony’s legal terms and then hit “I accept”.
  10. On the next page enter your name, email and your device’s IMEI number and click on “Submit”.
  11. An unlock code will now be offered; note it down.
  12. Turn off your device and connect the same with the computer by pressing on the Menu button (for the Xperia arc, Xperia arc S, Xperia neo, Xperia neo V, Xperia pro handsets), or on the Search button (for the Xperia Play device) or on the Volume Up button (for the Xperia mini, Xperia mini pro, Xperia ray, Xperia active, Live with Walkman, Xperia S smartphones).
  13. Install the drivers on the path mentioned above (c:\android-sdk\extras\google\usb_driver).
  14. Now, on your computer open command prompt: “start -> run -> type cmd”.
  15. On the cmd window enter the following commands (one at a time): cd C:\android-sdk\platform-tools; fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce getvar version; fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xKEY (replace key with the code obtained before).
  16. That’s all, now the bootloader will be unlocked.
  17. In the end, remove the USB cable and reboot your smartphone.

So, what do you say, was it an easy to follow procedure? If there were issues while trying to unlock the bootloader of your Sony Xperia device, use the comments area from below and share the problems with us, so that we can help you out.

Now, your Sony smartphone can be rooted, installed with custom apps (like a custom recovery image) and updated with a custom ROM firmware. Search through our how to section for suitable tutorials that can be applied on your phone and do share your experience, questions and thoughts with us and with other users too. Also, stay close as we are bringing new step by step guides daily; also check our latest posts for reading all the fresh info about the Android concept, starting with the latest news, rumors, tutorials and ending with useful tricks and tips.

Comments
ash · 1 year ago

late to the party, but thanks... your instructions are far more efficient than the protracted youtube video from sony, and give the same useful protocol to follow

ps. it's the volume up button to launch fastboot mode for the xperia sp too; lots of other sites say down, so for anyone else having difficulty, try the opposite volume at "connect"

also, the correct folder to launch cmd from is in appdata and it's hidden by default - as a subfolder of "users" - you can get into the appdata/roaming folder searching in the start menu using "%appdata%" (no quotes), but you need to navigate up one level and then local>android>sdk>platform-tools

but to make it even trickier, the modified driver had to be saved in the sdk>extras>google>usb_driver folder

if everything is in the right place, the easiest way to launch the command line is to right click in the the folder window for platform-tools while you hold the shift key, and then choose "open command window here" from the options

then hold volume up (or possibly down, if up fails you) on the (turned off) phone as you plug in the usb, and when the blue light comes on, release the volume; a red light means you should try volume in the opposite direction after unplugging and waiting for the screen to blank

you should hear a "du-dunk" of usb being attached... the command window will not show any activity, but if you then type the"getvar" command in instruction 15 above it will pop up a reply on the command window

you're in !

you can use the unlock command as shown and then unplug and reboot to the normal xperia stock interface

dial the secret code *#*#7378423#*#* you will get a screen with options of service info,service setting, service test, customisation setting

go to service info > configuration, and if the bottom line says "Bootloader unlocked: Yes" then you are a winner :D

simple ? no, it's ridiculously bloody complicated, like jail-breaking asus tablets

but when you finally get there, you'll be proud even though you wasted several hours of your life trying to follow incomplete or simply inaccurate protocols

geek out ! you're officially a nerd now

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rami · 1 year ago

hi
i've been trying to unlock bootloader using flash tool but it gave me the message your phone bootloader cannot be officially unlocked
despite of that in configuration menu unlock bootloader is yes

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Twitchy McSpeedtapper · 1 year ago

Umm i can't find the "usb_driver" folder in the "google" folder. I have reinstalled the sdk two times and it still isn't there. Am i doing something wrong?

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Carl Bigvern Parsons · 2 years ago

is there away to unlock bootloader even if it says no when looking in settings i want to root my phone but cant do it its a z5

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imran · 2 years ago

Sony Xperia M2 dual
Sim lock
No service
Please help
[ ] network 0
[ ] network subset 0
[ ] service provider 0
[ ] corporate 0
[ ] SIM 0

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duhovnik · 3 years ago

For Windows 8.1, after you replace the inf file, and go to device manager to update the driver - you will see a yellow exclamation mark on it - you have to disable certificate checking for it (when you try to update the device in device manager using the new inf file, it throws you a hash error). Run as root in command line these two commands and reboot:

bcdedit -set loadoptions DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING ON

(search for the "cmd" in the metro app, then right click on it and run as root - superuser, and paste both commands into command line and press enter after each command)
After reboot the drivers upgrade will show a warning window with red exclamation, install anyway. After this, the command fastboot devices will show you your device id.

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Muhamad Fakhri · 2 years ago

how to remove the watermark Test Mode after i run the these two comamands?

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Ravikant · 3 years ago

My device is not listed in unlocking Bootloader Please Help me
I have Xperia Go ST27I

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Person · 3 years ago

For everyone who is having issues with step 13, click the windows button > right click computer > properties > on the left go to device manager > see if there is a yellow triangle somewhere. If there is and its on ur android device, > right click it > click update drivers > click browse computer > go to ur android sdk and choose the usb-driver folder u messed with earlier. It should work after that.

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André Ferreira · 3 years ago

I have a strange problem here. I did the procedure as it goes in the sony video, but when I tried to reboot my Xperia L, it never completes. It stays stuck in the cell phone operator screen. What shoul I do? Can u guys help me??

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Bouyabess Messouce · 3 years ago

you kidding and u call this easy way and bla bla where is the zip file u kidding me and go to sleep

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aRIF · 4 years ago

WAITING FOR DEVICE ERROR
SOLUTION
INSTALL FLASHTOOL
DAN GO TO FALSHTOOL FOLDER / FLASHTOOL DRIVER INSTALL IT

VOLA U R GOOD TO GO

PLEASE USE WINDOWS 7

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chintu · 4 years ago

bootloader unlock status shows no even i root my xperia c

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George Zhekovski · 4 years ago

hi everythig is fine until i enter the unlocking code, i type the command 3 dots appear and nothing else happens.
please help

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Neli Djawla · 4 years ago

Hello,

Please HELP!!!
I tried to follow the official way, but nothing works. I get "FAILED " all the time and when I check the configuration of my phone (xperia E1 dual D2105) by typing *#*#7378423#*#*: i got YES for the bootloader unlock statut.

thanks to all.

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Fasil · 4 years ago

Used in Sony Xperia Z 6602..Works great!!!
Thanxzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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TomekZagreb · 4 years ago

Used it on Xperia Miro. Works great!!! THX!!!

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farhad · 4 years ago

Hi
I have a Sony Xperia V during program execution in mobile battery I came when I turned on the wrench icon

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Calle · 4 years ago

Hello! I've followed the tutorial closely but i can't seem to find the "googleusb-driver folder. Does anyone else have this problem? Please help!

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Calle · 4 years ago

Found it, no need to bother!

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Samyak · 4 years ago

i followed all the above steps
and the cmd window show that bootloader is unlocked
but my phone is not booting
it show sony logo and color animation
its been a hour can you suggest something plz...??

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Geoxhon · 4 years ago

Flash your phone official firmware with sony flashtool

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andy · 4 years ago

worst tutorial of all...

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Ashwin · 4 years ago

For those ppl having "waiting for device" problem, this is the solution.
1. Check if u have PCcompanion installed.
2. Android sdk should be installed properly.
3. Check inside android sdk folder, is there folder called extras>google>usb_driver where u have to replace that file in step 4. IF not present reinstall sdk(i did 3 times.) and paste it in c drive if installed in some other loc.
4. Follow each and every step PROPERLY.

Good luck. Its easy if u do it properly.

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Marcel Gerloff · 4 years ago

easy top tutorial (y)

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azmeerul · 4 years ago

what if my pc can't detect my phone when its off?? please somebody help me

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Sheikh Saadi · 4 years ago

what about xperia ion at&t?? can't do anything with this does not unlock the bootloader plz me anyone :-(

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Marius · 4 years ago

It is an way to restore original bootloader on Sony Xperia M2 D2303?

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sainidavinders · 4 years ago

my phone not starting up its only loading how much time its takeforloding

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Jagruttam Panchal · 4 years ago

device not found in fastboot devices (actually S1boot fastboot device driver is not proper)

What to do for that??
Device : Sony Xperia L C2104

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suyog · 4 years ago

Hi
i'm not able to find out "android SDK" folder on my PC
please help

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NeRo · 4 years ago

it's not working on Xperia Z2...."waiting for device" error

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CarlosSnt · 4 years ago

Try using "Kingo Root" programm

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Noobtechkid · 4 years ago

Yep peeps its easy if you dont have an old smart phone to practise on. DONT EVEN BOTHER TAMPERING WITH YOUR PHONE. If you can't follow simple instructions then also dont do anything. I love android and its openess wouldnt trade it for an iphone on any given day

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Noobtechkid · 4 years ago

Um well thanks my guy for your guidr its actually VERY straight forward. The problem however is the guide sony gave not as well detailed as yours. Also I got stuck for two hours trying to figure out where to get booloader. On Sonys part they were not slick and if novice users start to tamper with their phones then they in for a big surprise if they not prepared

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Noobtechkid · 4 years ago

Hey

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namanpuri · 4 years ago

Nice work,unlocked successfully. A tip here for other users,open android sdk-platform tools (in windows explorer). Then hold shift key and then right click. Select "open in command window" from the list,then enter fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce getvar version and then fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xKEY (replace key with the code obtained before). You are done!!

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Jerome · 5 years ago

Hi my phone is not working, it stocked in sony logo when i power it up, please help. Are these steps could help me? please help i really appreciate much... thanks alot, i have no other device than sony xperia arc s i have no budget yet to buy new one. a BIG THANKS in advance Sir

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Nick · 4 years ago

Me too. I have Xperia E. It's loading for a few minutes and then rebooting and so on.

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seyha · 5 years ago

my IMEI 358517042770041 . page sony can put only 14 digit?

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Avish · 4 years ago

same thing happened with me. just remove the last digit.

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insan · 5 years ago

good that's work.. very simple.. I'm From indonesia....
Thanks For All...

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Nida · 5 years ago

cant find google usb driver in the pakage...????

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Arun · 5 years ago

Hi,
Thank you I have successfully unlocked the bootloader in my Xpreia Ray

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Romulo Santos · 5 years ago

thanks, works like a charm.
A warning for windows 8 users: you need to restart with driver signature enforcement disabled, otherwise you won´t be able to install the fastboot drivers.

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Izufa · 4 years ago

hai .... can you tell me how to disabled it , because I cannot find it on my computer .. please

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al · 5 years ago

Hey,the battery in my sony xperia x10 ran down and the phone won't start the red light just blink three times. I tried charging the battery and it is still not working. I even used an external battery charger. Someone told me the bootloader needs to be reinstalled as this is where the problem is. The bootloader was unlocked since I bought the phone. So I don't know what to do now.

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guillermo · 4 years ago

jodete por pelotudo

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jens · 5 years ago

Hi,
The guideline is wonderfull. When I turn my device off and plug the cable back in. I get the blue light ( I have an xperia u) the computer won't ask for drivers (I have done the necessary steps). How can I solve this problem?

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gauravdsb · 5 years ago

I have the same problem ! need help plz...

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Samuel Sempala · 5 years ago

I am finding a series challenges with this set of instructions:

1)
My installer placed the tools in a very different folder (so the
path"c:android-sdkextrasgoogleusb_driver" does not apply). In my
situation, the equivalent is 'C:Program Files
(x86)Androidandroid-sdkextrasgoogleusb_driver'. Hope that has no
effect.

2) With regard to instruction number 13 "Install the
drivers on the path mentioned above
(c:android-sdkextrasgoogleusb_driver)."i am a bit vague on which
drivers to install as well as the path which as explained in my first
point is different."

3) Any attempts at executing the two
command-line instructions in step number 15 have been largely futile as
the the thing just gives that '''' message
that never shows signs of progress however much i wait.

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Manas · 5 years ago

I have same ques .. Plzz clarify ...

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Notarmaso · 5 years ago

When im trying to install the android_winusb it says that the "The hash for the file is not present in the specidied catalogue file. The file is probaly corrupt or has been tampered with" any solutions to fix that. And second, it keep saying and i have tried to unplug it again and agian. ANd last is it normal when i "fastboot" it making the "charcing logo" ?

Thanks!
-Notarmaso

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imed · 5 years ago

new phone sony xperia A so-04e docomo, I can not find the unlock code can you help?

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dinesh · 5 years ago

first unlock it from network.

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mathews joseph · 5 years ago

dude i guess it is due to operator restriction....btw is bl unlock allowed?

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Martyn · 5 years ago

Hi,

I'm having trouble installing the fastboot drivers for my arc s.
I have downloaded the zip file from the sony website, and extracted the file.
I have placed that file in the USB Driver folder in the android SDK replacing the original file.
I have then connected my phone and the blue usb light comes on.
When I try to specify the folder containing the driver it says windows 'could not find software for your device' Any ideas?

Thanks

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gauravdsb · 5 years ago

Same problem here!!

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Ramon · 5 years ago

Same thing, any ideias?

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Bouyabess Messouce · 3 years ago

same problem here aso

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Michael Durrer · 3 years ago

Yup, same here. No solution for this? :(

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Abhi · 6 years ago

hello

in cmd after "fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce getvar version" says waiting for device

can u help me out with this

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crizzie · 5 years ago

same problem please help

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negi · 5 years ago

dude faced the same problem.. finally found a solution.. while it is waitng(do not close command prompt late it w8)unplug the phone ..turn it off.. again press fastboot(volumeup) and plug it it will detect ur device..

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sako · 5 years ago

hello Negi,
well i got a doubt here, in the above comment u have mentioned-- unplug--> "turn it off".
as from the step by step process, in the step 12. the device is already in turn off and it is in fastboot mode. so what is the exact meaning of turn it off(u mean restart the device and turn off again). !!!!!!!

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negi · 5 years ago

let* :p

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Kartik · 3 years ago

Hi Negi,
I have tried everything I could. still I'm stucked at waiting for device donno wht to do
plz help me , will u?

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