From BetaArchive Wiki
Betaarchive Logo.png
Betaarchive frontpage.png
Front page
Type Online community
Webmaster Andrew "Andy" Whyman
Launch date 18th August 2006

BetaArchive is one of the largest repositories of betas and abandonware on the Internet.

It was opened in August 2006 by Andrew Whyman who goes by nickname Andy and is currently managed by Andy with the assistance from co-admin mrpijey and the moderators. The site features a FTP server which is accessible once a user has attained the FTP Access status on the forum. As of 2023, a new HTTP download system has been launched, with the FTP being discontinued and kept as upload-only.

The forum has received 3 updates, first v2.0, which was introduced with the upgrade to phpBB 3.0; 2.1, which was more of a forum revamp, and then v3.0, which upgraded the forum to phpBB 3.3 and hence introduced a fully responsive theme.

The wiki (this site) is somewhat separate from the forum, please read BetaArchive Wiki:About. It has different permission groups with different contribution rules.

Member groups and privileges

There are several groups on BetaArchive.

  • Administrators
  • Staff
  • Donator
  • Archive Access (formerly FTP Access)
  • VIP (discontinued)
  • Registered users (phpBB default)
  • Newly registered users (phpBB default)

The Administrators and Staff form the BetaArchive staff. Both groups are invite only and perform the housekeeping duties necessary for the forum, including but not limited to deleting nonsense, approving posts and blocking users.

The Donators group is accessible by donating £2.50 (or equivalent amount in other currencies) or more donation and then PMing Andy on the forums. The benefits of Donators group is today a restricted forum exclusive to the Donators members and previously also access to extra/private servers.

The Donators group was formerly called VIP, and there was an option to make 750 posts aside from donating to get membership.

The Archive Access group is accessible by uploading one or more unique or improved release(s) to the FTP, followed by applying for membership in the user Control Panel. This will give you access to most of the restricted forums and the ability to download directly from the database with 50GB limit per day (subject to a fair use policy).

Previously, no uploads were required and only 10 contributing posts were required. With effect from July 28, 2014, that is no longer the case.

Members in the Registered users group can post freely in unlocked sections and you can now PM members and upload release to apply for Archive Access group membership. All members of BetaArchive are automatically placed in this group in addition to any other groups they may be in.

The Newly registered users group is the first group you get in (automatically) and it is limited to no PMs, signatures/avatars and all of the 3 posts need to be approved by a staff member before you are automatically removed from the Newly registered users group.

The VIP group was meant to be invite only, for those who done major contributions, no matter if posts, Wiki edits, uploads etc. This group had one member, viper.

Ranking system (discontinued)

Up to and including BetaArchive v2, users used to have ranks displayed above their avatar. The ranks based on their post count or another criteria. In BetaArchive v2.1, the "star" ranks have been deprecated and replaced by the user's level. However, the banned user ranks have been kept from the previous ranking system.

The rank "Permanently Banned" indicated the user has been banned from the forum for an unspecified time. The "Temporarily Banned" rank indicates the user has been banned for a specific period of time. The "n00bus maximus" and "Noobus Maximus Moderator" ranks were more of an joke that continued and have been set for Gnome. However, he got the regular Moderator rank with the reveal of BetaArchive v2.1. The "Ex-OSBA" rank has been given out to users that were members of OSBA before its closedown in 2006. There was also an I don't like the stars rank set for happy dude.

Other BetaArchive sections

Besides the forum, BetaArchive has various other secions via the website navigation and links on the forum, these are noted here.

  • Database & Download,
  • Photo Gallery, containing screenshots of various Windows versions and other products (later became the Screenshots Gallery).
  • Image Uploader, for uploading images on the forum, hotlinking to other websites is blocked.
  • Server Info, with the server information and statistics.
  • Upload, with FTP server information (host, account and settings).
  • Wiki, which is what you are reading now, the BetaArchive Wiki.
  • RSS Feed, BetaArchive's RSS feed for the forum.
  • Contribution Rules, contribution rules on how to get Archive Access or Donators group membership.