BetaArchive Wiki:FTP Access rules

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General abandonware rules

All abandonware must follow these guidelines:

  • The title must be at least 10 years old from the date of release. Only exception is if the owners release it as public freeware. Any releases less than 10 years old will be kept in safe storage until release can be made.
  • The title may not be sold in any stores or supported in any way. This applies to that particular title and not variants of it, such as GoG releases etc.
  • The title may not be pre-cracked or modified in any way that makes it differ from an original release. Serials, keygens etc will be removed.
  • No warez releases are permitted, only dumps of original discs and floppies. If you submit a web download please provide a source for verification.
  • Nintendo releases are at the moment not accepted! Nintendo has very little tolerance for sites carrying ANY of their software, many sites has been shutdown by Nintendo because of it. This may change at a later date.
  • Regardless of other sites' definition of "abandonware", the above definition is what matters on BetaArchive.

There are no legal definition of what classifies as "abandonware", it's up to each community to define it as they wish. Technically and from a business point of view abandonware is no different from warez, i.e pirated software, but the general consensus is that corporations pay very little interest in titles that are far beyond its support and usability life cycle. A select few corporations even encourage spreading their titles as it prolongs the life cycle of an old title among fans.

The above guidelines and definition applies to BetaArchive only. How others define abandonware do not apply on this site.

Computer abandonware

  • If the title is floppy based you must upload the release as it is from the floppies. Raw .IMG dumps are preferred, if you have your floppy images in any other format please contact me. Use rawread or Winimage to create your floppy images. Kryodump stream files are preferred if possible.
  • If the title is CD-ROM/DVD-ROM based you have to make a raw dump of the disc: MDF/MDS (Alcohol120%), BIN/CUE, .CCD (CloneCD) or .NRG (Nero) format for multisession discs (discs with multiple tracks such as audio or extra data). MDF is preferred. DMG, CDR or Toast images for Macintosh releases.
  • No floppy-into-folder dumps are accepted (abandonware is commonly found online this way). Only raw dumps from the original media is accepted.

Console abandonware

For the time being BetaArchive will not publish any console abandonware titles onto the FTP nor will they be accepted as FTP access contribution.

If you can provide a scan of the floppy, cartridge, disc and box it would add a bonus to the release. Be sure to make the scan in high resolution (300dpi or higher) and save it in a lossless format (png, tif), jpeg only if absolutely necessary. Be sure to scan the full media, not only the label.

Unacceptable software on BetaArchive

The basic understanding on BetaArchive is that we are only interested in complete and full retail software. But there are exceptions to this as we don't want all retail software. This is a blacklist of what we don't want uploaded or offered on the forums or FTP.

  • Abandonware console games. We do accept betas of console games, but for the time being not abandonware ones. If you still want to contribute with these you can dump and upload them to the FTP, but they will be archived for the future when we can afford the drive space for them.
  • Abandonware ROM sets. We do not accept any legal, or illegal, ROM sets from groups such as NoIntro, Redump, TOSEC, Passigar etc. We do preserve them but do not distribute them in any way.
  • Drivers. These are plentiful, and just as useless as they require hardware we can't provide.
  • Freeware games and applications. These can often be found on shareware sites or authors websites.
  • Shareware discs. Same as above, and these usually holds little value. If there is an occasional beta or valuable abandonware title on it save it and include the source in a readme file.
  • Demo discs. Only exception are demo discs with verified beta versions.
  • Open source software. These are often found on github, SourceForge and other open source dist sites. Only exception to this rule is retail open source software such as certain Linux distributions etc. Scans and MDF dumps are required for these titles.
  • Custom compilation discs. Only retail software is allowed. If you think your title should be an exception PM me and I will consider it.
  • OEM recovery sets. These take up too much space and as with drivers are plentiful and quite useless unless you own the matching hardware.
  • Generic web abandonware. Microsoft MSDN/TechNet and Apple ADC are general exceptions. We want originals, not something you found in a torrent or some other beta or abandonware site. If you think you got something that should be archived then PM me and I will consider it.
  • Magazine discs. These are not archived by us as they are much like the freeware and shareware discs filled with demos and freeware. If you think you got something worth preserving make an offer in the Downloads Requests/Offers forum.
  • Source code. Source code is especially sensitive for exploit detection and it may carry confidential information about the software. Neither closed or open source is permitted.
  • Firmwares. These serve little to no purpose as they require very specific hardware to be used. This includes Apple iOS, Android, Cisco IOS, console firmware updates and (smart)phone firmware updates. This also includes BIOS ROM sets for any systems that are not public domain.
  • Microsoft UUP ISOs or sets. Any UUP ISOs or sets prior to build 10.0.16241.1001 are still acceptable, anything newer is not. Ask if you think you have an ISO that should be uploaded.
  • Microsoft MSDN (web) or VLSC (web) titles. We already have access to these and they will be available in due time. MSDN and other physical disc dumps are acceptable.
  • Mods or map packs. Unless they come on an official retail disc these are not usable by their own.
  • Apple App Store, Google Play and other commercial e-store software. We don't archive any of that as there's so much junk and so often updated that it's not worth it. Exceptions: Major retail titles. Ask if you're unsure.

Applying for FTP access

  1. Read first our guides on how to scan, dump and upload your releases. Everything you need can be found here‎.
  2. Check if we already have this release. Search in the BetaArchive Database. Even if we have the title in our lists you may have a better copy so always double check or ask us if you are unsure. Titles of any age can be contributed, even those not considered being "Abandonware".
  3. Make sure your contribution is allowed on the FTP. You can find a list of acceptable and unacceptable software above.
  4. Dump the media using proper software and hardware.
  5. For optical media only Alcohol120% or CloneCD (Windows) or Daemon Tools or Disk Utility (OS X) are allowed.
  6. For floppy media use dd, WinImage, rawread (Windows) or dd, ddrescue (OS X, *nix). Hardware dumpers such as Kryoflux, SuperCard Pro, Copy II PC etc. are also allowed, but please provide a standard IMG dump along with it.
  7. Scan all the artwork. With your release you need to provide properly made scans of the media, box/cover art and documentation and save it into an unaltered and acceptable file format. See here for instructions.
  8. Each release must have a proper filename. If you can't provide such then add a readme file with any info you can provide with the release. Any releases with filenames like "3dkit_Alpha.zip", "bone.zip" or "Office97.7z" will automatically be discarded. Full release name with title, version, build, year of release, language and media is required. Example: Microsoft Office 95 Standard (7.00.1911) (1995-07) [English] (3.5-1.44MB).7z. See here for further information.
  9. Each release must be compressed into an archive. RAR, 7z, ZIP is acceptable. Single archive or split archive is fine depending on size and stability of your connection. If possible use archive recovery option, or include a par2-set with the release in case the upload goes bad.
  10. Check your files before upload. Make sure your scans are proper, that all required files are included and that the archive itself is proper. Otherwise you waste both our times with redumps, rescans and reuploads. Guides for scanning and dumping can be found here‎.
  11. Connect and upload to the proper server. Details can be found on the FTP Servers page.
    If you are a new member you can only use the upload server.
    If you are a full FTP member then use your personal FTP account.
  12. When using the upload account upload to a folder labelled with your nickname. FTP members ignore. Releases uploaded directly to the root will be treated as anonymous, and will be automatically discarded if incomplete or broken. For anonymous users you can also make an "from anon" folder.
  13. Uploaded releases can not be renamed or deleted. Make sure your release is properly named and that you upload it to the right folder. If you can't resume then rename your release or upload to a new subfolder indicating a new retry. Renames and deletion has been disabled for security reasons.
  14. Complete your upload with a note. Once you finished uploading your release or batch make a "Completed" or "Finished" folder indicating it's ready for processing.
  15. Apply for FTP membership. Apply for membership only after you completed your upload. Any applications prior to upload will automatically be rejected without any notice.