FTP protocol code messages

To locate some good download outlets you can either use Google or keep your eyes peeled for recommendations on bulletin boards. Once you have opened your chosen web site, click on the link labeled games, applications or whatever it is you happen to be searching for. If your bloodlust can only be quenched by the gorefest that is Soldier of Fortune II, for example, scroll down the games page until you stumble across the list of files that refers to this game. For this particular game there will be 65 files and you will need to download all of them for the game to work properly. If you are using Flashget, my personal favourite download manager, when you click on a file the browser integration gizmo will kick into action and a download window will appear stating the file size, the file location and the transfer rate. If everything goes to plan you should just be able to click on the ‘download now’ button and Flashget will take care of the rest. This process can be repeated for all the files one after the other – you do not have to wait for one file to finish downloading before clicking on the next one in the sequence. This means that once you have asked Flashget to download a series of files you can close the web page where you found them and take your metaphorical surf board elsewhere while they are downloaded automatically.

Error messages
At this stage there are several errors which you may be confronted with. In determining the reason for the inaccessibility of a particular file, Flashget and Gozilla are very informative, which is one advantage they have over Getright, which often ambiguously concludes that if a file cannot be downloaded it is simply ‘busy’ – not very insightful at all! If you are faced with one of the error messages listed below you shouldn’t automatically assume that the file is unattainable so don’t give up just yet. The most common of these include:

  • “File not found” – this usually means that the free web space provider has deleted the file because its presence infringes copyright regulations as detailed in their terms and agreements of use tome. If you get this message it is probably best to go elsewhere to search for the same file – or alternatively you can ask Gozilla or Flashget to search various mirror servers for the same file by pressing the ‘find’ button in the download menu.
  • “Unable to connect to…” – you will see this message if the file you are attempting to download is stored on an FTP site. The explanation – FTPs are actually people’s hard drives, which you can access only when they are connected to the Internet. If you cannot get the file first time, just try again later. If this is happening frequently, the IP address may have been a temporary one and no longer refers to the place where the desired file resides (some ISPs will assign you with a new number each time you log on). The moral of this story (what have morals got to do with warez?) is to download software from these sites as quickly as possible because they won’t last forever.
  • “Too many users – try again later” – exactly what it says on the tin. The number of simultaneous connections permitted to many FTP sites is limited to a pre-determined maximum to keep download speeds to a reasonable level. Whenever this happens you will have to learn to be patient until it’s your turn to connect. Do not ‘hammer’ the site (repeatedly try to access it) as this can annoy the owner who can then ban you from using it. Another handy hint: if you’ve been banned you will be abruptly disconnected from the FTP site without an explanation whenever you try to log on – if you do not have a static IP address you can circumvent this problem by disconnecting from the internet and re-dialing. When you have been re-connected you will be allocated with a new IP address which will mimic the appearance of a new user the next time you try to access the FTP site. Then to make sure this doesn’t happen again, open the options menu in whichever FTP client you happen to be using and extend the retry intervals to match the level that the sys op of the FTP site will accept; anything above 20-ish seconds is reasonable. A better idea perhaps, is to schedule your downloads for a time when fewer users are likely to be accessing the FTP site – early in the morning (UK time) for example, when all the American’s are still in bed.
  • “Incorrect password/username/access denied” – the owner is fed up with having hundreds of people clogging up his or her FTP site and has changed the password to prevent you from gaining access. This is very common with ‘banner sites’; FTP sites where you must click on various banners and search for keywords, which make up the username or password before being permitted access. Unsurprisingly this is another money making scheme (refer to the ‘tools of the trade’ tutorial) – these sites are more likely to stay active as the owner has more to gain from keeping them up and running.
  • “Insufficient credits” – you are likely to see a message like this if you are accessing a ‘ratio site’; one which requires you to upload a certain amount of bytes before you can download. To solve this problem you can instruct Bullet Proof FTP to begin uploading files whenever you are approaching the designated data transfer limit. To do this simply place the files that you wish to upload at the bottom of the list of currently downloading files. When you run out of credits they will automatically be uploaded. Alternatively have two Bullet Proof sessions open at once. Use one to upload and the other to download simultaneously (some sites will limit your access to one connection per IP address so this method will work only when multiple connections are permitted).
  • Servers running Windows NT 4.0 and below do not provide support for the resume function. If you are downloading a file from an unresumable server and the connection is reset you will have to start transferring the file again from scratch. It is best to avoid such files like the plague, especially if they are quite large, but if this isn’t possible, download them one at a time and make sure you do not surf the web simultaneously. This will allow you to maximise the bandwidth allocated to your currently downloading file and will also reduce the likelihood of any interference which could result in transfer interruptions.
  • If when you click on a link it appears as a ‘cgi’ or ‘php’ file in the download window, the file is either being protected by an anti-leech system or is subject to a file tracking setup (usually just for statistical purposes), making it very awkward to transfer using a download manager. The best way around this problem is to temporarily disable your download manager by holding down the shift button whilst you click on the file and wait to be redirected to the actual target file you wish to download (keep in mind that this denies you the use of the resume function in most cases – see the downloading section of the FAQ for exceptions). Similarly if you download a file expecting it to be almost 3mb and it appears in your download directory in a matter of seconds, the file will be too small and will not work. There are ways of convincing your download manager to cooperate in downloading these files (refer to the FAQ), but again in most cases it is quicker and simpler to use the method mentioned above. Some sites simply do not like download managers. Call it a personality clash if you like, but don’t waste any more time trying to make the two ‘talk’ to each other.
  • Note that many more of the errors you will come across while accessing FTP sites will not be reported in plain English as with the ones above. Instead, in some cases, the only clue as to the cause of the problem will come in the form of a three digit code, which must first be deciphered before you can find out what exactly is going wrong and attempt to remedy the problem – see below for a comprehensive list of these error codes along with their explanations. Note that not all of these codes should be a cause for concern. Many of them will appear simply to keep you informed of the commands which are being executed to facilitate the transfer process.

100 – The requested action is being initiated, expect another reply before proceeding with a new command.
110 – Restart marker reply.
120 – Service ready in x minutes.
125 – Data connection already open, transfer starting.
150 – File status okay, about to open data connection.
200 – The requested action has been successfully completed.
200 – Command okay.
202 – Command not implemented, superfluous at this site.
211 – System status, or system help reply.
212 – Directory status.
213 – File status.
214 – Help message.
215 – Name system type. (Where name is an official system name from the list in the Assigned Numbers document.)
220 – Service ready for new user.
221 – Service closing control connection. Logged out if appropriate.
225 – Data connection open; no transfer in progress.
226 – Closing data connection. Requested file action successful.
227 – Entering Passive Mode.
230 – User logged in, proceed.
250 – Requested file action okay, completed.
257 – Pathname created.
300 – The command has been accepted, but the requested action is being held in abeyance, pending receipt of further information.
331 – User name okay, need password.
332 – Need account for login.
350 – Requested file action pending further information.
400 – The command was not accepted and the requested action did not take place, but the error condition is temporary and the action may be requested again.
421 – Service not available, closing control connection. This may be a reply to any command if the service knows it must shut down.
425 – Can’t open data connection.
426 – Connection closed; transfer aborted.
450 – Requested file action not taken. File unavailable.
451 – Requested action aborted: local error in processing.
452 – Requested action not taken. Insufficient storage space in system.
500 – Series Codes: The command was not accepted and the requested action did not take place.
500 – Syntax error, command unrecognized. This may include errors such as command line too long.
501 – Syntax error in parameters or arguments.
502 – Command not implemented.
503 – Bad sequence of commands.
504 – Command not implemented for that parameter.
530 – Not logged in.
532 – Need account for storing files.
550 – Requested action not taken. File unavailable.
552 – Requested file action aborted. Exceeded storage allocation (for current directory or dataset).
553 – Requested action not taken. File name not allowed.

If all else fails you can simply go elsewhere to search for the same file. The advantage of releasing canonical archives is that you do not have to get all the files of a particular game or application from the same site. They will nearly always form part of a standard set, which will be of identical size and filename (the default at the moment is 2.88mb for a rip and 15mb for an ISO).