After that last post, I thought it may be a good idea to explain a little about newsgroups in general. Many friends and coworkers of mine always ask me how I find so many programs, movies (full DVD’s), and CD’s. I try to explain that I use newsgroups to download the binaries, but all I get in response is: “Well, can you find me …?”. So here goes my tutorial, if you will…

Prerequistes:

  • Newsgroup access through a Usenet provider. Many times your ISP will provide restricted access to newsgroups (call and ask), but if you want the best out there check out Giganews.
  • WinRAR
  • Xnews
  • A newsgroup search engine, such as Newzbin (Pay the small fee. It really pays off on search results and you need the membership to download NZB files)

OK, now what?

  • Start Xnews and enter in your newsgroup server information. You will need the server address and username/password, if applicable. When it asks you if you want to download the entire list of newsgroups, choose Yes.
  • Open a browser and go to your Newzbin account. Type in ‘newsleecher’ in the search box. This should give you several results. Click on the one that looks best for you (may need to look at the comments).
  • On this new page you need to make note of the following: Newsgroups, name of one of the files with the rar extension, and the date it was posted (reported date plus days after upload).
  • Go back to Xnews. Click on the ‘All’ button on the bottom left of the screen so that you see all the groups. Now type in the name of the group in the box to the right of the ‘All’ button (the name of the group is the one you found on Newzbin). This will filter out most or all of the groups listed on your screen. Double-click on the one that you are looking for.
  • Most likely this will bring up a window asking you how many headers you want to download. Using the slider bars you need to attempt to locate the headers that were posted on the date that you found on Newzbin. The far left is the oldest headers and the far right is the most recent. You will probably need to attempt this more than once, as it does take some getting use to. If you didn’t capture the right headers push CTRL-F5 and the window with the slider bars will come back up.
  • After you have successfully downloaded all the headers for the date(s) that you needed, you will need to find the files that Newzbin reported (typically with the .rar extension). Queue these in Xnews by clicking on the ‘Q’ column next to each and every file that Newzbin found for you. Then push F4 on your keyboard. The files will then download to a folder where ever you extracted Xnews.
  • Using WinRAR, extract the files. This will give you the NewsLeecher program along with a crack. You will need to read the .NFO file that was packaged by right-clicking and choosing Open With… and using Wordpad or Notepad.
  • After installing Newsleecher, congratulations! You’re done with the difficult part. Now all you need to do is go back to Newzbin and start searching for whatever you desire. Instead of looking at each post and manually retrieving the files you can now download the NZB file. (It’s that little green arrow next to each result on Newzbin). Use your new Newsleecher program to open the NZB with and you’re all set. The program will go and fetch all the files for you.
  • After Newsleecher is done downloading all the files, navigate to the download directory where they were stored. Using WinRAR you can now extract the files.

That should be about it! If you are interested in knowing a little bit more about the background, check out Slyck’s guide here.


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