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FT Comm Manual

FT Comm is stand along program that installs FT4web (charting program) as well as downloads, updates, and verify the data files necessary to run FT4web. Download FT Comm as the first step to setting up your FT4web install.


Below are the details of all functions of FT Comm:

Download Tab

Two actions are available:

Update Data and Integrity Check

Select this radio button and click “Connect” to get your data updates.

Each night at approximately 7:30pm Central and once during the morning (approximately 8a-11am Central) Fastrack updates its database. The 7:30pm central update adds the new closing prices, dividends, and corrections. The morning update makes any necessary corrections and updates to any data from the night before.

Additionally, FT Comm checks your families and program files during each update, automatically fixing and patching files where necessary.

Upgrade FT Comm

Periodically we release updates to the FT comm program. This second option will download and install the updates when released. This option will mostly show inactive/ non click able when your software is up to date.

When an update is released, the top background will appear yellow and the radio button will activate. Select this option and click connect to download and apply the FT Comm update.

Sub Tabs and Buttons

Progress Sub Tab

Status information about the downloading scrolls in this area. If you are having communication difficulties, the information in this area will help you and FT Tech Support diagnose the problem.

Elapsed Bar (Not shown: It will be visible when downloads are occurring)

The bar measures the progress of each file transferred. It will flicker on short files and show progress of the longer files.

Applying Sub Tab

When a long running process is taking place, FT Comm will switch to this tab and give details information about the specific long running process.

Connect Button

Push this after all other options have been selected. FTComm will connect to our servers and begin data or software update.

Interrupt Button

It will interrupt a download in progress, but may seem to hang at that point. Wait at least a minute before taking more drastic measures like rebooting.

Data Status Blog Button

This blog (a regularly updated web page) has information of general interest. If is updated in real-time when we notice data delays or other situations which will affect FastTrack subscribers or the quality of our services.

Close FT Comm

Click the red X button in the upper right corner of the window.

User Settings Tab

Account and Password

These are unique to your account. Do not share with others. You must enter or FTComm cannot upgrade your programs or update your data. These values will automatically save as you enter them.

Call 866-295-0166 during business hours (8:00AM-5:00PM Central market days) x 1 if you have lost this information.

FLOSS: FastTrack Live Online Support Services

Click to connect to your desktop and see our support screen. We can help you and train you live online. Usually, you call 866-295-0166 x 2 first, then we tell you to click FLOSS if needed.

Advanced Option:

Run Program After Updating
  • FT4Web is the FastTrack Charting Ranking Program
  • The Run Other will allow you to choose any program or batch file to run

Install Path:

If you are installing on a new machine, most users install to the default C:\FT.
The values will automatically save as you change them.

Do not install in the Windows “Program Files” path. Your security programs may protect this folder and not permit modifying the programs and data after initial installation.

Backup Documentation

FT Comm will back up your critical FT4web files such as families, signals, chart settings, spreadsheet settings and more. The full list of locations saved are:

  • [ftroot]\userdef
  • [ftroot]\ft4win\SPREADSHEETS\USERDEF
  • [ftroot]\ft4win\PARAMETERS\USERDEF
  • [ftroot]\ft4win\CHARTDEF\USERDEF
  • [ftroot]\ft4win\EXPORTS\USERDEF
  • [ftroot]\ft4win\SIGNALS\USERDEF
  • [ftroot]\ft4win\SIEVES\USERDEF
  • [ftroot]\ft4win\TRADES\USERDEF
  • [ftroot]\ft4win\TRENDS\USERDEF
  • [ftroot]\ft4win.ini

Creating Back Ups

FT Comm will back up your data two ways

  1. Forced Back Up – click the “Back Up Now” button to force a back up of the current machine
  2. Automatic Back Up – Check the “Backup user data during update” option and FT comm will save your files and settings to the cloud automatically when you update.

Restoring from Backup

To restore from a backup:

  1. Open FT Comm
  2. Click the User Settings tab
  3. Click the “restore from backup” button
  4. A list of previous backup points will be displayed on the screen
  5. Select your back up options
  6. Select the backup to restore
  7. Click “Restore” button on the right

In an abundance of caution, before any back up restore is applied FT Comm will save your current files and settings to your local [ft root]\Backups folder.  This is a .ZIP files with the naming convention “backup-[yyyyMMdd] [hh-mm-ss-tt]-[uniqueid].zip”

Backup Options

There are three options when restoring from a backup:

  1. Merge Newer – selecting this option will add files that exist on FT’s servers but not on your local machine and replace files on your local machine that are older than the files on FTs servers
  2. Merge Missing – selection this option will add files that exist on FTs servers but not on your local. No other files will be replaced, deleted, or modified.
  3. Full Restore – this option will update your machine exactly as it was when the backup was created. It will delete the contents of the folders above and replace them with the backup data.

Main PC

FT4web is licensed to a single computer (Read the subscription agreement here). The single computer is called your “Main PC” and can perform unlimited updates while your subscription is current.

FastTrack’s subscription allows for updates to non “Main PC” computers. See additional computers below.


Change Main PC

To change your main pc, click the main pc checkbox and the “Single Computer Limitation” screen will appear. Selection “conver this computer to my Main PC,” then follow the instructions for payment. Your computer will instantly convert to your Main PC.

Additional Computers

To update any additional computer without impacting your Main PC status (commonly a home office, travelling laptop, etc), FT Comm offers a “one day update” for a non Main PC computer.

From any non Main PC computer, click the Connect Button on the Download tab. The Single Computer Limitation Screen will appear. Select the “Purchase a 1 day update for this computer” option and follow the directions for payment. Your computer will instantly have access to the current data download.

Purchasing a one day update will allow you to access data from the time you purchase to midnight central time.

For example, if you purchase 10am eastern on a Tuesday, you can download Monday’s data instantly. Then, you can download Tuesday’s data after its released at approximately 7:30pm central time until midnight central time.


Common Tasks/Issues

FastTrack or FTComm Not Working Right

  1. Uninstall FTComm using the Windows Control Panel
  2. Reboot Windows
  3. Reinstall the latest FTCOMM
  4. Navigate to the FTComm User Setting Tab
  5. Click the “Revert to Backup” button and download the backup version you desire
  6. Navigate to the Download tab and press connect to download FastTrack data

Install as a new user

  1. Install FTCOMM
  2. Enter your account number, password, and install path on the new user screen
  3. Click “Start Install” and FT comm will install your FastTrack.
  4. If First time user screen does not appear, navigate to the user settings tab and enter your account number and password there
  5. Then navigate back to the Download tab and press connect
  6. The install will begin and show the status on the screen
  7. When finished, FastTrack is installed.
  8. Click the “Charting – Ranking” icon on your desktop to display charts

Call 866-295-0166 x 2 for free investment training and technical assistance.

Switch Computers

  1. On old Machine – Backup
    1. Write down your account number and password from FTComm User Settings Tab.
    2. Click the “Back Up Now” button to back up your old machine
  2. On New Machine
    1. Install FTComm. Hand enter your account and password. (must match Old Machine)
    2. On the User Setting Tab, checkmark the Main PC option to convert your machine to your Main OC. (There is a fee.)
    3. Update Data using FTComm and start Charting – Ranking

Using your Account on a Friend’s Machine

  1. If you want to set a friend’s computer up just like yours and show him how to use FastTrack like you, then call in to 866-295-0166 during business hours to get and a free trial account and password.
  2. On Your Machine
    1. Write down your account number and password from FTComm User Settings Tab.
    2. Click the “Back Up Now” button to back up your old machine
  3. On your Friend’s Machine
    1. Install FTComm.
    2. Hand enter your account and password. (must match Old Machine)
    3. Click the connect button.
    4. Follow the one time update instructions and pay the one time update Fee.
    5. Navigate to the User Setting Tab and click “Revert to Backup” and select the back up to restore on your freinds machine
  4. Navigate to the User Settings Tab and change the account number and password to your Friends trial account and password
  5. Click “Back Up Now” to backup the files from your back up to your friends account.
  6. Click “Charting – Ranking” on your desktop to start charting

Move FT to a different folder

If you just want to move your FT to a different place then:

  1. Manually copy your old folder to the new location or use the backup options documented below
  2. Start FTComm and change the Install location. This value will automatically save as you change it.
  3. Do an update. This will reregister the OCX and DLL programs in their new location.
  4. Click the “Add Desktop Icon” button to update your desktop files to the new location

Simple renaming, cutting, pasting, etc. the install folder, or just changing the Install Path field without following the steps above will cause problems.

Other Common Issues

Notes to System Admin

  • FT Comm requires admin privileges on install. It should not require admin privileges after the install. Albeit, FT Comm requires read/write permissions to the fasttrack install folder (typically C:\FT)
  • DO NOT install as one Windows user account, then expect to use FT when logged in as a different Windows user account
  • FT4Web uses INI files (as was common practice before Windows Vista). If you install security software that prevents FT programs from modifying its own .INI files, then your user will get error messages on start up and shut down of FT4Web Charting and Ranking.
  • DO NOT prevent the user from modifying/changing files in the root\FT folder.
    • By default, FastTrack installs in the root\FT and NOT in “\Program Files\” as a courtesy to the many older programs which use FT data which cannot tolerate long files names with spaces in them.
    • When installing, accept the default install locations unless there is a darn good reason to change.
    • Changing the drive letter is perfectly acceptable, but not when that drive is a networked drive that the user will be unable to modify.
  • The job is not complete until the user is able to run FTComm to update data, then to see charts, and shut down without displaying error messages.
  • FINAL NOTE – There still are dozens of ways that a you, as a System administrator installing/configuring Windows, firewalls, spyware and, virus software, can shut down a system so tight that FastTrack will die from lack of oxygen. Further, FastTrack Support uses LogMeInRescue for support and training. If you lock out such remote control services, we will be UNABLE to help.