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WinStock Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

  1. I suddenly can't get quotes anymore.  What could be wrong?
  2. How do I receive notifications of updates to WinStock?
  3. How do I get technical support?
  4. I can't retrieve a quote for XYZ. Why not?
  5. The quote for XYZ is wrong.  Is WinStock broken?
  6. How do I get quotes for options?
  7. What about Market Indicies (e.g. S&P 500, DJIA)?
  8. What about charts of market indices?
  9. What do the symbols to the left of the ticker mean?
  10. Why is the reported volume sometimes too low?
  11. How do I display currency quotes?
  12. How can I create a custom sort order?
  13. Why does WinStock use the Last Trade price instead of the Bid price when calculating portfolio values?
  14. Why doesn't the current value and profit/loss show in the portfolio totals?

Paging and E-Mail

  1. I can send test pages just fine, but I never receive alarm pages.  Why not?
  2. I never receive my e-mail alarms.  Why not?

Server Passwords

  1. When I try to use the Discover server, I am asked for a password. How do I get one?
  2. When I try to use the PC Quote server, I am asked for a password. How do I get one?
  3. When I try to use the Datek server, I am asked for a password. How do I get one?
  4. When I try to use the ThomsonRTQ server, I am asked for a password. How do I get one?
  5. When I try to get a graph, I am asked for a password. How do I get one?

WinStock and Quicken

  1. WinStock says I am missing QWRUN.EXE or VBRUN300.DLL. Where do I get them?
  2. I tried to use the Quicken export, but nothing happpened!
  3. I tried to use the Quicken export and got an error message!
  4. I just ran a Quicken operation and now Quicken is locked up!
  5. What is QWRUN and how can I get rid of it?
  6. I imported my portfolio from Quicken, but nothing happened!
  7. I tried to import my portfolio from Quicken and got an error message!
  8. Quicken does not exit after a portfolio update.
  9. I use Quicken version 6 or Quicken 98.  Is there anything special I should know?
  10. I use the UK version of Quicken. Is there anything special I should know?

I suddenly can't get quotes anymore.  What could be wrong?

It may be that the quote server you are using is not responding.  You can check this by:

  1. Click on a security that is giving you a problem.
  2. Select Stock | Browse from the menu, or simply type Ctrl-B. WinStock's built-in browser will start in a new window.

If you do not get a response in a reasonable amount of time, the quote server is probably not responding.  Try a different quote server.  You can change the default quote server by:

WinStock:         Tools | Properties | Servers
WinStock Pro:    View | Properties | Connections & Updates | Servers

If you want to change the quote server for just some selected stocks, select those stocks and click Stock | Properties | Quote Server.

How do I receive notifications of updates to WinStock?

Whenever WinStock starts, it automatically asks this server for the current version number of WinStock. If a newer version is available, you will be informed automatically.

How do I get technical support?

The fastest way to get support is to use the built-in problem reporting feature of WinStock. Select Help | Submit Bug Report... Be as detailed as possible when describing your problem. Include a description of what you were trying to do and what commands and keystrokes, if possible.

If you cannot run WinStock, send e-mail to support@winstocksw.com. Please include the version number of WinStock that you are using. Again, try to be as specific as possible in describing your problem.

I can't retrieve a quote for XYZ. Why not?

WinStock gets its quotes from a number of different quote servers. If the server you choose for a security does not supply quotes for that security, WinStock can't display it. If the server is providing bad data, WinStock will dutifully display the received bad data.  Try this:

  1. Click on the security that is giving you a problem.
  2. Select Stock | Browse from the menu, or simply type Ctrl-B. WinStock's built-in browser will start in a new window.

If you cannot see a quote in the browser window, then the problem is either the server you selected or the security type is misidentified. In most cases WinStock will correctly guess the type of security automatically. However, it is occasionally wrong. You can check the security type and also try other servers by:

  1. Double-click in WinStock's main window on the offending security.
  2. In the resulting dialog box, select the Quote Server tab.
  3. Verify the Security Type. If it is wrong, correct it and press OK. Or,
  4. Change the Server to a different server and press OK.

WinStock will now attempt to fetch a quote for the selected security from the newly chosen quote server. If it fails, go back to the browser procedure given above to check the new server. Or simply double-click the security and try a different server.

The quote for XYZ is wrong.  Is WinStock broken?

WinStock gets its quotes from a number of different quote servers. If the server is providing bad data, WinStock will display whatever the server sends.  Try this:

  1. Click on the security that is giving you a problem.
  2. Select Stock | Browse from the menu, or simply type Ctrl-B. WinStock's built-in browser will start in a new window.

Look at the data retrurned by the server.  If it is wrong, contact the quote vendor.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some quote servers (such as Datek and E*Trade) use an access method that is incompatible with WinStock's built-in browser.  In this case, to check the quote you will need to use your own favorite browser to check the quote.

How do I get quotes for options?

First, make sure that the quote server you are using supports option quotes.  As of this writing, the following quote servers had good coverage of the US options market:

Discover (registration required).
Pacific Brokerage Services (Options)
PC Quote Market-Smart, both realtime (subscription required) and delayed (free, but registration required).

Next, make sure you have correctly identified the ticker symbol as an Option symbol. To do this:

  1. Double-click in WinStock's main window on the offending security.
  2. In the resulting dialog box, select the Quote Server tab.
  3. Verify the Security Type. If it is wrong, correct it and press OK.

What about Market Indicies (e.g. S&P 500, DJIA)?

Spelling of ticker symbols for market indices varies from server to server. WinStock has standardized the spelling of ticker symbols for many popular market indices. To use these standard spellings, select Stock | Search and click on the Standard Market Indices tab. Select as many indices as you wish from the list and press OK.

Not all server support market indices. Of those that do, the coverage is often spotty. The two best servers for index quotes are Data Broadcasting Corportation and InvestorsEdge. Lombard Brokerage, Inc. and CNNfn are also very good.

If none of these servers is your default server, and you are having problems getting index quotes, here's what to do:

  1. Select (using the mouse) all of the index tickers causing problems.
  2. Select Stock | Properties. Change the Server to one of the recommended servers.
  3. Uncheck the Fetch Detailed Quotes box; index quotes usually don't have any interesting detail and some quotes can be fetched faster from some servers if no detail is required.
  4. Press OK. WinStock will attempt to fetch quotes for the selected indices using the chosen server.

What about charts of Market Indices?

Available charts are only those provided by the server (Lombard only for WinStock, a choice of several others for WinStock Pro).  It appears at present that only intra-day charts are available for market indices and not historical. If Lombard changes this, WinStock will then be able to retrieve market index charts.

What do the symbols to the left of the ticker mean?

The question mark (quest.gif (1064 bytes)) indicates a "stale" price. This is, WinStock was unable to retrieve a quote for that ticker on its last attempt. You can tell WinStock to fetch a single quote by double-clicking the ticker symbol and then pressing the OK button.

The circle with a slash (closed.gif (1069 bytes)) indicates a closing price for the day. WinStock does not get this information directly, but instead infers it from the time of the last trade. Since many low-volume stocks do not trade close enough to the close of the trading day, WinStock will often not know that a price is final.

The network plumbing (retrieving.gif (131 bytes)) indicates that a quote fetch is in program for the stock.

Why is the reported volume sometimes too low?

There is a known bug in the Security APL quote server that causes the volume to be under-reported once it exceeds some threshhold. This is not a bug in WinStock.

How do I display currency quotes

The Data Broadcasting Corporation and PC Quote servers both supply currency quotes.   Consult their web sites for futher details.

The currency conversions used by WinStock Pro are retrieved from a quote server that updates once per day.

How can I creat a custom sort order?

This trick works only for WinStock Pro:  Suppose you want to sort your stocks first by some classification, say Owned vs. Watching and then alphabetically within these groups.  Here's how:

  1. Select a stock in the Owned group and click Stock | Properties | Advanced.
  2. Check the box labeled Save Description.
  3. Enter a description like: Owned: INTC
  4. Repeat for all Owned stocks.
  5. Now select a stock in the Watching group and click Stock | Properties | Advanced.
  6. Check the box labeled Save Description.
  7. Enter a description like: Watching: CPQ
  8. Repeat for all Watching stocks.
  9. Next, click View | Columns and add the Description column to the Display list on the left side.  If you don't actually want to see this column, make sure it is the last entry in the list.  You'll also need to follow step 11.
  10. Finally, click on the Description column header in the main WinStock Pro display.  This will cause your stocks to be sorting in the custom order you created in the Description field.
  11. Follow this step only if you don't want to see the Description column in the main window:  Since you arranged for the Description to be the right-most column, simply re-size WinStock Pro so that the last column does not appear.

Why does WinStock use the Last Trade price instead of the Bid price when calculating portfolio values?

Not all quote servers return the Bid price.  Furthermore, not all exchanges allow the Bid to be published even when the quote server supports it for other exchanges.  Finally, the Bid is not returned for non-detailed quotes by some (but not all) quote servers.  For these reasons, using the Bid price is not reliable.

Why doesn't the current value and profit/loss show in the portfolio totals?

If WinStock does not have a complete set of quotes for all securities in your portfolio, it will not show the total current value and any other totals derived from the total current value.  The reason is that the total current value has no meaning if you do not have a complete set of quotes.

Each time you try to open your portfolio without a complete set of quotes, WinStock Pro will warn you about the missing totals.  It will also give you the option never to see this warning again.  If you disable the warning, WinStock Pro will silently suppress the totals.

If you would like to re-enable the warning, click View | Properties | General | Warnings.  Uncheck the box labelled "Warn about suppressed totals in portfolio due to incomplete quote set."

I can send test pages just fine, but I never receive alarm pages.  Why not?

I never receive my e-mail alarms.  Why not?

When you are ready to let WinStock Pro send pages or e-mail, you must uncheck Edit | Suspend Paging.  WinStock Pro automatically re-checks this item each time you launch it.  The reason for this is simple: if it did not, then as soon as you launched WinStock Pro, it might attempt to send you a page or e-mail.  Since you are clearly sitting at your computer, this is a wasted page or e-mail.

The second thing you may need to do is click Edit | Reset Pager Alarms.   Once WinStock Pro detects an alarm condition, it will not send another page or e-mail for that alarm until you clear it. 

When I try to use the Discover server, I am asked for a password. How do I get one?

The Discover server requires that you register for a free account. Click here to register.

When I try to use the PC Quote server, I am asked for a password. How do I get one?

The PC Quote Market-Smart Delayed server requires that you register form a free account. Click here to register.

The PC Quote Market-Smart Real-Time server requires a subscription.  Click here to register.

When I try to use the Datek server, I am asked for a password. How do I get one?

The Datek server requires that you have an account. Click here to register.

When I try to use the ThomsonRTQ server, I am asked for a password. How do I get one?

The Discover server requires that you register for a free account. Click here to register.

When I try to get a graph, I am asked for a password. How do I get one?

Some Graphs are provided by the Discover server. The Discover server requires that you register form a free account. Click here to register.

WinStock says I am missing QWRUN.EXE or VBRUN300.DLL. Where do I get them?

These files are helper programs that WinStock uses to unlock the data files when using Quicken Version 5 or earlier. They are not needed for Quicken Version 6 or later.

You can download them from the WinStock web site. Download this setup program and run it to install QWRUN.EXE and VBRUN300.DLL. You must install them to the same directory that you installed WinStock. If you chose the default installation directory when you installed WinStock, you may also chose the default for the two Quicken helper files.

Click here to download the Quicken helper setup program.

I tried to use the Quicken Export, but nothing happpened!

This is usually due to one of five causes:

  1. Make sure that the Ticker symbols Quicken and those in WinStock agree in both spelling and case.
  2. Select Tools | Properties and then select the Quicken tab. Make sure that the Location of Quicken Executable is correctly set. There is a known bug that WinStock will silently fail to update Quicken if it cannot find the Quicken executable.
  3. With some versions of Quicken, particularly Quicken Version 6 (although this has been reported occasionally with Quicken 5), you must arrange it such that when Quicken starts, a portfolio view is visible in the Quicken workspace. The simplest way to do that is to start Quicken, bring up the portfolio view for some account and then exit Quicken. This is a Quicken problem and not a WinStock problem.
  4. If you told WinStock that you are using Quicken Version 6 (or higher), but you are actually using Version 5 (or earlier), WinStock will also silently fail to update Quicken.
  5. With Quicken 98, it is possible to configure it to play a sound clip of your choice.   If this sound clip is too long, WinStock will get tired of waiting for Quicken to announce that it is awake.  To fix this you must disable the sound clip in Quicken.

Note to users of the UK version of Quicken: Click here for special instructions.

I tried to use the Quicken export and got an error message!

With Quicken 98, it is possible to configure it to play a sound clip of your choice.   If this sound clip is too long, WinStock may display the following error:

WinStock's execute transaction with Quicken ([GetQuickenFile]) failed with code 16389

To fix this you must disable the sound clip in Quicken.

I just ran a Quicken operation and now Quicken is locked up!

This should happen rarely, but when it does you must exit WinStock. Then you'll be able to exit Quicken. If QWRUN is hanging around when this happens, see the next question.

What is QWRUN and how can I get rid of it?

QWRUN is a helper application that allows WinStock to modifiy your Quicken data files. If it does not go away by itself after you send some prices to Quicken, simply double click on its icon on the desktop (WinNT 3.51 or earlier) or on the Task Bar (Win95 or WinNT 4.0). QWRUN will pop up and appear as a traffic light. Now just double-click on the traffic light and QWRUN will go away.

I imported my portfolio from Quicken, but nothing happened!

WinStock only imports symbols from Quicken for securities that Quicken says you own. If you have a zero share balance in any security, WinStock will not import it.

I tried to import my portfolio from Quicken and got an error message!

With Quicken 98, it is possible to configure it to play a sound clip of your choice.   If this sound clip is too long, WinStock may display the following error:

WinStock's execute transaction with Quicken ([GetQuickenFile]) failed with code 16389

To fix this you must disable the sound clip in Quicken.

Quicken does not exit after a portfolio update.

This is caused by some dialog box being displayed by Quicken. Most frequently, the dialog being displayed is the reminder window for scheduled transactions. Unfortunately, there is nothing WinStock can do when this happens. If you disable the reminders in Quicken, this won't occur, but you will then lose the reminder feature of Quicken.

I use Quicken version 6 or Quicken 98.  Is there anything special I should know?

If you use Quicken 6 or Quicken 98, you should tell WinStock that you are using Quicken Version 6 (or newer).  You do not need to download or install the Quicken Helpers (although it won't hurt if you already have).

I use the UK version of Quicken.   Is there anything special I should know?

If you use the UK version of Quicken you should tell WinStock that you are using Quicken Version 6 (even thought you are using UK Quicken Version 5). In addition, you do not need to download or install the Quicken Helpers (although it won't hurt if you already have).

 

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Last modified: January 02, 2005