FAD Tools Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions below to show/hide the answers provided.


USB hardware keys are used for licensing. There are two types of license keys for FAD Tools: a PC key and a Network key. The PC key is designed to be used on a single computer, i.e. the license is stored on a PC key and must be plugged into the USB port for the computer to run FAD Tools. The Network key is designed to be used on an office network, i.e. all licenses for FAD Tools are stored on the Network key as long as the key is plugged into any computer on your office network, all licenses will be available to any computer that has FAD Tools installed. This is useful if you have multiple users at one time and do not want to pass PC keys from user to user.

Payment is due in full in order to receive the hardware keys containing the requested licenses. FAD Tools is available via download from fadtools.com. There is a 30 day trial period with printing and saving reports disabled. The software will be fully functional with the use of the hardware keys. Under certain circumstances, the trial period can be extended in order to accommodate delays in payment. Please email support@fadtools.com to request an extension.

There are no discounts available at this point in time.

Your maintenance subscription and upgrade period starts the day you purchase the software and extends through the end of the current year. As you near the end of this period, the software will remind you to renew support and upgrades for another year. You are not required to do this and the software will function normally after your period expires, but you will not receive updates or maintenance subscription until you renew. Invoices for renewing maintenance subscription will be mailed automatically and will be effective once paid in full.

Regardless of when you renew your maintenance subscription and upgrade period, this period will always start and end on January 1st of the next year. For example, if you purchased the software on March 15, 2014, then your initial maintenance subscription and upgrade period would last through December 31, 2014. Once you pay the renewal invoice the support period would be extended until December 31, 2015. In the event you did not renew until more than one year after expiration (say April 1, 2016 in our example), then the cost to renew will increase proportionally and the renewal date will be set to the next year (in our example the renewal date would be January 1, 2016 and the cost would be double). This policy accounts for all of the work spent improving the software since the last renewal. Therefore, there is no possible advantage to delaying renewal. There is only the disadvantage of not having access to maintenance subscription during the period where the software was not renewed.

Upgrades may be downloaded directly from within the software using the Help/Check for Updates command built into the software.

FAD 4.0 is no longer supported by FAD Tools International and is not available for purchase. FAD 4.0 no longer meets ACI code for reinforcement design and does not contain the most up-to-date algorithms for foundation design. We recommend using the current version, FAD 5.1.18.

The USB license key is a critical asset for using FAD Tools, without the license key the software does not work. It is possible for the USB key to malfunction, to become damaged, or to be lost or stolen.

  1. Malfunctioning key (dead key): Replacement is at no cost within the current support period.
  2. Damaged key: Damaged keys are replaced within the current support period for $150 per key. The damaged key(s) are returned upon receiving the new key(s).
  3. Lost key: A lost key is considered a lost asset. The key is the license, and the lost asset is replaced at the cost of the license.

For lost or stolen keys, we will disable your previous key so it cannot be used. Once we receive payment the new key will be mailed out to you. If you were to find the previous key we can reactivate it but you will have to return the new key for a credit or pay the difference in software cost to keep it.

Please submit payment by check to:
FAD Tools International
570 Beatty Rd
Monroeville, PA 15146

Maintenance subscription includes assistance installing the software and making it run on your system. It also includes verifying that the software functions correctly and fixing it in the event that it does not. Advanced questions regarding the capabilities of the software are included.

Maintenance subscription does not include answering basic questions that are addressed in the manual, engineering design support, interpretation of design, or training in the use of the software. Training is recommended. See below for training information.

Maintenance subscription questions should be addressed in email to support@fadtools.com. This allows for the question to be routed to the person most qualified to answer it.


The software will run on the 32 bit and x64 editions of Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

No, the software is designed to be installed on individual computers. Licensing can be controlled via a network file server and databases can be accessed via a network file server. Network licensing is available through the purchase of the Network License key.

Please use these instructions to connect your FAD Client to the License Key server. This assumes you have already installed FAD tools. If not, please do so and try and run the program.

  1. Load the Control Panel by opening your browser and typing this address: http://localhost:1947
  2. Click on Configuration link on left
  3. Then click on Access to Remote License Manager tab on top
  4. Check on Aggressive Search for Remote License
  5. In Specify Search Parameters add this address: (IP of your server)
  6. Then click Submit

If you click back to the Sentinel Keys link, you’ll start to see the keys popping up. This may take a few minutes.

Now, go ahead and reload the FAD Tools Program. You should be able to load the program now.

If you can access this license server then you know the program is set up correctly. If you cannot, something is blocking port 1047 and you will need to have your IT department open up port 1947 so that the HASP license program can grab a license.

Yes, we can combine licenses onto a single PC key. For example, if you purchased MFAD®, HFAD®, and TFAD®, we could give you one PC key that enables all three programs or three separate keys that each enable only one of the programs. When a Network key is requested, all licenses will be placed on the one Network key.

There is a way to get FAD Tools network licenses to work over a VPN connection. We do not officially support this but a few clients have had success passing licenses through to a VPN client.

  1. Install FAD Tools on the VPN client PC
  2. Load the Control Panel by opening your browser and typing this address: http://localhost:1947
  3. Click on the Configuration link on the left
  4. Click on Access to Remote License Managers tab on top
  5. Add the IP address for the server/PC that is hosting your license under Remote License Search Parameters
  6. Make sure the Aggressive Search Remote License is checked
  7. Go to the Sentinel Key link on the left
  8. Hit refresh a few times to view your available keys
  9. Once you see the RED key under Key Type you have set up a VPN connection

FAD Tools 5.1 uses a database to store all program information. During installation, this database is installed in the FAD Tools folder on the local computer. The database can be moved to a network location to allow multiple users to access the same database.

To access your FAD 5.0 database with FAD 5.1, make a copy of your FAD 5.0 database and change the file extension to *.fadt. When prompted by FAD 5.1 to update the database, click ”yes”. Once the database has been updated it will no longer be able to be opened by FAD 5.0.

To move a database you can copy/cut and paste the database into the new location. As a heads up, every time FAD Tools opens it will try to open the most recently accessed database. If the most recently accessed database was moved/deleted, then you might see the following message appear when you open the program:

Database Not Found

Following the steps below you can either create a new database or access an existing one. To switch databases once the program is open select “Options” and “Design Settings” and then “Browse”.

  1. Click on "Browse"
  2. Design Settings
  3. The name and location of the database can be of your choosing. When you click “Open” it will ask if you want to create that database. Select yes. Or if there is an existing database you can search and select the database.
  4. Open
  5. The file path should appear under Database Location. Click “Ok” and the database should be ready to populate and the program ready to calculate.
  6. Design Settings 2

FAD Tools 5.1 is known to have a resolution problem causing buttons to move or disappear within certain pop-up windows.

Applied Load

As a temporary solution, it is recommended to change your display font size to Smaller- 100% (default) under the Windows Control Panel > Display.


We are working to correct this error within the upcoming release of FAD Tools.



Database files (with file extension .fadt) store project information including all the user input values into FAD and the results of the most recent foundation analyses. The database file is updated during the operation of FAD based on the user input values and analyses. The database file, therefore, should be stored in a location that the user has read/write access and should only be accessed by one user at a time. The default database file is stored where the FAD program was installed. The user is encouraged to create new database files and can copy files to create backups. New database files can be created from the file menu in FAD Version 5.1.20 or under the options menu in FAD Version 5.1.18.

Example Database files can be found under the Help menu within the FAD program or requested through maintenance subscription. Example results for these database files are also included. These examples are provided to verify that FAD is installed and functioning correctly.

MFAD 5.1 includes updated algorithms to more accurately predict full-scale foundation load test results performed during the original development of the model. The end result of this re-calibration is a slightly softer deformation response than seen in earlier MFAD versions, where the same soils and load parameters result in an increased deflection on the order of 8% to 9% with the newer version (Kandaris 2011 presentation for EPRI).

EPRI Full Scale Foundation Tests Predicted Moment Capacity at δ = 0.04B


The software has been designed for ease of use. It is up to the engineer of record, however, to verify the model, the geotechnical properties, loads, and performance parameters are appropriate for the given design case. The User's Guide contains information on the assumptions and limitations of the FAD program. If you have any questions please contact support. If you are interested in further training, please contact us.

Training classes are designed for the specific needs of our clients. Please contact us for a training quote. Direct questions about the program can be answered through our support team. Please contact us at anytime by email at support@fadtools.com. We also offer a Users Group meeting periodically to cover aspects of the FAD program for all active subscribers to the maintenance program.