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Deploy Windows Feedback Forwarder

Published: May 16, 2012

Updated: December 19, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 2012



Using the Windows Feedback Forwarder feature available in Windows Server 2012, up to 15,000 computers in one or more domain or organizational units can be automatically opted in to the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) through Group Policy settings. By participating in CEIP, you can help Microsoft improve the quality, reliability, and performance of its operating systems. Microsoft collects statistical information about your system configuration, the performance of some Windows features, and certain types of events. Once you opt in to CEIP, Windows Server 2012 periodically uploads a small file to Microsoft that contains a summary of the information collected. The file is transferred securely using the Internet.

The uploaded data contains no information that identifies you or your company. Microsoft does not contact you, and it all happens automatically—you are never interrupted and you should experience no loss in performance. If your computer is not connected to the Internet, the data is eventually discarded after several days. Microsoft shares this information only with selected partners as outlined in the Windows Server 2012 privacy statement; it is used only by Microsoft in aggregate form for the purpose of improving our software for our customers.

In this guide

You can help Microsoft improve the quality, reliability, and performance of its operating systems by participating in the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program. You can participate in the CEIP by creating a Group Policy Object (GPO), or using Server Manager.

  1. From the domain controller, open the Group Policy Management Console. (Press the Windows logo key + R to open the RUN dialog box. Type gpmc.msc in the text box, and then click OK).

  2. In the GPMC console tree, right-click Group Policy Objects in the forest and domain in which you want to create a GPO, and then click New.

  3. In the New GPO dialog box, specify a name for the new GPO, and click OK.

  4. Right-click the new GPO, and click Edit to open the Group Policy Management Editor.

  5. In Computer Configuration\Preferences\Windows Settings, right-click Registry, click New, and then click Registry Item.

  6. In the key path, enter ‘HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\SQMClient\Windows’, and configure the following:

    • Name: CEIPEnable

    • Type: REG_DWORD

    • Value: 1

  1. On the Windows Start screen, click the Server Manager tile.

  2. In Server Manager, click Local Server, and then click Participating next to Customer Experience Improvement Program. The Customer Experience Improvement Program Configuration dialog box opens.

  3. Select Yes, I want to participate in the CEIP and click OK.

If you decide not to continue participating in CEIP, you can be removed from CEIP using one of the following procedures:

  1. On the Windows Start screen, click the Server Manager tile.

  2. In Server Manager, click Local Server, and then click Participating next to Customer Experience Improvement Program. The Customer Experience Improvement Program Configuration dialog box opens.

  3. Select No, I do not want to participate and click OK.

Windows Error Reporting (WER) is a set of Windows technologies that capture software crash and hang data from end users. Through the Winqual website, software and hardware vendors can access these reports in order to analyze, fix and respond to these problems. WER technologies were originally implemented in Windows XP/Windows Server 2003, and are still a part of current Windows releases. For more information, see Windows Error Reporting. You can enable WER by creating a GPO, or using Server Manager.

  1. From the domain controller, open the Group Policy Management Console. (On the Start screen, type gpmmc).

  2. Right-click the domain, organizational unit, or security group where you want to create the GPO, and then click New.

  3. In the New GPO dialog box, specify a name for the new GPO, and click OK.

  4. Right-click the new GPO, and click Edit to open the Group Policy Management Editor.

  5. In Computer Configuration\Preferences\Windows Settings, right-click Registry, click New, and then click Registry Item.

  6. In the key path, enter ‘HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting’, and then configure the following:

    • Name: Disabled

    • Type: REG_DWORD

    • Value: 0

    Next, in the key path, enter ‘HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\Consent’, and then configure the following:

    1. Name: DefaultConsent

    2. Type: REG_DWORD

    3. Value: 1-3 (1: query before send; 2: send summary; 3: send detailed report)

  1. On the Windows Start screen, click the Server Manager tile.

  2. In Server Manager, click Local Server, and then click Off next to Windows Error Reporting. The Windows Error Reporting Configuration dialog box opens.

  3. The following two options enable Windows Error Reporting. Each option provides a different level of detail in the information sent to Microsoft when failures occur.

    • Yes, automatically send detailed reports. Notify me if there are possible solutions to the problem.

      When this option is selected, if an application failure occurs, detailed reports are automatically sent to Microsoft. The contents of log files, and portions of the registry, may also be sent to Microsoft.

      ImportantImportant
      Portions of documents you were working on at the moment a program failed, or data you provided to Web sites or forms may be included in these reports.

    • Yes, automatically send summary reports. Notify me if there are possible solutions to the problem.

      When this option is selected, if an application failure occurs, only non-personal data is sent to Microsoft. Data about your computer's configuration, the program in which you were working, and any operations that triggered the failure is sent to Microsoft.

  4. The remaining two options are for disabling WER.

Disable Windows Error Reporting

Use Server Manager to disable WER.

  1. On the Windows Start screen, click the Server Manager tile.

  2. In Server Manager, click Local Server, and then click On next to Windows Error Reporting. The Windows Error Reporting Configuration dialog box opens.

  3. Use one of the following two options to disable Windows Error Reporting and then click OK.

    • I don't want to participate, and don't ask me again

      This option disables WER, and prevents it from prompting you to send information about application failures to Microsoft.

    • Ask me about sending reports every time an error occurs

      This option disables WER, but allows it to prompt you to send information about application failures to Microsoft whenever a failure occurs.

To opt-in multiple servers at the same time, use the following procedure.

  1. In Server Manager, click All Servers.

  2. Select all of the servers that you want to participate in CEIP and WER.

  3. Right-click the servers as a group, and then click Configure Windows Automatic Feedback.

  4. Under Participate in Customer Experience Improvement Program?, select Yes, I want to participate.

  5. Click Windows Error Reporting, and then configure how you want to participate in WER.

  6. When finished, click OK.

The Windows Feedback Forwarder feature can be used on all editions of Windows Server 2012, including with Server Core installations. Use one of the following procedures to install Windows Feedback Forwarder.

Using the Add Roles and Features Wizard, you can install roles, role services, and features on the local server, a remote server that has been added to Server Manager, or an offline VHD. The server on which you want to mount an offline VHD must be added to Server Manager, and you must have Administrator rights on that server.

  1. On the Windows Start screen, click the Server Manager tile.

  2. On the Manage menu, click Add Roles and Features.

  3. On the Before you begin page, verify that your destination server and network environment are prepared for the role and feature you want to install. Click Next.

  4. On the Select installation type page, select Role-based or feature-based installation to install the Windows Feedback Forwarder feature. Click Next.

  5. On the Select destination server page, select a server or a remote server from the server pool, or select an offline VHD. To select an offline VHD as your destination server, first select the server on which to mount the VHD, and then select the VHD file. For information about how to add servers to your server pool, see Add servers to Server Manager. After you have selected the destination server, click Next.

  6. Select roles, select role services for the role if applicable, and then click Next to select features. On the Features page, select Windows Feedback Forwarder, and then click Next.

  7. On the Windows Feedback Forwarder Description page, review the information, and then click Next.

  8. On the Windows Feedback Forwarder page, configure the incoming port (the default is 53533) and port.

  9. On the Confirm installation selections page, review your feature and server selections. If you are ready to install, click Install.

    noteNote
    When installing Windows Feedback Forwarder on a remote server, the Add Roles and Features Wizard writes the settings to a configuration file, and then deploys the file to the remote server.

  10. After you click Install, the Installation progress page displays installation progress, results, and messages such as warnings, failures, or post-installation configuration steps that are required for the roles or features that you installed.

  11. After installation is complete, use the Configure Windows Feedback Forwarder dialog to configure group policy settings. You can open Configure Windows Feedback Forwarder from the Servers page of Server Manager. For more information, see Configure Windows Feedback Forwarder.

  1. Do one of the following to open a Windows PowerShell session with elevated user rights.

    noteNote
    If you are installing roles and features on a remote server, you do not need to run Windows PowerShell with elevated user rights.

    • On the Windows desktop, right-click Windows PowerShell on the taskbar, and then click Run as Administrator.

    • On the Windows Start screen, right-click the tile for Windows PowerShell, and then on the app bar, click Run as Administrator.

  2. Type Get-Help Install-WindowsFeature, and then press Enter to view the syntax and accepted parameters for the Install-WindowsFeature cmdlet.

  3. Type the following, and then press Enter, where computer_name represents a remote computer on which you want to install roles and features. The Restart parameter automatically restarts the destination server if required by the role or feature installation.

    Install-WindowsFeature –Name WFF -ComputerName <computer_name> -Restart
    

    To install roles and features on an offline VHD, add both the ComputerName parameter and the VHD parameter. If you do not add the ComputerName parameter, the cmdlet assumes that the local computer is configured to mount the VHD. The ComputerName parameter contains the name of the server on which to mount the VHD, and the VHD parameter contains the path to the VHD file on the specified server.

    noteNote
    You must add the ComputerName parameter if you are running the cmdlet from a computer that is running Windows 8.

    If you enter the name of a VHD file from a network share, that share must grant Read and Write permissions to the computer account of the server that you selected to mount the VHD. User-only account access is not sufficient. The share can grant Read and Write permissions to the Everyone group to allow access to the VHD, but for security reasons, this is not recommended.

    Install-WindowsFeature -Name <feature_name> –VHD <path> -ComputerName <computer_name> -Restart
    
  4. When installation is finished, verify installation by opening the All Servers page in Server Manager, selecting a server on which you installed roles and features, and viewing the Roles and Features tile on the page for the selected server. You can also run the Get-WindowsFeature cmdlet targeted at the selected server (Get-WindowsFeature -ComputerName <computer_name>) to view a list of roles and features that are installed on the server.

The Server Manager deployment cmdlets for Windows PowerShell function similarly to the GUI-based Add Roles and Features Wizard, with an important difference. In Windows PowerShell, unlike in the Add Roles and Features Wizard, management tools and snap-ins for a role are not included by default. To include management tools as part of a role installation, add the IncludeManagementTools parameter to the cmdlet. If you are installing roles and features on a server that is running the Server Core installation option of Windows Server 2012, you can add a role’s management tools to an installation, but GUI-based management tools and snap-ins cannot be installed on servers that are running the Server Core installation option of Windows Server. Only command-line and Windows PowerShell management tools can be installed on the Server Core installation option of Windows Server 2012.

You can configure Windows Feedback Forwarder using either Server Manager or, with Server Core installations, Windows PowerShell. Use one of the following procedures to configure Windows Feedback Forwarder.

  1. On the Windows Start screen, click the Server Manager tile.

  2. In Server Manager, click All Servers, right-click the server on which Windows Feedback Forwarder is run, and then click Windows Feedback Forwarder Configuration from the list of available tasks. Optionally, when configuring Windows Feedback Forwarder from the local computer, click Local Server, click Tasks, and then click Windows Feedback Forwarder Configuration.

  3. In Deploy Group Policy, under Domain Name, enter the domain name on which you want to deploy a group policy for Windows Feedback Forwarder. Click Find to retrieve the domain’s organizational units.

  4. Under Organizational Unit, select the checkbox next to the organization unit on which you want to deploy group policy. Clear the checkbox next to an organizational unit that you no longer want to use with the Windows Feedback Forwarder group policy.

  5. In Forwarding Settings, under Internet Proxy, you have the option to change the incoming port number from the default value of 53533. This port is used for transferring CEIP data from the client to Windows Feedback Forwarder. The port is configurable to accommodate firewall policies. If you change the port number, the firewall exception for Windows Feedback Forwarder is updated.

    The Windows Feedback Forwarding URL textbox displays the complete URL that is used by the Windows Feedback Forwarder group policy to transfer CEIP data.

    Under Internet Proxy, enter the appropriate settings for Server/URL and Port.

  6. Click Apply.

  1. Open Windows PowerShell on the computer that is running the Server Core installation.

  2. Open Server Manager on the computer that is running Windows Server 2012, and then remotely connect to the computer that is running the Server Core installation. Using Server Manager, configure Windows Feedback Forwarder (following the steps in the previous procedure).

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