How to Find & Use the Problem Steps Recorder

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Jeff Hicks. Today I want to show you a little known tool that ships with Windows 7.' It is also included in Windows Server 2008 R2.This is a nifty little tool that I think that you and your users can find helpful in documenting a problem so that you can better understand what the user is experiencing. This is called the Problem Steps Recorder. Unfortunately there is no menu choice, there is no icon, there is nothing that will give this to you right away. The best thing to do is to come to the Search box and type 'psr' and you will get this little dialog box.

I am going to pretend that I am a user here. I am going to start recording and this will now record everything that happens on my Desktop. So, it's recording and I am going to pretend I have a problem with Notepad. 'That whenever I run it I do not see it,' I do not know where it is, it is down here at the bottom, but I do not know why,' it always shows up as minimize, it is not to useful,' says the user. So they might then say, 'I clicked on that and I ran Notepad and it did not happen.' But if I go to the Command prompt, then it works and in fact they can come here and say, 'Add a comment,' and say, 'It works when I run Notepad from the shell.' They can highlight whatever they want. Something that indicates what I should pay attention to. Click OK and they can step through as much of the problem as they want. When they are done, we click on stop record. I am now prompted and I am now going to save this, a user might do this, on Network share \\cored01\HelpDesk, put it there and call this Client1-problem.' Let's do that.

Now if I look at this problem, and there is also a possibility here, you can come here and send email to recipient, this would then fire up the default mail client and automatically attach that file so you could email it off. I am just going through now and opening up files so we can see exactly what we were going to get from the Helpdesk side. It gets packaged as a Zip file, this is stored as an MHT file so when I launch this it opens up in Windows Explorer. There is the recorded steps, and now what I have here is a screen shot of everything that I did. There is also notes about every mouse click and key board movement. So I can walk through and see exactly what the user did to duplicate their problem. This becomes very useful when troubleshooting and trying to understand what the user did, what they clicked, what they didn't click, what keyboards entry they put in; all very useful stuff.

This is free. This the Problem Steps Recorder that is shipped with Windows 7. Again, to get to it you will need to come here and run 'psr'.' I hope you found that useful and you read the article and learn even more about this great little tool.'


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