Saturday, September 19, 2009

Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder

Windows Vista introduced the snipping tool making it easy for users to grab screenshots of error messages and sending them to administrators. The snipping tool is also available in Windows 7. However the problem with the snipping tool is it does not give the person on help desk an idea of what the user did to produce that error message. This is now resolved by the problem steps recorder.

Problem steps recorder will allow a user to perform the steps that caused the problem and even leave comments on slides. Files generated by Problem Steps Recorder are in the .mht format that are natively supported by internet explorer. However problem steps recorder automatically zips the .mht file so it is emailed to you in a compressed format.

Below is a screenshot of a report I just generated in problem steps recorder. If you notice it marks in green where I clicked. It has options as well such as view steps as a slide show which goes through step by step in a slide show window in the service desk operator's internet explorer window.

Scrolling down:

In the Additional Details section of the problem report it gives a text description of what occured as a result of the users actions which is also very handy for tracking down problems.

The easiest way to launch Problem Steps Recorder I find is to type "Record Steps" in the Search Programs and Files box in the start menu.

One more thing I would like to add is this tool is also available in Windows Server 2008 R2.

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