Monday, July 6, 2009

Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder

Oh my god, what a cool feature! Just read about a very useful Windows 7 feature in How-To-Geek. Problem Steps Recorder (activate by Start->Run->psr.exe) records whatever you are doing into a zipped MHT file. The MHT contains screenshots of every step you have taken, with descriptions. Here are a few examples (without the screenshots):

Problem Step 1: (06/07/2009 20:20:02) User left click on "Minimize (push button)" in "Google Reader (334) - Windows Internet Explorer"

Problem Step 2: (06/07/2009 20:20:04) User left click in "Calculator"

Problem Step 3: (06/07/2009 20:20:05) User left click on "9 (push button)" in "Calculator"

There is also additional information for each step. Here is an example for Step 2:

Problem Step 2: User left click in "Calculator"
Program: Windows Calculator, 6.1.7100.0 (winmain_win7rc.090421-1700), Microsoft Corporation, CALC.EXE, CALC.EXE
UI Elements: #32770, CalcFrame, Calculator, CalcFrame

Now, why am I so excited about it? Well, as part of my job I sometimes have to troubleshoot issues that other people have. The best way to do this is to remote connect to their computer, but that’s not always possible. Seeing screenshots is the next best thing, but they don’t always know how to do this. With PSR, all I have to do is instruct them to run the program, and click on the big red record button, stop recording, and send a zip file. That’s a big help. Wonder if it can be ported out of Windows 7.

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