Windows 7 has impressed me so far with the way it is totally not like Vista, well I found The Problem Steps Recorder tool that is included in Windows 7. This tool is perfect for when you have a non-technical user who is having problems with their PC and you aren’t looking over their shoulder at the issue. Just have the user run the Problem Steps Recorder and they can send you a file that shows you exactly what they are doing. This makes trouble shooting so much easier. In this article I will explain how to use the Problem Steps Recorder and explain some settings that you can change to make the tool easier to use.
The Problem Steps Recorder is only available in Windows 7 and so far I haven’t found anything on the net saying there is a version that will work with XP or Vista. So for now only Windows 7 has this cool tool.
To use the Problem Steps Recorder follow these steps:
Click Search Bar
Hit Enter (The Problem Steps Recorder should open)
Click Start Record (now do all of the steps that caused your problem)
Click Stop Record (once you have reproduced the problem)
Type the name of the file
That is all there is to it, now you can send the ZIP file you created to someone with more technical knowledge and they can view the exact steps you went through that caused the error. This is going to help them trouble shoot the issue, seeing the problem in the works helps so much when trouble shooting a PC issue.
The Problem Steps Recorder also allows you to add comments to the recording as you are going along. All you have to do is click Add Comment, highlight the part of the screen you want to make a comment on, type your text and click OK. This will add the comment to the recording and could potentially help whoever you are sending the file to. It’s always best to give as much info as possible when troubleshooting a PC issue, comments might help and they can always be ignored if they aren’t helpful. The comments make the Problem Steps Recorder that much better.
There are also some settings you can change to the Problem Steps Recorder to make it work a little better for you. You should change the output file location (to a simple to find location, I created a folder in My Documents called HELP and set the files output location to this folder). Setting the output location will help you find the files easily. Also another important setting to change is the number of screen captures the Problem Steps Recorder saves, its default is 25 captures. If you use the Problem Steps Recorder and it takes 40 screen shots only 25 will be saved, I suggest making this setting around 50 just to be safe. This will ensure you always get all the screenshots you need and aren’t missing anything.
Well I hope that this guide helps you when you want to use the Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder.