Using the Problem Steps Recorder Tool

Problem Steps Recorder is a new feature of Windows 7 that can help support personnel troubleshoot problems on a user's computer. Problem Steps Recorder allows users to record the steps they're performing that are causing the issue they are concerned with. Problem Steps Recorder does this by capturing a series of screen shots for each mouse click the user performs or each keyboard input the user enters. The user can also add optional comments if desired.

These screen shots together with n embedded description of each user action and optional comments, if any, are saved as a single web archive or .mht file. This .mht file can then be emailed to help desk personnel who can open the file in Internet Explorer and use it to help troubleshoot the user's problem.

You have encountered a problem. You have modified a document but it won't save. When a problem like this happens you can start by trying to resolve the problem yourself using the built-in troubleshooters in Windows 7.

These troubleshooters can be run by opening the Action Center, the central place in Windows 7 where you can view alerts and take actions that can help keep Windows running smoothly on your computer. The Action Center provides access to the built-in troubleshooters on the platform. You can use these troubleshooters to try to resolve the problem you're solving.

Windows 7 is also configured by default to periodically check for routine maintenance issues and fix any problems it might find.

If remote assistance is used within your organization to support users, you can ask a support person to assist you with your problem. If remote assistance is not being used, you can use Problem Steps Recorder to record the details of your problem.

To start Problem Steps Recorder type "record steps" in the Start menu search box. Click Start Record to begin capturing screen shots when mouse clicks or keyboard input are performed. Now repeat the steps of your problem. You can add an optional comment to call out an area of the screen you select. Click Stop Record when you are finished reproducing the problem.

Save the compressed .mht file and email it or otherwise deliver it to the support person. The support person will extract the .mht file and open it in Internet Explorer. Each screen shot has an accompanying description of the action performed.

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• Video - Using the Problem Steps Recorder Tool
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