Working With The Win7 Problem Steps Recorder - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
12/26/2009
09:21 PM
50%
50%

Working With The Win7 Problem Steps Recorder

Windows 7 includes a new remote support tool that is potentially very useful -- if you know about it.

Windows 7 includes a new remote support tool that is potentially very useful -- if you know about it.The Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder is a fairly low-profile bit of software; if you haven't seen an online review that talks about it (and those were far more common earlier this year), then it is easy to miss.

Here is how a recent bMighty article summarizes PSR: If a user experiences a problem, instead of trying to remember what caused it and all the various error messages generated, they can turn on the Recorder and then repeat the process caused the problem. The Recorder automatically captures what the user clicks and grabs screens at every stage so it's easy to see exactly what happened. Then, it packages it all up in an Zip file of an XML page that can be sent to IT folks to examine and diagnose the problem. You can view the report as a long page or as a slideshow, or look at the XML source to see detail down to mouse co-ordinates. If you're looking for a more comprehensive walk-through that explains just how to use PSR, I suggest starting here. It's a very simple tool -- once you know to find it by entering PSR.EXE into the Win 7 Search box -- but it always helps to have an illustrated guide for less tech-savvy users.

There are also two drawbacks to keep in mind when you consider using PSR:

- Recording the steps that lead up to an error requires a user to remember and then reproduce those steps. In some cases, that's easy to do; in many others, a user may have no idea what they were doing to prompt an error message.

- Obviously, if an error results in a BSOD or system crash, reproducing the error for PSR can be problematic, to say the least.

Don't Miss: NEW! Remote Access How-To Center

The Problem Steps Recorder won't replace more advanced remote support and assistance tools, which include features ranging from remote desktop sharing to the ability to reboot a remote PC. But for basic, quick-and-dirty desktop troubleshooting tasks, PSR is clearly a great new option for Windows 7 users.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll