The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

Windows 7 – Problem Steps Recorder

Today I have been downloading and listening to various MMS sessions that I missed while at the event. Normally I have my schedule double booked (or even some time slots triple or quad booked). Combine that with the fatigue that sets in after the second day…there are a lot of really valuable sessions that I’m simply unable to make it to during the week.

One of the sessions I missed at MMS but listened to this morning was “SC15 – Windows Client: Roadmap and Introduction to Windows 7 for Enterprise Customers” by Jeremy Chapman. During his session he performed a demo of a Windows 7 feature called the “Problem Steps Recorder”. What this program allows you (or one of your users) to do is record what happened in the event of a “problem” on their system. You start the PSR, then recreate the problem that you were experiencing. It essentially takes screenshots as you are going through the process and spits out a zip file that has an MHTML file in it complete with screenshots and detailed steps of what the user was doing at each step along the way.

This will prove to be very useful. Back when I worked the help desk I can’t tell you the number of times (and honestly don’t want to remember the number of times) that I tried to get a user to accurately describe what they were doing when a problem came up. Sometimes it was a legit problem…sometimes it was a PEBKAC issue. This feature would have saved me huge amounts of time in figuring out what was actually happening.

The presenter mentioned that this app can be launched either manually by the user or…and I like this…you can build it into the application so that it launches automatically when the app fails and ask the user to recreate the problem.

May 7, 2009 - Posted by | MMS, Windows 7

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