Few days back I was just goofing about in system I stumbled upon really interesting feature of Windows 7 it is called … “Problem Step Recorder”. I am surprised that MSFT has not given it any short ‘n sweet name but rather strange and mouthful name Smile … But as you can guess from it’s name it does exactly what it says, it records steps which can be used to reproduce any issue by support people.

Actually when it says “record” it doesn’t actually create some video but it take snapshot of each steps use do and compiles it in a MHT file. User can also enter comments in slides to provider detailed information to support guys. Even thought it has some fundamental limitations which might render it useless for some users ( like limitation of max. 25 screenshots, but again if you can’t repro issue in 25 steps then dude I don’t think anyone can help you) but for most of mere mortals this will be really great tool to support users.

I however was not able find any program shortcut for this tool in Start Menu of windows. It says it is from control panel –> troubleshooting, but I was not able to find it there either. But you can find it by searching it in start menu “record steps” (or something similar).

Once you search and find it, click on it to start the program (don’t worry it will not start recording immediately). It looks very simple and easy to use.

 

StepRecorder_1

 

Next, just click on “Start Record” button and it will start recording (start taking screenshots). Good thing about screenshot approach is, it actually doesn’t record anything until user performs some sort of action (e.g. mouse click or windows commands or something like that).

Now just do steps to reproduce the issue and the will be recorded by this tool. User can write comments for each step as well to give more details by clicking on “Add Comment” while recording. Once done click on “Stop Record” and it will produce ZIP file of whole process. If you extract this zip file, it contains only one MHT file with screenshots of all steps.

My first impression is, this tools is really handy if you are working on some support issue and want to get more detailed information. It not only gives all steps but also gives a bit of insight about user’s system like OS version, tools used etc.

That’s it for now. I have attached a file that was produced using this tool.

If interested MSFT has a little “How To” video for this tool

It’s Just A Thought … Peace

Gaurang Sign

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