Using the Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder

by Chris Sanders [Published on 15 July 2010 / Last Updated on 2 Aug. 2009]

One of the most useful new features in Windows 7 for those who troubleshoot desktops is the new Problem Steps Recorder. What can it do for you?

Anybody who has worked in tech support has surely dealt with a user who just can’t seem to properly explain the problem they are experiencing. This problem is amplified when the user is at a remote location and we can’t simply sit down in front of them to see the problem that is occurring.

Windows 7 includes the new Problem Steps Recorder (PSR) which can record all of the steps a user takes that is generating the reported problem. The PSR can be started by going to the start menu and typing PSR.exe. The user can then click the record button and go through the process they want to record. This will create recording that can be sent to you and viewed in Internet Explorer.

This PSR has several other uses as well. Flipping this scenario around, we all know that users sometimes have just as hard of a time understanding our instructions on how to perform a technical task. The PSR can be used to record a process and then sent to the user so that they can view it and complete the process themselves.

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The Author — Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders is a network security analyst for EWA Government Systems Inc. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several technical articles. His personal website at contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.

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