Sometimes it helps to have someone else feel your pain.
Such as when you’re trying to accomplish something really challenging with your PC. Or possibly when your PC, or a program, is acting up, and you can’t figure out why. So you call your company’s support line, or a software provider’s support desk, or your cousin in Omaha.
But it’s difficult, sometimes, to put these things into words—especially when precision and thoroughness are important. And you might accidentally miss passing along that one crucial detail your helper needs to know. If only they could see what you’re seeing!
Record your problem and share it. Windows 7 again comes to the rescue, and I don’t mean it will generate a round trip ticket to Omaha (as nice as Omaha must surely be). Instead, Windows will let you automatically record everything that’s happening on your computer when the bad stuff happens (or the good stuff fails to happen).
You simply turn on your Problem Steps Recorder, perform the actions that are leading you into a pit of despair (or just slowing you down), and then turn the recorder off. Then you save the recording as a "zipped" (compressed) file and send it off to your helper, who can unzip it and review it with Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Your helper gets blow-by-blow screen shots, clicks, keystrokes … the whole nine yards. And, according to my very reliable sources, your helper is much more likely to find a quick solution for you. What a time-saver! It’s a great stress-reliever, too.
How to use the Problem Recorder. To record your challenge, choose Troubleshooting from the Control Panel, then click Get help from a friend. Click on Problem Steps Recorder and the tool materializes on your desktop. Alternatively, you can click the Start button , and then type psr and click psr in the list of results.
After clicking the Start Record button, re-enact whatever adventure you were having when the problem occurred. Yes, you are pretty much wallowing in your problem here, but this is a positive step—trust me. And, yes, you can pause for important interruptions, such as cake in the break room for this month’s birthday celebrants. Or even a work-related phone call.
Once the problem has occurred again, click Stop Record. You’ll be prompted to save the resulting .zip file, and then you can send that file to your helper as an e-mail attachment. Review step-by-step instructions on how to record, save and send the file.
Then lean back, pour yourself a lemonade (not too close to the PC with that cup, please!) and wash that cake down while your helper figures it all out—in record time, no doubt.
Note—the cake and lemonade are not required to make the Problem Step Recorder work. They do help, though.