Windows 7 WIN! Problem Steps Recorder (psr.exe)

The Coolest New Feature in Windows 7.  Problem Steps Recorder.

Have you ever been on the phone with your (insert the name of your computer challenged relative/friend here) who is asking you for help with a problem?  Have you ever wished you could see EXACTLY what this person is doing?  Well, with Windows 7 and Problem Steps Recorder, you can.

Ask the person you are supporting to click Start, type “psr.exe” (without the quotes) and press Enter.  In the Window that launches, ask your relative/friend to click “Start Record”.  Ask your relative/friend to reproduce the issue/error.  Once  your relative/friend has done this, ask your relative/friend to click “Stop Record”. 

Ask your relative/friend to give the file a meaningful name when asked, and ask your relative/friend to make a note where it is being saved.  Once this is done, ask your relative/friend to email you the ZIP file that was created.  When you receive the email, you will have a compiled HTML file with screen shots and a description of exactly what your relative/friend did to cause the error.  This file can be viewed in a web browser.   Following is a VERY simple session that I captured using this tool.  It looks a LOT better in all of its HTML glory.  All of the images can be clicked and viewed much larger.  And passwords are represented in the text log at the bottom with *******.

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Recorded Problem Steps

This file contains all the steps and information that was recorded to help you describe the problem to others.

Before sharing this file, you should verify the following:

•The steps below accurately describe the problem.
•There is no information below or on any screenshots that you do not want others to see.
Passwords or any other text you typed were not recorded, except for function and shortcut keys that you used.

There were errors during recording. Some information may be missing.

You can do the following:

•Review the recorded problem steps
•Review the recorded problem steps as a slide show
•Review the additional details

Problem Steps

Previous Next
Problem Step 1: (8/4/2010 10:34:10 AM) User left click on “Ribbon (property page)” in “Document1 – Microsoft Word”

Previous Next
Problem Step 2: (8/4/2010 10:34:12 AM) User keyboard input in “Document1 – Microsoft Word” [… Enter]

Previous Next
Problem Step 3: (8/4/2010 10:34:20 AM) User left click on “Google Search (editable text)” in “Google – Windows Internet Explorer”

Previous Next
Problem Step 4: (8/4/2010 10:34:21 AM) User keyboard input in “Google – Windows Internet Explorer” […]

Previous Next
Problem Step 5: (8/4/2010 10:34:33 AM) User left click in “Document1 – Microsoft Word”

Previous Next
Problem Step 6: (8/4/2010 10:34:34 AM) User keyboard input in “Document1 – Microsoft Word” [… Shift-Backspace …]

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Additional Details

The following section contains the additional details that were recorded that can help find a solution for your problem.

These details help accurately identify the programs and UI you used while recording the problem steps.

This section may contain text that is internal to programs that only very advanced users or programmers may understand.

Please review these details to ensure that they do not contain any information that you would not like others to see.

Recording Session: 8/4/2010 10:33:58 AM – 10:34:52 AM

Problem Steps: 6, Missed Steps: 2, Other Errors: 0

Operating System: 7601.16562.amd64fre.win7sp1_beta.100603-1800 6.1.1.0.2.1

Problem Step 1: User left click on “Ribbon (property page)” in “Document1 – Microsoft Word”
Program: Microsoft Word, 14.0.4762.1000, Microsoft Corporation, WINWORD.EXE, WINWORD.EXE
UI Elements: Ribbon, NetUIHWND, NUIPane, Ribbon, MsoWorkPane, Ribbon, MsoCommandBar, MsoDockTop, MsoCommandBarDock, Document1 – Microsoft Word, OpusApp

Problem Step 2: User keyboard input in “Document1 – Microsoft Word” [… Enter]
Program: Microsoft Word, 14.0.4762.1000, Microsoft Corporation, WINWORD.EXE, WINWORD.EXE
UI Elements: Microsoft Word Document, _WwG, Document1, _WwB, _WwF, Document1 – Microsoft Word, OpusApp

Problem Step 3: User left click on “Google Search (editable text)” in “Google – Windows Internet Explorer”
Program: Internet Explorer, 8.00.7600.16385 (win7_rtm.090713-1255), Microsoft Corporation, IEXPLORE.EXE SCODEF:3544 CREDAT:72136, IEXPLORE.EXE
UI Elements: Google Search, Google, Internet Explorer_Server, Shell DocObject View, Google – Windows Internet Explorer, TabWindowClass, Frame Tab, Google – Windows Internet Explorer, IEFrame

Problem Step 4: User keyboard input in “Google – Windows Internet Explorer” […]
Program: Internet Explorer, 8.00.7600.16385 (win7_rtm.090713-1255), Microsoft Corporation, IEXPLORE.EXE SCODEF:3544 CREDAT:72136, IEXPLORE.EXE
UI Elements: Internet Explorer_Server, Shell DocObject View, Google – Windows Internet Explorer, TabWindowClass, Frame Tab, Google – Windows Internet Explorer, IEFrame

Problem Step 5: User left click in “Document1 – Microsoft Word”
Program: Microsoft Word, 14.0.4762.1000, Microsoft Corporation, WINWORD.EXE, WINWORD.EXE
UI Elements: Microsoft Word Document, _WwG, Document1, _WwB, _WwF, Document1 – Microsoft Word, OpusApp

Problem Step 6: User keyboard input in “Document1 – Microsoft Word” [… Shift-Backspace …]
Program: Microsoft Word, 14.0.4762.1000, Microsoft Corporation, WINWORD.EXE, WINWORD.EXE
UI Elements: Microsoft Word Document, _WwG, Document1, _WwB, _WwF, Document1 – Microsoft Word, OpusApp

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About Tim Smeltzer
I am a husband, father, and technologist. While I am very much interested in almost all technology, my current area of specialty is secure mobile messaging. You will find me blogging from time to time on mobile technology - what I think is cool, what I think is not cool, and how to do things. Please be nice if you leave me comments. I am really trying to help!

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