So this week I introduced some of my fellow System Administrators to a tool that is widely underutilized, the Problem Step Recorder. This handy little tool is provided by Microsoft on all Operating Systems, both Server and Desktop. This little program allows anyone to record the steps they took to generate an error by taking screenshots and documenting what the user was doing. Before learning about this tool I was constantly opening Paint and Snipping Tool to generate my documentation, now it’s only Problem Step Recorder.
You can start the application from command line by typing PSR and hitting enter or in the case of Windows 10 you can left click the start button and type in PSR. Then you’ll be on your way to documenting your problem!
Once the application is up you simply click Start Record and proceed with your steps resulting in your error. When you’ve completed your steps you simply click Stop Record and the program will present you with your output to review. From here you can generate a New Recording or Save it. Saving it will create a compressed file with an MHT file inside making it easy to stick in your trouble ticket or email to your administrator.
This application can be used for far more than just troubleshooting. It’s also a great utility for generating step-by-step how-to documentation for tasks without all the hassle. Microsoft has seemingly tucked surprisingly useful tools into their operating systems right under our noses. This tool should help you get better feedback from your users and help you develop a great troubleshooting library!