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Using the Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder

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Using the Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder

The Problem Steps Recorder can be found by typing in its name in Windows 7's search window.

One of the best new things about Windows 7 is the Problem Steps Recorder, a fantastic troubleshooting tool. Let's say you're having problems with a program that's crashing. Instead of calling a computer-savvy friend or your company's Help Desk and trying to describe what's happening, you can simply turn on Problem Steps Recorder, go through the sequence that's causing the trouble, turn off the Recorder and email the problem for diagnosis.

Problem Steps Recorder takes a picture, also called a "screengrab" or "screenshot", of every action you take. It compiles those into a little slideshow, complete with a written description of each action (you don't add that -- the program does it for you). When it's finished, you can easily email the slideshow to anyone you need to.

The first step is to left-click the Start button in the lower-left corner of Windows 7 and type in "problem steps recorder" in the search window at the bottom (the window says "Search programs and files" and has a magnifying glass to the right). The top result is shown in the screenshot above. Click on "Record steps to reproduce a problem" to open Problem Steps Recorder.

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