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John Paul Cook

Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder

The Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder is yet another reason to upgrade to Windows 7. It records what the user actually did, not what the user claims to have done. I used it to record the attached session of running an invalid T-SQL query in SSMS. When the recording was made, there was a step I added that’s not completely obvious from the recorded output. Notice that the query I executed was highlighted. I did a Control-C to copy the query into the past buffer. The Control-C event was recorded as User keyboard input in "Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio" [... Ctrl ... Ctrl-C]. The query was pasted into the Comment dialog box (not shown in the output – you’ll see it when you run the tool and select Add Comment), which left a textual version of the query in the record. I recommend using this approach when capturing a session. This provides the person analyzing the report a textual copy of the query instead of just the screen capture version of it.


Figure 1. One of the screen captures from the Problem Steps Recorder.

To start the Problem Steps Recorder, type psr in the Search programs and files box to find the psr.exe program. Run the psr.exe program.


Figure 2. Finding and running the PSR.

Complete output is in the attached file.

Try it out – it’s very simple to use. Once you use it, I’m sure you’ll  recommend it to others.

Published Saturday, November 21, 2009 4:16 PM by John Paul Cook


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About John Paul Cook

John Paul Cook is a database and Azure specialist in Houston. He previously worked as a Data Platform Solution Architect in Microsoft's Houston office. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a SQL Server MVP. He is experienced in SQL Server and Oracle database application design, development, and implementation. He has spoken at many conferences including Microsoft TechEd and the SQL PASS Summit. He has worked in oil and gas, financial, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. John is also a Registered Nurse currently studying to be a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Contributing author to SQL Server MVP Deep Dives and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2. Connect on LinkedIn

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