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Need help? First learn how to ask for help

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No I’m not kidding neither I’m drunk but you know there’s a decorum to everything; and so there’s even a decorum to follow when you’re asking for tech help.

Neat and simple. You can add comments at instances once you start recording. You can even directly email the file via your system's email client. Niche right?


Now here by tech help I mean PC help. So if you’re looking for help for your cell phone, sorry not so soon.

Okay back to the topic. If you’re asking for help to a geek, you have to be specific. You need to tell what exactly you do (did) and what exactly happens (happened) cos you see geeks are no one but just a bit more experienced than you are.

And if you can’t explain every bit of thing you just don’t have to! Let Windows help you to help you.

Confused, eh?

You see when Microsoft developed Windows 7, I don’t know what actually happened while the developing stage but the final package was pretty awesome, just like this blog.

In simple words, there’s a program pre-installed in Windows 7 which can save bucks and can help your geek friend to easily understand your problem in detail.

The program is called – ‘Problem Steps Recorder.’

To run the program, type “psr” in the start menu search bar or alternatively type “psr.exe” in Run command.

(In-post tip: Don’t know where is that lovely Run Command in Win7 or Vista? Press Windows Key + R and voila, there you have it. Don’t have Windows key? No worries. Right click on the Start button, go to properties. In the ‘Start Menu’ tab, press the ‘Customize’ button. In the pop-up dialogue box, drag down and check the “Run Command” box, and you will now see a ‘Run’ button in Start menu)

So once you start the program, all you need to do is press the “Start recording” button in the program; then do your steps which lead to the problem or error or whatever, and once you are done showing off, press “Stop recording”. Doing so will pop up a ‘Browse’ dialogue box and the program will ask you to save a file. Save this file to any location on your machine. This is a .zip file and it has a compressed version of a .mht. Opening this .mht file can take you by surprise for once, cos this file has all the screenshots in one place along with the technical description of steps.

Now how good is that?!

For solving your problem, all you need to do is fire in this .zip file to your geek mate’s inbox and now that he knows what exactly is going on at your end, there are all chances he helps you in a much better way!

If you are a Windows XP and/or a Vista user, don’t fret because Microsoft gives away PSR even for these operating systems though not pre-installed. You can download the app from here.

If you are a Mac user, I haven’t found exact alternatives as simple as PSR but you can use Jing which is also available for Windows but Windows users know what to do!

PSR can be also helpful for creating quick and cracking tutorials 😀

I think PSR is a pretty handy utility unless you use some OS as old as Win 2000 or if your problem occurs before (or while) your OS actually boots. In all rest cases, PSR can be the savior.

Mind me, it has saved bucks of my friends and saved my mind from mindless explanations that it was very habituated to!


Written by rahulbhagchandani

November 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm

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