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How to record a video to demonstrate a problem

Sometimes it is easier and more convenient to show your support representative what you are doing or seeing in Déjà Vu than it is to try to describe it in words. Fortunately, there are easy ways to do this very thing in Windows. In this article, we will describe two such methods.

Problem Steps Recorder

If you are using Windows 7, there is a utility called Problem Steps Recorder, that can be used to automatically create a detailed list of steps that have to be followed to produce a certain result; this utility is designed to allow users to record the operations that they do in order to bring about an error.

Problem Steps Recorder will take a note and a screenshot of almost everything you do, and store it all in a MHTML file (.mht). When you are done recording, you can send this MHTML file to your support representative (or anyone else you like) so that they can see what problem or error message you are experiencing, and also the actions that you took to bring it about.

Screen Recorder

If you are using a version of Windows that does not have PSR installed (e.g. Windows XP or Vista), or you are not satisfied with the result it produces, you can download and install another application by Microsoft called Screen Recorder.

This small application allows you to record a video or your entire desktop and everything that happens in it, or a video showing only a specific window, and save it to Windows Media Video format on your hard drive. You can send this video to a support representative so that they can see what you are doing, and what you are experiencing.

Downloading and Installing Screen Recorder

You can download the installer for Screen Recorder from here. The file you download is a self-extracting archive that, when run, will unpack its contents into a folder on your hard drive. When it is done, in this folder you will find installer for 32bit and 64bit editions of Windows. Make sure you use the right installer for your version of Windows.

When you first the run the installer, you may see a dialog window informing you that Screen Recorder needs Windows Media Encoder to be installed in order to work. Go ahead and accept this warning: Windows Media Encoder will be installed. Once that is done, run the installer for Screen Recorder again, and then it will install Screen Recorder itself.

If you try to run Screen Recorder and receive an error message that says "Screen Recorder has stopped working", you may need to apply this fix.

Using Screen Recorder

When you run Screen Recorder for the first time, it will show you a small help window that explains how to use its features. Screen Recorder is a very simple application, so there are only a handful of features that you need to know about in order to use it effectively.

You can find more information about how to use Screen Recorder here.

Sending your recordings

If you recorded video is short, you may be able to send it by e-mail. However, chances are the file produced will be too large to be sent by email. Alternatively, you can use one of the various free file-sharing services available, or perhaps a paid one (e.g. Dropbox) if you already have an account. Once you have uploaded the video to your preferred file hosting service, contact us to let us know where it is and how to access it.

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