How to help users with Problem Steps Recorder.

I spend a lot of time helping people fix their IT problems but I’m located in central Australia and I have the majority of my users in the eastern states as well as users internationally. There are a few tools that I use that makes the task of getting people back up and running on their systems easier and quicker.

The first this to know is what the problem is. And that’s where Problem Steps Recorder comes in.

How do I use Problem Steps Recorder? You can use Problem Steps Recorder to automatically capture the steps you take on a computer, including a text description of where you clicked and a picture of the screen during each click called a screen shot. Once you capture these steps, you can save them to a file that can be used by a support professional or someone else helping you with a computer problem.

via How do I use Problem Steps Recorder?.

This tool gives the user the ability to replicate the problem and send me the details. Neither of us need to be on the phone for hours trying to explain what the computer is doing and I can see exactly what happened to cause the problem. Miscommunications are eliminated and I’m in a much better position to give them the right advice first time.

Problem Steps Recorder is available on Windows 7.


Conflicting IP’s

I returned from the Christmas holidays earlier this week and thought it well overdue for me to post an update. I had intended to update in short bursts via my mobile during my time away. It’s amazing what you can achieve on Opera Mobile with a little patience. But I had been noticing some issues on the server when trying to access the site in the evenings and at night. This became more pronounced as I was away and finally on the weekend I lost all remote contact with the server.
I was eager to return to work to figure out what was causing the issue and found that I was now receiving IIS errors. Quite odd as I run a linux apache server. I managed to trace down the culprit after much consternation as being another VPS server on the same host as my own. This was an issue in itself as the owner was away on leave and wouldn’t return until next week. I had to get my server back online as I had now lost email services that I heavily rely on. Calling the owner failed to get a response and after two days of attempted contact I received a return text message apologizing for the problems and that as a test box it could be turned off. If only I had know that earlier. After halting the conflicting VPS all of my services returned to normal.
The other odd this about this is the fact that he had not touched his VPS in around a month and I only lost complete contact with mine just last weekend.
Have you had an IP conflict issue and how did you track it to it’s source to resolve the problem?

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