Microsoft provides a couple of useful tools within Windows 7 to assist with gathering thorough troubleshooting information.
One is called Problem Steps Recorder. To access this click on Start -> type ‘psr.exe’ -> hit Enter. You will then see a small and simple GUI appear for this very handy tool.
Once you (or a user) clicks on Start Record, it will record screen shots and input actions providing a step by step run-through of any scenario.
You (or the user) can add comments to the recording to provide additional information. This can be very handy, especially when escalating or assigning calls to other team members. It can also be very useful in scenarios where you can’t remote control a PC, where the user can record an issue any send you through the results.
Once you are finished you can click on Stop Recording and save the recording as a zip file. Compressed within the zip is an mht file which can be opened in Internet Explorer or Microsoft Word. An example recording is attached.
A second tool is the Reliability Monitor. This tool provides a calendarised view of various error types and is an easy way to view if there are repeated errors relating to certain applications. Again, this can greatly assist with PCs that are not behaving as it identifies which applications are causing problems and exactly when. It also provides a score of the overall stability of the system. This can be found by clicking start -> type ‘reliability’ -> hit enter or in ‘Control PanelSystem and SecurityAction CenterProblem Reports’
Hopefully you’ll find these useful.