Hi I’m Ada, General Manager here at Idealogical. At Idealogical, most of the systems we work on use the Windows operating system. And like any operating system, Windows comes with some really useful tools for you to play around with. Programs like Internet Explorer and Microsoft Security Essentials are reliable and common tools, but some tools are not as well-known as the standard programs. So today I’m going to talk about our favorite forgotten Windows tools, and why they could end up being important to you.
The Task Scheduler is often overlooked but can be a very useful tool. It can be used to create and manage common tasks that your computer will carry out automatically on a schedule that you decide. How great would it be if you could just schedule a program to open, instead of accidentally forgetting about it in the mornings? Well, the collective minds at Microsoft thought about that too, and that’s why they made the Task Scheduler.
The first thing you want to do is open the program from your start bar. If it’s not there, you can find it by writing “task” into the search box. Once the Task Scheduler opens, click ‘create basic task’. Type in the name of the program you want to schedule, being sure to keep the letters in the name case-sensitive. The description box is optional, but if you schedule multiple programs, or different actions for the same program, it’s a good idea to add some details about the scheduled task here. After that’s filled in, click ‘next’ then select how you want to schedule the task. For this example, we’ll set the program to run on a daily basis, starting at 8:00 AM. Click ‘next’ to move on to the Actions tab. Here, you’ll pick what you want the task scheduler to do. You can set it to automatically send an email for you, or display a message on your screen. For this example, we’ll set the Task Scheduler to start the program. You can browse for the program that you want to schedule, then select it as the program to be affected by the schedule. Click ‘next’ to get to the overview of the schedule you just created, and make sure that everything is set how you want it. If you’re happy with how everything is set up, just click “Finish” and let your computer work for you.
The Problem Steps Recorder is a fantastic tool that can be a big help to us and you when we need to figure out how a problem happens on a system. The recorder documents the individual steps that cause a problem, and save the process in a compressed .ZIP file.
Like always, the first step is to open the program. You can find the problem steps recorder by clicking on your Windows icon, then writing “psr” into the search box. Open the program, then just hit record and go ahead with doing the task that led to the particular error you’re trying to record. You can pause the recording between steps if you want to end up with a smaller file, or if you want to skip the loading time between steps. That is up to your own discretion. You can also click “Add comment” to make a note for us to see at that step in the task, as well as highlight any specific area of the screen that is of interest. Once you’re done recording, click the “stop recording” button to save the recording as a .zip file. You can then attach send that file to us, where we can look at the information inside to get a better understanding of what may be going wrong in the system.
These two tools can really be a time saver for you, as the user, and for us when we need to examine issues. So if you have any questions about running these programs, you can always contact us through e-mail or a phone call, and we’ll be right here to help you out.