I'm going to be running a software testing session in the near future. It will be a whole day of hands-on testing by a group of users.

I'm thinking of using Problem Steps Recording (psr.exe) but am not sure what the best method of using it is.

Would I get the testers to fire it up at the start of the test session, and leave it running all the time; or would I have them wait until they find a problem, start psr.exe then, and then try to recreate the problem?

If I have them wait then I'm worried we might miss some problems, where the tester isn't able to recreate the issue. However, I'm also worried about the wisdom of running psr all day. If it's taking screen caps then it must be eating up disk space at a fast rate, yes/no?

Any thoughts appreciated. Also, any other suggestions would be welcome. I'm not a professional QA/tester, so I don't really know all the methods you might use. We already have automated tests, etc - this is just a hands-on session for things that automated tests might not catch.

1 Answer 1


Mark, welcome to SQA. In my experience, worrying is not a good use of time. You can figure out for yourself how much disk space psr.exe consumes per unit time: write down the current time, start psr.exe, work as you would if you were testing, stop psr.exe, write down the current time, and then divide the size of the image file by how long you let it run.

If the disk consumption is acceptable, you can put that issue behind you. If it is not acceptable, you could consider buying more disk space. A moment ago, you could buy a 500GB hard drive from Newegg for less than 100 USD.

Perhaps you do not have the budget to buy big disks for everyone. An alternative would be to buy just a few, use them with a few users, and find out whether having those users run psr.exe all day makes enough of a difference to justify the cost.

Another option would be to restart psr.exe every so often based on how much disk space you can afford to use for videos. Each time you restart psr.exe, you could delete the old video. If you are worried about your users forgetting to restart psr.exe, you could give them timers.

Aside from the disk space consumption, you might also want to measure how much psr.exe slows down your computer. If you cannot afford disks big enough for a day's worth of video, you may not have the budget for fast, up-to-date computers either. You would not want psr.exe to add bugs to your test process.


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