Web test recorder problems in IE

Visual Studio Team System has some nice testing feature, amongst which is the ability to record and playback web browsing as part of a web test. The recorder makes building web tests much easier that writing the test scripts by hand. I went to record a new web test today but the test recorder didn’t appear.

I’ve recently installed IE8, I don’t know if this was the culprit for breaking the recorder or not but fortunately the fix was quite easy. After a bit of searching I came across an entry on Michael Taute’s blog at blogs.msdn.com/mtaute/archive/2007/11/09/diagnosing-and-fixing-web-test-recorder-bar-issues.aspx.

This article contains several possible fixes for these kinds of problems, the one that worked for me was regarding VSTS 2008 and Vista 64 (I’m running on Server 2008 64 bit). I’ve included that particular fix below but have a look at the original article for others.

VSTS 2008 : Vista (64 bit) : Recorder bar does not appear when recording a new webtest

Fix:  Vista caches the list of explorer bars you have available and the recorder bar was not included in your list.  The fix is to force Windows to rebuild that cache.  To do this, first make sure you have all Internet Explorer instances shut down, then open the 32 bit registry editor and delete the following keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Discardable\PostSetup\Component Categories\{00021493-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Discardable\PostSetup\Component Categories\{00021494-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}

[Note: by default, the 32 bit registry editor is located in %WINDIR%\SysWow64\RegEdt32.exe]

The next time you boot Internet Explorer, your explorer bar cache will be rebuilt and the recorder bar should be available.