Additional .NET Framework Source Code Debugging Tricks
With the big announcement today, everyone's looking at the Framework sources like mad. Make sure you read everything in Shawn Burke's blog entry before you start. I thought I'd mention a couple of additional hints to help you out.
- If you've been downloading your symbols with the Microsoft Symbol Server, make sure to delete your cache directory before you start downloading from the new symbol location.
- Shawn says you'll want to check the "Search the above locations only when symbols are loaded manually" in the Options dialog, Debugging, Symbols node. Personally, I think it's much better to leave that unchecked so that you get the symbols and source downloaded automatically. Yes, there will be some slowdowns on the download, but by getting the symbols and source every time you access the item, you'll fill up the cache quicker.
- If you're having some trouble getting everything to work, turn on the source server diagnostic messages in the Options dialog, Debugging, General node:
Also, as you are loading downloading source files by double clicking on them in the call stack window, you can see the path reference location in the status bar.
- To get both the new Reference Symbol Server and Microsoft Symbol Server set in your _NT_SYMBOL_PATH environment variable to the following:
- For you advanced hackers out there, I tried like crazy to get SYMCHK and PDBSTR to work for pre-downloading and bulk source extraction working, but with no luck at all. It appears that the WinDBG tools don't have support for source servers that use http downloads, but the QFE added that support to Visual Studio 2008. (See my article if you don't know what I'm talking about.)
Hope that helps you out!
[Edit 2/14/08 - Changed symbol path in Step 4 as I pasted it in wrong.]