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2 posts
WinDbg and slow symbol loading
Edited by miniu on Reason: Initial post
Hey, I'm trying to switch from to WinDbg for debugging but symbols load significantly slower then in VS or RemedyBG.

In VS symbols load instantaneously while running debugged process at the same time nonetheless.
Remedy seems to be loading them before process starts so there is a bit of a wait but still fast enough.

In WinDbg it takes half a second per pdb.

I'm working with Unreal Engine, there is over 600 modules that need to be loaded. With VS it loads all symbols in time it takes WinDbg to load 3 symbols.

I don't use symbol server(common problem is people not setting up local cache). My sympath is just path to the UE binaries folder.

!sym noisy doesn't show any problems, searches in correct path, loads correct pdbs. It just takes ages.

Can I do anything to speed up symbol loading? Is there something missing in my setup?

Asked on MSDN forums but didn't get useful answer yet. Asking here as that's where I got the idea for switch.
Simon Anciaux
1185 posts
WinDbg and slow symbol loading
Maybe asking in the Unreal Engine forums would be more useful ?

You could try to use UIforETW to try to figure out what the bottleneck is. But it's not easy (I don't know how to properly use it).
2 posts
WinDbg and slow symbol loading
@UIForETW: Great tool! Love it :D Very useful.

Looked quickly into performance analyzer and it doesn't seem like there's anything standing out.

VS loads symbols with its own methods, not all from dbgeng. Does them async as well.
It's not that easy to read all that calls in analyzer, and its really slow with filter operations.

I don't want to dig in that deep really, if its slower then unfortunately I'll just stick to VS.
I was hoping that maybe there's just some setup step that I missed.