How to: Use a Symbol Server
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You can use a symbol server to allow Visual Studio to automatically download the correct symbols for debugging your Visual Studio project.
Microsoft maintains public symbol servers that provide symbols for Windows operating systems, in addition to MDAC, IIS, ISA, and the .NET Framework.
Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SP1 connects to the Microsoft public symbol servers automatically when you click Load symbols from Microsoft symbol servers in the Options dialog box (Debugging category, Symbols page) or the shortcut menu (in the Modules Window of Call Stack Window).
In addition, you may have a local symbol server set up on your Intranet or on your local computer for developers at http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols.
To use a symbol server, you specify the path to the server in the Visual Studio options, as described in the following procedure. For more information, see How to: Specify a Symbol Path. If you have Visual Studio 2008 SP1, you can remove paths from the Symbol file (.pdb) locations list in the Options dialog box. For more information, see How to: Specify a Symbol Path.
Make sure the symbol server and its path are trustworthy. Otherwise you might become exposed to security threats.
To set a path to a symbol server
On the Tools menu, click Options.
In the Options dialog box, open the Debugging node, and then click Symbols. For more information, see How to: Specify a Symbol Path.
Edit the text to add a new path to the symbol server.
To use the Microsoft public symbol server, type:
To use an intranet symbol server, type:
To use a symbol server on your local computer, type:
Clear Search the above locations only when symbols are loaded manually if you want to load symbols automatically when you launch a debug build.
If you are using symbols on a remote symbol server, you can improve performance by specifying a local directory that symbols can be copied to. To do this, type a path in the Cache symbols from symbol server to this directory box. To connect to the Microsoft public symbol server, you have to enable this setting. If you are doing remote debugging, the cache directory is on the remote computer.
If you are using the Microsoft public symbol server, an End User License Agreement dialog box might appear. Click Yes to accept the agreement.
If you are currently debugging, the symbols download immediately, unless you have set the manual download option. If you are in design mode, the symbols download the next time that you launch your debug build, again, unless you have set the manual download option.