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Using a Symbol Server

You can use a symbol server to automatically download the proper symbols for debugging your Visual Studio .NET project.

Microsoft maintains a public symbol server for developers at This server provides symbols for various operating systems (Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003), MDAC, IIS, ISA, and the .NET Framework.

In addition, you may have a local symbol server set up on your Intranet or on your local machine.

To use a symbol server, you must specify the proper server path in your project.

To set a path to a symbol server

  1. Open the project in Visual Studio.
  2. In the Solution Explorer view, choose the solution name.
  3. From the Project menu, choose Set Startup Projects.
  4. In the Solution <Project> Property Pages dialog box, open the Common Properties folder and click Debug Symbol Files.
  5. Create a new line in the Search these paths for symbol files box, by double-clicking on an empty line or by clicking the New Line icon.
  6. In the new line, enter the path to the symbol server.
    • To use the Microsoft public symbol server, enter:
    • To use an intranet symbol server, enter:
    • To use a symbol server on your local machine, enter:
  7. Do not click on the Check Entries button.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Copy symsrv.dll from the Visual Studio .NET setup disk to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003\Common7\IDE.

See Also

Debug Settings and Preparation | What are DBG Files? | Installing System Debug Symbols