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Opening a PDB ( C++ Program Data Base )

Posted on 2004-05-01
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
I am looking for a tool to open and view the contents of a PDB file. ( Preferrably not the C++ product itself ).
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Question by:greatscott
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Expert Comment

by:mrwad99
ID: 10967842
You could always use notepad (drag and drop) but I think you are after something a little more advanced....
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Author Comment

by:greatscott
ID: 10972758
I am looking for something more sophisticated. Just to confirm: a PDB file contains program source code?
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Expert Comment

by:mrwad99
ID: 10972849
A PDB file contains debug information only; as far as I know it does not contain source code.  You will not find anything useful there as far as I know.
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Author Comment

by:greatscott
ID: 10972882
Then perhaps I am going down the wrong road. What does contain source code for C++ in Visual Studio?
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Expert Comment

by:mrwad99
ID: 10973307
.cpp and .h files.....
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Expert Comment

by:anupvijay
ID: 10988108
If you mean the source code in binary after compilation.....then they would be in .obj files.
But you can't open it in notepad or any editor (u can in hex editors!).

What is that you actually are looking for ?
A few more details please.....

Cheers.
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Author Comment

by:greatscott
ID: 10988227
I am looking to find source code files for C++. The PDB files have a header: Microsoft C/C++ MSF 7.00. So I'm looking for the source code. I'm looking for confirmation that the source code isn't in the PDB files. As I understand it, source code for C++ from Micorosoft is in .CPP and .H files.
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Expert Comment

by:mrwad99
ID: 10989334
>> But you can't open it in notepad or any editor (u can in hex editors!).

You can open *any* file within notepad, as long as security allows it and it is not in use or protected in some way.  Doing so to an object file will not produce meaningful results, but you can still see what is in it..

The pdb file does contain some elements of source code, but it is that mangled that it will not be of any real use I would imagine.  Just open one in notepad and see.

Either way, if you are looking to get complete source code for a piece of software from a pdb file, put simply it is just not going to happen.  Best way to go is to get the source code itself :)
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Author Comment

by:greatscott
ID: 10989848
Thanks. Can you confirm that the header: "Microsoft C/C++ MSF 7.00" validates that the product was compiled in C? or could the VB compiler use that header in PDB files as well?
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Accepted Solution

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mrwad99 earned 50 total points
ID: 10989878
I would imagine so.  I would not imagine that a VB compiler would add that to a pdb file; it would not make sense.  Read more about pdb files at http://www.jorgon.freeserve.co.uk/Other/pdb.htm
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