Why is Visual Studio 2005 debugging so slowly? How can I make it faster?

Posted on 2006-06-01
Last Modified: 2010-04-24
I have imported a project from Visual Studio .Net 2003, consisting only of native (unmanaged) C++ code. Debugging was very fast in that IDE, and I didn't even notice a delay when stepping over lines. Now, in MSVC 2005, each stepping over takes between 1 and 2 seconds :(

Why is that? Is there anyway to improve the MSVC 2005 debugger speed? I've already configured the project debugger type to Native Only, and I tried to change a lot of debugging options, all without success.

Question by:e_tadeu
    LVL 48

    Expert Comment

    What processor and memory do you have? I found that VS 2005 is very slow on old computers like Pentium III and when RAM is less than 512 MB.
    Create new project and test debugging in it - does it happen there or it happens only in one specific project?
    LVL 4

    Author Comment


    I have an Athlon MP 2400+ (Dual Core) with 2GB of RAM!
    I created a new project, a very simple one, and the debug is fast there...

    The problem is with my older project, but note that this is a big project... it involves python, and it is actually loading 85 modules (.dll's) when debugging. Maybe there is too much symbols??

    But I repeat, in MSVC .Net 2003 the debugging was very fast even on this project.
    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    Note: I disabled JIT debugging and Edit&Continue -- same thing.
    LVL 49

    Accepted Solution

    One suggestion relates to breakpoints

    I suppose you have already done a complete clean and rebuild, but just to be sure, I thought I'd mention it.

    If the problem is related to too many symbols (that is a heck of a lot of DLLs) you could isolate that problem by turing off debug symbols on all but a few main modules (where you will be debugging) and rebuilding the project.

    A google groups search turned up references to problems when debugging when using DirectX and and severla people had unresolved sluggishmess when debugging Web Services.
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    Hi e_tadeu,

    I have done this (with much smaller projects) and not noticed any slowdown. However, I did notice while looking through the settings it had 'interpreted' into the VS2005 form that many were set to 'unintuitive' values.

    You may benefit from climbing completely through, in detail, the settings of the projects. If you see something unintended, change it to something better.

    LVL 49

    Expert Comment

    For the PAQ database:
    Was the problem related to having too many sysmbols?  Did removing the symbols from seldom-used modules make the debugger run faster?  Or was it one of my other suggestions?

    -- Dan

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