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windbg taking it's time

Posted on 2016-11-04
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Last Modified: 2016-11-13
i have used windbg for some years - system windows 7 64 bit cpu i-7and 16 Gb ram
it works fine; however, some weeks ago, it started to be VERY slow, so as taking more than 5 minutes before ending the opening of the dmp file, sometimes more than 15 minutes
so i think there's something wrong
what can i do to get it to normal speed again? - before it opened in about 1 minute, max 2
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Question by:nobus
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32 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41873581
I know this behaviour from debugging custom code with active online Symbol Server. For some reason the search at MS last very long for "unknown" DLLs.
For test, remove the symbol server setting.
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41873852
ok - but which server symbol path do i need then?
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41874347
Ideally one with the required PDBs ;-). If you don't set any path, no PDB/symbol info is searched if not found in the executables / default location. This is what I would do - set it to NOTHING.
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41874354
ok - i'll try it and report back
bad idea - it reclaims it needs a path....
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41874465
I see what you mean. Providing nothing else than a local path like C:\ should help.
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41874523
ok the first part went fast, but it says "Kernel symbols are WRONG. Please fix symbols to do analysi"

and after giving the error code it hangs in the command line with Debuggee not connected
can that also be speeded up ?
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41874791
It hangs? I don't think so. The part while the debugger is blocked should not last longer than say one minute. Unless your dump is more than the required few MB - is it a full dump? If so, the MiniDump is enough; you will not find more info by having a bigger dump file.
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41874798
Should you need a more informative dump info, you'll run !analyze -f as suggested, but you should have a symbol server for the kernel files then (which again will introduce lags from downloading gigabytes of PDB files). The proper symbol server path looks like
    srv*c:\Windows\Symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols
More recent WinDbg (like the one from Windows 10 Kit I use now) will show more info in the status bar about progress, btw.
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41875178
sorry, i may have worded it poorly; i meant i don't see anything going on; normally after a minute or so the command line should be cleared to run commands
it's a normal minidmp file
i'll test your symbol path, i used this one, as suggested by MS :
srv*c:\symbols*https://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols

do you mean  !analyze -v    perhaps?
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41875193
Sorry about the analyze, of course it is -v.
The local folder you use for symbols doesn't matter as long as you keep it the same. If you change the folder between WinDbg runs symbols will get downloaded again, unless you move the existing content over into the new folder.

Does WinDbg behave the same if you open the same minidump again without quitting the debugger? It should be much faster.

Which size is the minidump exactly?
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41875359
the size = 270 kb
i'll test if it is faster the second time
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41875378
It's a kernel or application dump? Looks like the latter, and then you should have PDB files to get more info ...
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41875388
>>  then you should have PDB files to get more info ...  <<  i don't understand, what do you mean??
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41875412
Please anwer my question. Kernel or application minidump?
A PDB file is a symbol file containing function info including parameter names and their call address inside of DLL, SYS and EXE files. MS can only supply kernel related stuff (and some driver info), but of course nothing about custom apps.
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41875900
well - did not even know that makes a difference, or if these existed
the dmp tells me in the start "Mini Kernel Dump File:"
does that answer your question?  if not please tell me where to find the info you want

also - it says "ERROR: Symbol file could not be found" ??? how is that possible, since it uses the MS server?
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41875947
Strange that you do not know whether it is an kernel or app dump. Is this a file you just found somewhere?
As said already, the MS server cannot host every symbol file.
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41876081
i use it to debug dmp files from askers on EE, so i don't know where it comes from
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41876109
Then it is usually a kernel dump from a blue screen, and the unknown symbols non-MS drivers. There might be more info on the crashing system, installed together with the driver files.
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41881690
so there's nothing to do to speed it up?
can you attract more experts to this Q?
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41882549
i agree- but i don't know the prpoer topic names - they don't show a list anymore
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41882573
well - correct me if i'm wrong, but i have thought a computer was created to help us find things fast, not hinder us for finding them
poor coding ...from MS, and EE
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41882583
Don't forget - your topic here is to use a computer to help others with issues with a computer, an issue they would not have without the tool :p.
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41883386
what do you mean with "an issue they would not have without the tool :p. " ??  am i responsible for their problem??
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41883478
You are not responsible. But you complained about computers being an obstacle instead of a help. I referred to "computer" as "tool" here.

I don't agree to your statement. Of course using a tool (= computer) introduces new issues, and a complex machine has complex issues.
You are trying to perform a diagnostic something you do not know much about (because it is an unknown computer system). WinDbg tries its best to find things out. That just lasts. Why being in a hurry? Setting up the symbol server path correctly, and always using the same path, is all you can do to speed up BSOD analysis, AFAik.
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41883699
ok, but why did it work fast till- say a month ago?
and now it takes 30 minutes or more for analysing 1 dmp file??

that question is not adressed yet, only how the settings normally are ( and they were correct)
can it be because of updates?
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41883800
Well, if I open a minidump after having set up the full smbol server path, and set up   !sym noisy , I get this:
SYMSRV:  BYINDEX: 0x18A
         c:\windows\symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols
         halaacpi.dll
         4CE7C66949000
SYMSRV:  BYINDEX: 0x18A
         c:\windows\symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols
         halaacpi.dll
         4CE7C66949000
SYMSRV:  c:\windows\symbols\halaacpi.dll\4CE7C66949000\halaacpi.dll - file not found
SYMSRV:  c:\windows\symbols\halaacpi.dll\4CE7C66949000\halaacpi.dll - file not found
SYMSRV:  HTTPGET: /download/symbols/index2.txt
SYMSRV:  HTTPGET: /download/symbols/index2.txt
SYMSRV:  HttpSendRequest: 12002 - ERROR_INTERNET_TIMEOUT
SYMSRV:  HttpSendRequest: 12002 - ERROR_INTERNET_TIMEOUT
SYMSRV:  HTTPGET: /download/symbols/halaacpi.dll/4CE7C66949000/halaacpi.dll
SYMSRV:  HTTPGET: /download/symbols/halaacpi.dll/4CE7C66949000/halaacpi.dll
SYMSRV:  HttpSendRequest: 12031 - ERROR_INTERNET_CONNECTION_RESET
SYMSRV:  HttpSendRequest: 12031 - ERROR_INTERNET_CONNECTION_RESET
SYMSRV:  c:\windows\symbols\halaacpi.dll\4CE7C66949000\halaacpi.dll not found
SYMSRV:  c:\windows\symbols\halaacpi.dll\4CE7C66949000\halaacpi.dll not found
SYMSRV:  http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols/halaacpi.dll/4CE7C66949000/halaacpi.dll not found
SYMSRV:  http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols/halaacpi.dll/4CE7C66949000/halaacpi.dll not found

Open in new window

Those lines I see visble delays are all at trying to reach the MS symbol server. But I'm far from 30 minutes, it is no more than maybe 5 here.
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41884458
i would be happy with that result; i'll try the sym noisy command also
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Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41885153
well  -it seems i have found the reason
strangely - the windbgwas slow with the latest 2 dmp files
i got other ones in the last few days, and they seem to work normal

since you're the only respondent here, how do you want me to close this Q ?
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Accepted Solution

by:
Qlemo earned 2000 total points
ID: 41885250
Well, of course the speed depends on the minidump contents. If it refers to a 3rd-party driver, most likely no debug info is available at MS, and searching might last some time. If there are only known drivers and DLLs involved, analysis is faster.
I still do not have a clue why that makes an enormous difference in time needed - that is something only you can see, as it depends on the dump you analyze and your local environment Including Internet connection. With only local symbols it is significantly faster than using a symbol server, if  I got you right, and that is what I would have expected.

I'm convinced I answered the question as good as possible without having full access.  But only you can know whether that is your perception too.
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Author Closing Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41885309
ok you've earned it
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