Tools for fixing symbols issues in WinDbg

Before worrying about setting your environment variables, e.g. _NT_SYMBOL_PATH
, get the Windbg session working.


lkd> .symfix

This will set your symbol search path to the Microsoft msdl symbol server. Next, reload your symbols:

lkd> .reload /f

This will force the debugger to immediately reload all symbols. This should fix the issue. If it does not, try

lkd> !sym noisy

This will turn on your symbol prompts. Try again running .symfix
, looking for clues in the output.

Once your symbols are fixed, you can fix your environment variables. First, ensure that you have created a symbols cache, e.g. C:Symbols
. Add it to .symfix
via the command:

lkd> .symfix +C:Symbols

Ensure that symbols still work (do a .reload
), then have a look at your .sympath

lkd> .sympath

Symbol search path is: symsrv*symsrv.dll*C:Symbols*
Expanded Symbol search path is: symsrv*symsrv.dll*c:windowssymbols*
************* Symbol Path validation summary **************
Response Time (ms) Location
Deferred symsrv*symsrv.dll*C:WindowsSymbols*

Now set your _NT_SYMBOL_PATH
using the output above.

  1. Right click on My Computer
  2. Properties
  3. Advanced
  4. Environment Variables
  5. New (User variables)
  6. Variable name = _NT_SYMBOL_PATH
  7. Variable value:


Close Windbg and open a new session. Ensure that symbols are fixed. If not, examine your .sympath
and ensure it does not differ from the settings that worked in your previous session.

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