September 29, 2023

Configuring the Symbols file for WinDBG

So you have WinDBG installed on your machine as per the previous post. This post will detail how to add the symbols file persistently to the WinDBG application.

In this configuration I am going with saving the symbols locally to C:\symbols using the official Microsoft Symbols Server at


In System Properties, select the Environment Variables button.


Depending on whether you want all users on the systemto have access to the Symbols or just your own user account, set up your configuration in the User only variables section or the System variables section. I am going with the System Variables.


Variable name: _NT_SYMBOL_PATH

Variable Value: srv*c:\symbols*

Earlier my laptop had a blue screen, which prompted me to write these blog articles. I am just gonna open my crash dump here and have a look to see if everything is working as it should.


In the following image, I cam see Windows has save the dump file to the default location in  C:\Windows. Looking at the file size, it is only 595MB. Normally a full dump would be equal to the amount of RAM you have installed on your device. (In this case I would expect something nearer 6GB). This is because Windows has only dumped the kernel memory as opposed to the kernel and user memory.


As evidenced in this image, “User address space is not available…”, a clue to a configuration change I need to make. My next blog post will be a quick one on setting the correct configuration for this.


And just to confirm the Symbol File Path….