Nov 23

I recently wrote how Visual Studio 2010 is very slow on my fast PC, taking 25-30 seconds to start up.  Thanks to a Microsoft employee who helped me but wishes to remain anonymous, my problem is solved.

The VMWare add-in, VMDebugger, causes Visual Studio 2010 to load very slowly on my fast PC.

Note that your mileage may vary, and VMDebugger may not ultimately be responsible.  Software is so complex these days it’s amazing anything works.  But I learned a couple lessons from this experience:

  1. It’s not enough to turn off the VMDebugger add-in with the Visual Studio Add-In Manager.  It’s also not enough to run Visual Studio from the command line (devenv.exe) with the /ResetAddin flag to prevent the add-in from starting.  The only way to truly remove the VMDebugger add-in and stop its effect on Visual Studio is to uninstall the entire VMWare Workstation product from your PC.  You can then reinstall VMWare but be sure to NOT install its Visual Studio add-in.
  2. To see the true effect of running devenv.exe in /SafeMode, you must run it multiple times.  The first few times I ran it in safe mode, Visual Studio started relatively slow.  But when I ran it the fourth and subsequent times, VS2010 started in just a few seconds.  This led me to conclude that the Visual Studio slowdown was indeed caused by an add-in.

There are also a couple important lessons for Microsoft:

  1. When creating a product like Visual Studio that relies heavily on add-ins, load the add-ins asynchronously and monitor their progress, notify the user if an add-in is taking too long to load, and give the user the option to disable the add-in.
  2. Give the Visual Studio Add-In Manager the power to truly disable an add-in.  Even though I disabled VMDebugger with the Add-In Manager, its corresponding menu still appeared in Visual Studio and was likely responsible for the slow-down.

Now I’m a happy camper that I can start using Visual Studio 2010.  Geek on!

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Article published on November 23, 2010

8 Responses to “Visual Studio 2010 Slowdown: VMDebugger is the Culprit”

  1. Our Automotive Blog » Automobile And Truck Alternators Says:

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  4. Mohammad Elsheimy Says:

    Oh my! So I have to uninstall VMWare then reinstalling it, that’s unacceptable, there should be another way, an addon management dialog for example in Visual Studio.

  5. @Glinner I used to notice slowdown at peak times with BT. But not since I signed up for the premium package. - Wordpress 201 Says:

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  6. Cheap Domain Names Says:

    This is basically bad programming. The Visual Studio developers should be embarrassed of themselves. It’s amazing how far Microsoft has fallen in less than a decade, Windows Vista, Windows Mobile, Silver light, and now Visual Studio FAIL. I’m going to join with Visual Studio 2008. I must say that I am intimidated with the approach of your opinion. Thanks…..

  7. Krish Says:

    No, there is way to disable VM debugger. Run Visual Studio in elevated admin mode (right click and then run as administrator) , then open addin manager (Tools->Addin Manager). There you will see VM debugger listed. Uncheck both the checkbox (startup and main). Close VS and you are done.

  8. Visual Studio 2010 Slow Startup [resolved] – /* BeejBlog */ Says:

    […] the culprit of my slowdown was the VMware debugger integration… resolution here I merely uninstalled the VMDebugger component via VMware Desktop setup.exe …  I did *not* […]

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