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:
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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!
Article published on November 23, 2010
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