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#322251 - 15/05/2009 05:17 MS Paint program is broken
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5407
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
My MS Paint program has stopped working in my Windows Vista computer. It is probably coincidence, but the only change to my computer between the last time mspaint worked and when it stopped working was the installation of an updated sound card driver. Oh, and the installation of a utility to allow unzipping the *.rar file that the driver came packaged in.

When I tried to use mspaint tonight, clicking on the shortcut changed the cursor to an hourglass for about seven seconds, then back to the regular cursor arrow.

I went to C:\Windows\System32 and clicked on the mspaint.exe program directly, and the program opened. I closed the program, right-clicked the mspaint.exe program and created a new shortcut. I clicked it, and the program ran. After that, nothing I could do would make the program run again, either through the shortcut or trying to run it directly. I borrowed a copy of the program from Tony Fabris, it wouldn't run. I downloaded an older version of the program from the internet, and it ran... once and then never again.

No, I got it to run one more time by bringing up the "Run" applet and telling it to run mspaint. The program opened right up once but not again after that.

I ran my Registry Patrol registry cleaner program, it made no difference.

I ran virus scan (AVG Pro, database updated 90 minutes ago), it says the computer is clean.

What is going on here? Why will the same program open up one time from three different prompts (shortcut; direct executable; Run filename) and then never again? How can I get my mspaint.exe program to run again?

tanstaafl.
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#322252 - 15/05/2009 05:28 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tanstaafl.]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5622
Loc: London, UK
Presumably you've rebooted between attempts?

Is it actually starting at all? Run Task Manager and, on the Process tab, keep an eye out for MSPAINT.EXE. Run Paint. Does MSPAINT.EXE appear in the list at all? Does it appear in the list and then go away? Does it stay there, but with no window displayed?
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#322254 - 15/05/2009 14:30 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tanstaafl.]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31313
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
I downloaded an older version of the program from the internet, and it ran... once and then never again.


This is the one that gets me.

Doesn't Vista do some kind of optimization on EXE files so that they launch faster? Putting them into some kind of permanent cache?
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Tony Fabris

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#322255 - 15/05/2009 14:42 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tanstaafl.]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
I understand the desire to 'fix what's broke, 'cause it worked before', but would you be amenable to trying other software?
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-paint-program.htm
There are many, many paint and image editor programs available as freeware.

I don't use MSPaint much at all, but when I need it that's my default- it's just there.

Hope you can figure it out!
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#322256 - 15/05/2009 14:48 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: Robotic]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31313
Loc: Seattle, WA
I agree that there are better pieces of software out there, but I'm reasonably sure that something major is going wrong with Doug's system and this is just one symptom. I think it's important that he gets to the bottom of this.
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Tony Fabris

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#322257 - 15/05/2009 14:53 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tanstaafl.]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31313
Loc: Seattle, WA
Uncle google is telling me to try wiping its registry tree, rebooting and trying again:

Delete:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Paint

Also it says MSPaint.exe is targeted by certain pieces of spyware. Perhaps the program is getting re-infected each time you run it, and an on-access virus prevention tool is shutting it down, thus the problem where it ran once and then never ran again. (It ran once uninfected, subsequent times it's getting shut down by the virus scanner.)
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#322262 - 15/05/2009 17:14 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: Roger]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5407
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: Roger
Presumably you've rebooted between attempts?

Is it actually starting at all? Run Task Manager and, on the Process tab, keep an eye out for MSPAINT.EXE. Run Paint. Does MSPAINT.EXE appear in the list at all? Does it appear in the list and then go away? Does it stay there, but with no window displayed?


MSPAINT.EXE does not appear in task manager.

tanstaafl.
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#322263 - 15/05/2009 18:22 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tfabris]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5407
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: tfabris
I agree that there are better pieces of software out there, but I'm reasonably sure that something major is going wrong with Doug's system and this is just one symptom. I think it's important that he gets to the bottom of this.


Don't underestimate the old mspaint program. It can be surprisngly capable in sufficiently motivated hands. smile

But.. you are right, that something major is going wrong, and it is nearly certain that the updated sound driver is at the bottom of it. I normally do not update drivers, operating under the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought, but in this case I was getting system crashes (blue screen followed by a restart) and Windows crash recovery information was indicating it had something to do with the audio driver. A check of the driver showed it to be dated about four years before Vista even hit the market, so an update seemed in order.

Tony, remember when you sent me version 6.0.6001.18000 of the mspaint.exe program in the admittedly forlorn hope that my copy of the program might be corrupted? Well... if I go to Control Panel-->Device Manager-->Sound Video & Game Controllers-->C-Media PCI Audio Device-->Driver-->Driver Details I get a window showing four lines:

C:\Windows\System32\cmudax3.DLL
C:\Windows\system32\drivers\cmudax3.sys
C:\Windows\sysstem32\drivers\dmk.sys
C:\Windows\system32\drivers\portcls.sys

Highlighting any one of the four lines gives additional information in the bottom of the dialog box, such as (for the second line):

Provider: C-Media Inc
File Version: 6.12.8.1733 (that's what I downloaded)
Copyright: C-Media Inc. 1998-2007
Digital Signer: Not digitally signed

Okay, I list all this tedious and probably not useful information just as stage setting for the third and fourth lines. If I highlight those lines, I get information at the bottom of the dialog box as follows:

Provider: Microsoft Corporation
File Version: 6.0.6001.18000 (longhorn_rtm.080118-1840)
Copyright: Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved
Digital Signer: Microsoft Windows

Exact same information for both line 3 and line 4. Does that 6.0.6001.18000 sequence ring any bells with you? If not, please go back and look at the third paragraph (not including the quote) of this post.

Things are beginning to cascade, I think. Last night I had audio (greatly improved over the previous sound card driver, BTW) and this morning I have none. If I go into the configure utility for the driver, I can test the audio and each speaker (Left, Right, Subwoofer) responds, but Windows Media Player does not play audio. The program loads and displays and the slider advances but no sound comes out. Same for Nero. Same for You Tube. Same for QuickTime. Same for Line In from the empeg. Same for iTunes. You get the idea. And no, "Mute" is not selected, at least not anyplace I can find. The only thing I have done is let my Tunebite program run overnight, changing DRM'ed WMA files to MP3's. Hmmm... if I load Tunebite back up I get a dialog box saying:

Warning:
Tunebite's High-speed dubbing driver has wrongly been set as default sound device. This setting is erroneous. Other applications will run without sound. Open the control panel and set your actual default device to restore proper sound settings.


I suppose there is a minute, outside possibility that this might be a small, contributing factor to my sound (i.e., lack thereof) problem. smile Let's check and see... Yes, that helped considerably. Maybe the problems are not cascading after all. I should have thought of the Tunebite thing, since I had to terminate the program in mid-process this morning (8 of the 24 simultaneous threads had locked up). blush

So, I guess that just leaves me with mspaint.exe not working, and the highly suspicious circumstance of the mspaint.exe drivers being present in the driver description area that belongs to my sound card.

Something wonky [technical term] is going on here. How do I fix it?

tanstaafl.
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#322268 - 15/05/2009 19:56 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tanstaafl.]
andym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/01/2002
Posts: 3979
Loc: Manchester UK
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
Originally Posted By: tfabris
I agree that there are better pieces of software out there, but I'm reasonably sure that something major is going wrong with Doug's system and this is just one symptom. I think it's important that he gets to the bottom of this.


Don't underestimate the old mspaint program. It can be surprisngly capable in sufficiently motivated hands. smile


His painting with Vegemite on toast is more impressive.
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Andy M

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#322269 - 15/05/2009 20:59 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tanstaafl.]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31313
Loc: Seattle, WA
That "6.0.6001.18000" version number simply means the file came with that version of Windows. That's just the version of Windows Vista. Type VER at a command prompt.
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Tony Fabris

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#322270 - 15/05/2009 21:41 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tfabris]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5407
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: tfabris
That "6.0.6001.18000" version number simply means the file came with that version of Windows. That's just the version of Windows Vista. Type VER at a command prompt.


Oh blush

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#322271 - 16/05/2009 02:15 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: andym]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3162
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: andym
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
Don't underestimate the old mspaint program. It can be surprisngly capable in sufficiently motivated hands. smile

His painting with Vegemite on toast is more impressive.

Heck... just getting within 3 feet of an open jar of Vegemite is impressive.

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#322273 - 16/05/2009 02:56 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tanstaafl.]
gbeer
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/12/2000
Posts: 2665
Loc: Manteca, California
Have you replenished the paint lately? crazy

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#322274 - 16/05/2009 03:04 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: gbeer]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
Originally Posted By: gbeer
Have you replenished the paint lately? crazy


Or maybe a little paint thinner?
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'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#322275 - 16/05/2009 05:28 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: jimhogan]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Originally Posted By: jimhogan
Originally Posted By: gbeer
Have you replenished the paint lately? crazy


Or maybe a little paint thinner?

Nobody ever thinks to clean the brushes!
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#322287 - 16/05/2009 16:17 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tfabris]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5407
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: tfabris
Uncle google is telling me to try wiping its registry tree, rebooting and trying again:

Delete:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Paint

Also it says MSPaint.exe is targeted by certain pieces of spyware. Perhaps the program is getting re-infected each time you run it, and an on-access virus prevention tool is shutting it down, thus the problem where it ran once and then never ran again. (It ran once uninfected, subsequent times it's getting shut down by the virus scanner.)


Deleting the key didn't solve the problem.

AVG reports no virus or malware activity (I did a complete scan).

??

tanstaafl.
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#322367 - 18/05/2009 21:43 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tanstaafl.]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5407
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Another bit of information...

I downloaded and installed this program (MTPAINT), tried it and then uninstalled it (too complex, for my uses I want something really simple, like MSPAINT.EXE) and on a whim I tried the MSPAINT.EXE program, and it started up and ran -- once.

So, I re-installed MTPAINT and then tried MSPAINT.EXE again. Nothing happened. So I opened MTPAINT and then tried MSPAINT.EXE while MTPAINT was open. Nothing happened. So I closed MTPAINT and tried MSPAINT.EXE, and it started up and ran -- once.

This is repeatable. If I open MTPAINT and then close it, MSPAINT.EXE will open and run one time and then won't run again until I repeat the drill with MTPAINT.

It really doesn't sound like anything is seriously wrong here, perhaps something in the Registry File that gets reset whenever the MTPAINT program exits. Does anybody have a clue about how I might fix this?

tanstaafl.
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#322374 - 19/05/2009 01:40 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tanstaafl.]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31313
Loc: Seattle, WA
I know you're a fan of macros and similar kinds of automation. Is there a chance that you had originally automated some kind of a task involving opening and modifying multiple files in MSPaint, and somehow a vestige of that macro is getting run each time it loads?
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Tony Fabris

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#322378 - 19/05/2009 05:17 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tfabris]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5407
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: tfabris
I know you're a fan of macros and similar kinds of automation. Is there a chance that you had originally automated some kind of a task involving opening and modifying multiple files in MSPaint, and somehow a vestige of that macro is getting run each time it loads?


In a word... no. When I drill down to C:\Windows\System32 and double-click the mspaint.exe file, that's about as direct as I can get, and it doesn't work that way either.

In the event that nobody here has the answer, at what other venues might I appeal for help?

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#322381 - 19/05/2009 07:12 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tanstaafl.]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5622
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
In the event that nobody here has the answer


OK. Time for the big guns. At a Command Prompt, type the following:

Code:
cd /d C:\Windows\System32
set _NT_SYMBOL_PATH=SRV*C:\WebSymbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols
ntsd -g -G -loga C:\Temp\mspaint.log mspaint.exe


This will change to the directory for MS Paint, set up your symbol path to point at the Microsoft public symbol server, and then run the built-in NT symbolic debugger running mspaint.exe, logging to C:\Temp\mspaint.log.

When you're done, attach the log file.
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#322394 - 19/05/2009 16:25 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: Roger]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31313
Loc: Seattle, WA
Will it create the C:\temp folder and the C:\websymbols folder for him if he hasn't created them already?
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Tony Fabris

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#322396 - 19/05/2009 16:30 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tfabris]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Don't you need the debugging package for ntsd? It isn't in my install of Vista Business at least...

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#322400 - 19/05/2009 16:38 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tman]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31313
Loc: Seattle, WA
Gah, yeah, it's not in my Vista Business either. It's on an XP image I've got though.

Is it just a quick download from MS somewhere that Doug could get?
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Tony Fabris

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#322401 - 19/05/2009 16:41 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: Roger]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5407
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: Roger

ntsd -g -G -loga C:\Temp\mspaint.log mspaint.exe[/code]

This will change to the directory for MS Paint, set up your symbol path to point at the Microsoft public symbol server, and then run the built-in NT symbolic debugger running mspaint.exe, logging to C:\Temp\mspaint.log.

When you're done, attach the log file.


Sigh...

'ntsd' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

From a website about debugging with NTSD: "Unfortunately Vista seems to lack support for this utility." frown

tanstaafl.


Edited by tanstaafl. (19/05/2009 16:47)
Edit Reason: add reference to website
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#322403 - 19/05/2009 16:55 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tanstaafl.]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31313
Loc: Seattle, WA
Maybe he could download Windbg and do something similar?
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Tony Fabris

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#322404 - 19/05/2009 17:02 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tfabris]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5407
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: tfabris
Maybe he could download Windbg and do something similar?


I have downloaded the 32-bit debugging tools set from here but haven't installed it since I have no idea what I am doing and don't even know if it would prove useful. The filename is: dbg_x86_6.11.1.404.msi, and it's from some company called Microsoft. Are they reputable?

tanstaafl.
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#322411 - 19/05/2009 19:53 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tanstaafl.]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31313
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
and it's from some company called Microsoft. Are they reputable?


Well THERE'S your problem!!! smile
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Tony Fabris

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#322431 - 20/05/2009 04:09 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tfabris]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5622
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: tfabris
Maybe he could download Windbg and do something similar?


Dammit. I thought that NTSD was standard on all versions of Windows. But, yeah, if Doug downloads the Debugging Tools for Windows and installs it, then he'll end up with a copy of NTSD.EXE in the C:\Program Files\Debugging Tools for Windows (x86) directory.

So:

Code:
mkdir C:\Temp
cd /d C:\Windows\System32
set _NT_SYMBOL_PATH=SRV*C:\WebSymbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols
mkdir C:\WebSymbols
"C:\Program Files\Debugging Tools for Windows (x86)\ntsd" -g -G -loga C:\Temp\mspaint.log mspaint.exe

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-- roger

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#322432 - 20/05/2009 05:02 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: Roger]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5407
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: Roger

Code:
mkdir C:\Temp
cd /d C:\Windows\System32
set _NT_SYMBOL_PATH=SRV*C:\WebSymbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols
mkdir C:\WebSymbols
"C:\Program Files\Debugging Tools for Windows (x86)\ntsd" -g -G -loga C:\Temp\mspaint.log mspaint.exe



OK, I saved the above as a batch file in C:\Windows\System32 and ran it from there. Interestingly enough, it opened and ran MSPAINT.EXE at the end when MSPAINT would not run by double-clicking its filename.

The resulting log file is attached. I hope there is some sort of "aha moment" contained therein.

It seems odd to me that the "mkdir C:\WebSymbols" line appears after the preceding line that actually references the directory, which ended up with no files in it in any case. No doubt there is a good reason for it...

tanstaafl.


Attachments
mspaint.log (167 downloads)

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#322434 - 20/05/2009 07:08 Re: MS Paint program is broken [Re: tanstaafl.]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5622
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
Interestingly enough, it opened and ran MSPAINT.EXE at the end when MSPAINT would not run by double-clicking its filename.


And if you run it a second time? I seem to recall that your problem only seems to appear the second time.

Quote:
The resulting log file is attached. I hope there is some sort of "aha moment" contained therein.


Not yet. It all looks fairly normal.

Quote:
It seems odd to me that the "mkdir C:\WebSymbols" line appears after the preceding line that actually references the directory, which ended up with no files in it in any case.


The first line only sets an environment variable. The directory is not actually used until NTSD needs to get hold of some symbols.

It's empty because nothing went bang and it didn't need to download any symbols.
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