I would like to know if we always need to download the Symbol file from Microsoft before we use VTune Amplifier XE for "user-mode sampling and tracing analysis".
And I wonder what happens or not happen if there is no Symbol file.
I peaked the product manual and I found it says that "If it does not find debug information in the binaries, ... may not unwind the call stack correctly". Is it something critical?
My related question is that when the Symbol file is downloaded, should the application be compiled first before starting Vtune Amplifier XE?
You do not need to load the MSFT symbol files every time - so, you can analyze the call stacks of user functions in your application without the MSFT symbol server set up. However, if you need to follow the stacks deeper to the system calls, or your user functions are being invoked from system callbacks, you need to set up the path to the MSFT symbol server - without the symbols the stacks would be incomplete. There is no need in re-compilation of the application - the symbol server will take care of downloading the right versions of symbol files.