"PDB file will not be generated for assembly" message for winmd file

I am running VS 2017 Community Version 15.9.7 and ReSharper Ultimate 2018.3.3.

I have a UWP blank application.  In the Debug Modules panel, I right-click Windows.winmd file and choose "Load Symbols with ReSharper Decompiler".  As a result, I get:

PDB file will not be generated for assembly Windows.winmd (does not contain debug directory)

Why do I get this message?  Isn't ReSharper supposed to be able to produce a PDB file in any case?  Isn't this what ReSharper is known for, that is, being able to step into code whose source is not available?


Official comment

Hello Todd!


Thank you for contacting us.

If an assembly doesn't contain a debug diretory inside it (i.e. it was compiled withouth the /debug option), a debugger will not be able to debug this assembly even if a PDB file for this assembly would be present. This is a limitation of the debugger, not ReSharper. ReSharper refuses to generate PDB for such assemblies because these is no use of having PDB in these cases.

Here's some more information explaining this behavior - https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/DOTP-6889

Thank you.

Thank you so much.  Regards.


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