Memory leak bug in useless NVIDIA Windows service

Rafael Rivera reports on a severe memory leak in an NVIDIA service that gets installed and auto-runs by default with many GeForce graphics cards. It consumes ever-increasing numbers of handles while running.

The service is the NVIDIA Stereoscopic 3D Driver service – nvSCPAPISvr.exe. I investigated on my system (now Windows 7) and was suffering from the problem. The silly thing is, if I try to explore any of the 3D features (even with the service running) I get a message: Your graphic card does not support 3D Vision.

Well worth disabling the service if you have an affected driver.

This is poor practice from the vendor, and to make matters worse, the driver had apparently passed WHQL verification – a Microsoft certification which is meant to ensure quality. Well, possibly Microsoft only checked the core driver, and not ancillary services like this one, but nevertheless the user has been falsely reassured.

Posted to help spread the word.

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3 comments to Memory leak bug in useless NVIDIA Windows service

  • It really is frustrating that vendors still insist on installing a ton of services you may never use, rather than just turning them on/off when required.

    Windows has long suffered this problem but particularly every vendor having their own “auto update” services for their applications, wasting resources.

    That said, is there really any perfect solution to this without putting all our eggs in one basket and trusting Windows Update with third-party update tasks?

  • On my Vista 64-bit system, this service accounts for 17 seconds of my 24 second shutdown delay. Maybe it has a problem with my CRT monitor?

  • tim

    @Thomas just remove it, it’s unlikely you’ll miss it.

    Tim