Bug in nVidia 3D Stereoscopic Glasses support

Heads up from Within Windows:  If you are running nVidia video drivers in Vista or Windows 7, you may see this problem.  A handle leak in nvSCPAPISvr.exe, the nVidia Stereoscopic 3D Driver Service, may cause performance problems.

In my case, it also kept me from installing a new copy of VirtualBox on my Vista machine;  the install would fail.  Process Monitor showed sharing violations whenever the VirtualBox driver installer tried to access INF files.  Running Handle on the INF file being blocked showed it was held by nvSCPAPISvr.

I didn’t connect it to the stereoscopic display service until I saw Rafael’s post.  His use of Process Explorer to find the leak and his disassembly of the service code is a quintessential example of problem diagnosis worthy of Russinovich.

This bug can result in over 100,000 handles being leaked:  I think I have the record—I have 148,420 handles leaked by that service, as you can see in the screenshot above.

Some have reported performance problems.  I didn’t notice anything.  But if you install new drivers for unrelated devices on your machine, the installs may fail, possibly catastrophically as one commenter in Rafael’s blog noted.

Workaround:  Stop and disable the Stereo Service.  I have 20/200 vision in my left eye so I have very poor depth perception and 3D displays are useless to me.  I won’t miss it.

UPDATE:  nVidia has fixed this.

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