nVidia's nwiz.exe causes excessive processor load

Wed, 2007-10-24 17:54 by admin · Forum/category:

General information

[The following article comes from MVP Steve Easton. Thanks a lot, Steve! The text has been slightly edited, formatted, and enhanced.]

If you have an NVIDIA video card and Windows XP or 2000, check the registry key


and see if nwiz.exe is being launched on start up.

If so, download, install, and launch Process Monitor (or the older, single-purpose Registry Monitor—RegMon).

With a wild card * set as the filter so that it shows everything and see if the machine is making constant registry queries looking for:

  \NVIDIA Corporation
Value: DisableWindowCaching

If so, either create a REG_DWORD Value named DisableWindowCaching and give it a value of 0 (zero) or if you're running a single monitor simply delete the nwiz.exe entry from the run key.

I don't see this issue in Vista, but then I only have one monitor.

Technical background

Because if nwiz is launched and the registry entry is missing, the system is constantly querying the registry for the entry because nwiz (or a dll it uses) doesn't properly cache the response from the query.

By querying the registry I mean for example 20,000 times just while launching Expression Web. Or a thousand times if you maximize a window and scroll the mouse across it.

Interesting enough though is the query is masked by whatever application has focus so that it appears the application is making the query.

I caught this when investigating why a program was so slow to open or even display the splash screen that I almost launched a second instance (and my machine is fairly quick).

I've posted this in another tech heavy newsgroup and had positive responses on the noticeable improvement in performance.

However, the difference won't be as noticeable in a high end machine.

Later comments

I just discovered this last week while doing some beta testing.

Thought it was an application issue, and the dev team was all over it like ants on a gumdrop in the grass in July. They were happy when I posted the cause and solution. Quote:

That's terrific news. I'm sorry you had so much trouble with this but it's nice to hear that this time it's not our fault. And even better to hear that you have a fix. If only the rest of our problems could be so easily solved. :)

I've Contacted NVIDIA about it and gotten no response (as of yet).

I would recommend to actually check using Process Monitor (or RegMon) before making any registry changes, although adding the registry ValueName is totally harmless because if not needed, it is ignored.

It is not written up anywhere that I could find using Google to search for: DisableWindowCaching. If you search it now you will get 3 valid hits, all posted by me.

Unfortunately I didn't take any screenshots while chasing this down, but I can always unwind the fix and take some.

Also fwiw, I had some [people from a certain big software company] over at the [...] groups verify this with positive results.

nVidia nView Desktop Manager

[By MVP Jon Kennedy—thanks for the good info!]

Nwiz.exe is part of the software packaged with nVidia drivers that includes the nView Desktop Manager. I always disable this from starting up using msconfig.

Since having to put in new hard drives, I'm using the Dell OEM drivers, and this "feature" is not installed on my system currently. (A search turned up no nwiz.exe.) If and when I decide to update my drivers, I'll have to disable nwiz.exe from starting as I've done in the past.

can't figure out nvidia solution as described

Tue, 2010-04-20 17:09 by multi

I did fix this nvidia problem before but I had found a step-by-step directions in finding the root of the problem in a windows folder and deleted the entry. Now I can't find those directions and these listed here would be helpful with more details so I can resolve.
I have so far loaded the Process Monitor - I don't know where to place the " * " for a search.
There does appear to be overworking ..."querying the registry I mean for example 20,000 times."

fyi: nwiz.exe is disabled in msconfig - the "startup" tab by that I mean there is no check in the box next to it but I can see the command: nwiz.exe/ install and location: SOFTWARE\Microsoft windows\Current Version\Run

I can do a Yahoo Desktop search and find nwiz.ex_ in a 93.71 named folder within a win2KXP folder and a nwiz.ex_ in a 91.28 named folder within the same Win2kXP folder and the third nwiz.exe in the HP_PAVILION (C)\hp\drivers\video_nVidia\nwiz.exe (2003)

and an nView.cab and NViewsetup.exe etc(lots of files with current date and time stamp on them) here: HP_PAVILION (C)\DIsplayDriver\197.41\WinXP\English\nView.cab etc

Since I cleared out some shared dll's it sounds like my processor is working harder - no weird noises just a harder working computer. But I might be more hyper-vigilant to the sounds and need to know how to actually check.

I need to know the right way for me to do a query for me to check to see if the problem is actually occurring
and where the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE is? yahoo desktop search does not locate it.
and when I find I need help with " create a REG_DWORD Value named DisableWindowCaching and give it a value of 0 (zero) " if it is not evident-- will you help me? please.

thank you and I won't delete shared dll's anymore

Problem with same file

Fri, 2008-07-11 06:40 by cormie

Hi there,
Found this site when googling for a solution to a similar problem, which you can read here: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=56530343&posted=1#post56...

I tried the DisableWindowCaching Dword creation (your article didn't say where to create it, in the Nvidia folder you mention, or in the Run folder, so I tried the Nvidia first and I still had the same problem, then I tried make it in the Run folder and still had the same problem. So I then just deleted both DisableWindowCaching Dwords I made and deleted nwiz.exe from the Run folder and that fixed it.

Any idea why my problem is different? I'm not that tech savvy myself...

Your article did lead to me getting rid of the problem I had, so thanks :) I'm just not sure if it will have any knock on effects though, let's hope not!

Location of DisableWindowCaching

Fri, 2008-07-11 07:31 by admin

Oh yes, the article does contain the location of that registry value. Just look higher up.

But the radical solution also seems to work.

Yeah, I figured it was there

Fri, 2008-07-11 08:13 by cormie

Yeah, I figured it was there since that's what was being looked for and creating all the errors when it wasn't found. But for a total beginner, it might be a bit hard to realise :)

Have you any idea why I was getting a different problem with the same file, were you familiar with my problem at all?


For NVIDIA product, you can

Tue, 2008-09-16 13:31 by Tedd

For NVIDIA product, you can nvidia bios editor, it is easy to use, can change hidden features, sign-on message, etc.

No clue

Fri, 2008-07-11 16:27 by admin

No, I'm not familiar with this, other than knowing that video drivers are among the worst pieces of software you can find these days.

If you feel like it, you could write down a brief description of the problem for the benefit of other users. The essential point is to have a recognizable symptom that affected users could look for. I would then add that to the main article at the top.

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