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Tags laptops , webcams

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Old 18th November 2011, 04:34 PM   #1
gumboot
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Vanishing hardware

Okay, so I have an HP laptop with Windows 7 pre-installed. It has a built in webcam which I've seldom used, but now some of my family have got skype and I am starting to want to use it to talk to friends and family etc.

All good.

Except, for some unknown reason both the camera and microphone on my laptop have... well, vanished. Neither device appears in device manager at all, and I can't get hardware detection to register them. I've reinstalled the appropriate drivers and it makes no difference. As far as the OS is concerned they simply don't exist.
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Old 18th November 2011, 04:41 PM   #2
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Check in the BIOS setup, to see if there's an option to turn them on or off.
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Old 18th November 2011, 04:53 PM   #3
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Is there a button on your laptop that disables the camera, similar to the one that disable wireless?

eta: It may be a function key combination.
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Old 18th November 2011, 04:55 PM   #4
Macgyver1968
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Originally Posted by AK-Dave View Post
Is there a button on your laptop that disables the camera, similar to the one that disable wireless?

eta: It may be a function key combination.
Ooo..that's a better suggestion than mine.
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Old 20th November 2011, 03:02 AM   #5
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There's no button like that which I'm aware of, but disabling it or turning it off shouldn't make it disappear from the device manager. The only thing I can think of is that the connection from the MB to the camera has broken.
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Old 20th November 2011, 03:40 AM   #6
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The computer gods are angry at you. You must sacrifice a virgin DVD to your microwave, say a dozen hail Microsoft's while genuflecting towards Redmond WA and vow to never again eat granola.

Or you could let us know what the model number is so we can look into it further for you. It's your call really...
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Old 20th November 2011, 03:46 AM   #7
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The cables for the webcam and mic are usually routed through one or both of the hinges attaching the screen to the base of the laptop. These cables may have become loose or damaged, possibly through wear and tear.
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Old 20th November 2011, 03:49 AM   #8
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I've had trouble with one of my (desktop) computers "losing" a tv card, it disappears from device manager. I can get it back if I unplug the power cable and leave it for a while before putting the power cord back in and restarting it. Maybe worth a try? Take the battery out and don't plug it in and see what happens.
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Old 21st November 2011, 05:29 AM   #9
gumboot
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Originally Posted by Sam.I.Am View Post
The computer gods are angry at you. You must sacrifice a virgin DVD to your microwave, say a dozen hail Microsoft's while genuflecting towards Redmond WA and vow to never again eat granola.

Or you could let us know what the model number is so we can look into it further for you. It's your call really...

It's an HP Pavilion dm3.
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Old 21st November 2011, 05:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by commandlinegamer View Post
The cables for the webcam and mic are usually routed through one or both of the hinges attaching the screen to the base of the laptop. These cables may have become loose or damaged, possibly through wear and tear.

This is my suspicion.
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Old 21st November 2011, 06:01 PM   #11
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Try going to Device Manager> Action> Scan for Hardware Changes and let it scan the whole laptop. Even if you did it before do it again.

Use the MediaSmart software that the Laptop came with and see if the camera is working now.

If it still won't show up then it's probably a hardware issue and you will need to contact HP support.

Sorry that's all I got.

(did you try the whole sacrificing a DVD to the microwave thing? Fun huh!)
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Old 24th November 2011, 06:56 PM   #12
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Pavilons generally come with a recovery partition.
If all else fails you might reset the machine to factory specs and see if the devices reappear. Pain in the neck though, as you will then have to reinstall years of M$ updates.
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Old 24th November 2011, 07:52 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the advice everyone. I've tried everything suggested with no luck. I don't have recovery partition so it would mean a cold reinstall from scratch, which I think I will hold off on for now. I don't use my webcam enough that I need it.
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Old 24th November 2011, 08:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Thanks for all the advice everyone. I've tried everything suggested with no luck. I don't have recovery partition so it would mean a cold reinstall from scratch, which I think I will hold off on for now. I don't use my webcam enough that I need it.
Or you could just get an external webcam and mic, they're not expensive.
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Old 25th November 2011, 11:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Or you could just get an external webcam and mic, they're not expensive.

That's probably what I'll do, you're right. I'd rather have the built in one working because it's more convenient when travelling etc... but it does seem to me that the physical link to the MB has failed somewhere. C'est la vie!
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