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HP Notebook PCs - Fixing Webcam After Changing the Operating System

This document pertains to HP and Compaq Notebook PCs with a built-in webcam and Windows 7, Vista, or XP.

The webcam on your HP Pavilion or Compaq Presario notebook computer was designed to operate with a specific Windows operating system (OS), and HP provides driver and software support for the original configuration. HP only provides drivers for a second OS on some models. Customers who chose to change the computer's operating system have occasionally reported problems ranging from limited functionality to complete failure because HP may not support the hardware components in the new OS. Use this document to prepare for changing the OS and to configure the webcam after an OS change.

Preparing to change the OS

If you decide to change the operating system on your computer, this section provides some important considerations and helpful tips. Read each section for important information on each topic.

CAUTION: HP does not recommend changing the operating system from the originally installed OS and does not support doing so. The outcome may leave your computer in an unknown state, functionality may be diminished, and you may need to acquire compatible application software, drivers, or even hardware.

Create a set of recovery discs

If you have not already done so, use the HP Recovery Manager to create a set of recovery discs for the originally installed image. If you encounter a problem with the new OS, you can use these discs to recover the computer to the original operating condition with the original OS. The Recovery disc includes original hardware drivers and preinstalled software. For more information on creating recovery discs, see one of the following documents.

NOTE: If you contact HP Support for troubleshooting or hardware issues after installing a new OS on your computer, you may be required to reinstall the original software image.

If you already changed the OS but did not create the Recovery Discs, see Looking for Recovery Discs? for information on purchasing a recovery disc from HP.

Identify the correct webcam video device driver

Before installing a new OS, go to the Driver and Download page for your model, and look at the list of drivers and software that is available for the different operating systems.

  • First Driver Choice. If the new OS is supported, download the drivers and software for the webcam and burn the files to a CD-R or save them to a USB drive. After installing the new OS, run the installation function by double-clicking the file you saved.

  • Second Driver Choice. Each version of Windows provides a generic Microsoft USB Video Device driver. Running the Windows Update function to update the OS to the latest Windows Service Pack (XP SP3 or Vista SP2) installs C:\Windows\system 32\drivers\usbvideo.sys .

Locate compatible software applications

Depending on the model, HP provides different webcam applications: HP Webcam, QuickPlay, YouCan, QuickWeb, MediaSmart Webcam, and ArcSoft Webcam. Before you can use any of these webcam software applications, the correct webcam driver must be installed and recognized in the Device Manager, and the application must be configured to use the driver.

Since there is no way to determine what hardware driver and software application changes will be made when installing a new operating system, the table below contains a list of webcam drivers and webcam applications that have been provided with HP and Compaq notebook computers in the past. The drivers and software applications in the following table will work on most models; however, they may not be compatible with the installed hardware components or operating system on some models.

Original Program
Operating System Supported
Link to Software
AIM Instant Messenger
XP - Vista - Windows 7
Yahoo Messenger
XP - Vista - Windows 7
Skype
XP - Vista - Windows 7
QuickPlay - Specific models only
XP version 1.x and 2.x not available on web for download.
Vista version 3.x discontinued, not available for download, replaced with Cyberlink YouCam.
No download available.
YouCam
No XP version available.
Vista - Windows 7
MediaSmart
No XP version available.
For Vista and Windows 7, MediaSmart SmartMenu must be installed before MediaSmart Webcam Software.
ArcSoft Webcam Sharing Manager
XP - Vista - Windows 7
Install HP Universal Camera Driver before installing this application.
Microsoft USB Video Device (Driver)
The Microsoft webcam (usbvideo.sys) is the preferred webcam driver for most HP integrated webcams. C:\Windows\system 32\drivers\usbvideo.sys may display as HP Webcam or Microsoft USB Video Device
XP version installed as part of Windows XP Update to SP2 or SP3.
Available in Vista SP2
Available in Windows 7
For XP run update.microsoft.com Non-HP site on the web.
For Vista and Windows 7, run Windows Update, or use Device Manager to update to the Microsoft USB Video Device driver.
HP Webcam 1000 (Driver)
XP version works with Ricoh camera, may not work with other camera brands.
No Vista or Windows 7 version available.
For Vista or Windows 7
HP Universal Camera Driver (Driver)
XP - Vista - Windows 7
Certain commercial models
Voodoo Cam (Driver)
HP Voodoo Webcam drivers are designed for specific hardware components and will not work on other models.
See Driver and Download page for the specific Voodoo model.

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Configuring the webcam after changing the OS

After changing the OS, complete the all of the steps below, in order , to configure and use the webcam.

Step 1: Apply latest BIOS updates

As hardware and software issues are discovered and corrected, updates to the BIOS are made available to you. The same BIOS will support different operating systems. Ideally, update the BIOS before you change the OS. If you did not perform a BIOS update prior to installing the new OS, update the BIOS now.

The latest BIOS can be found on the Driver and Download page for your model.

Step 2: Run Windows Update

The Windows Update function installs updated drivers and security patches to improve the performance of your new OS. Follow the steps below to run Windows Update.

  • For Windows 7 or Vista

    1. Click Start , type update in the Search field, and then select Windows Update from the list.

    2. On the Windows Update screen, click the Check for updates link.

    3. Install all critical and recommended updates.

      NOTE: Microsoft specifies that updates must be installed in a specific order. Before a specific Service Pack is displayed in the update listing, certain updates and patches must be installed. Accept and install all the listed updates and restart the computer. Go to Windows Update again and check for additional updates.
  • For Windows XP

    1. Click Start , All Programs , and then select Windows Update from the list.

    2. When the Welcome to Microsoft Update web page opens, click the Express (recommended) button.

      Figure 1: Welcome to Microsoft Update

      Image of the Welcome to Microsoft Update window welcome screen.
    3. Install all high priority and recommended updates.

      NOTE: Microsoft specifies that updates must be installed in a specific order. Before a specific Service Pack is displayed in the update listing, certain updates and patches must be installed. Accept and install all the listed updates and restart the computer. Go to Windows Update again and check for additional updates.

Step 3: Scan for Imaging Devices

Performing a scan of the hardware in the Device Manager forces the BIOS to test for the existence of the webcam device, and installs the latest webcam driver.

  1. For Windows 7 or Vista

    Click Start , type device in the Search field, and then select Device Manager from the list.

    For Windows XP

    Click Start , select Run , type devmgmt.msc in the Run field, and then click OK .

  2. On the Device Manager window, find and expand the Imaging Devices category.

  3. Right-click each device driver under the Imaging Devices category and select Uninstall until the Imaging Device category entry is no longer displayed.

  4. Click Action , and then select Scan for hardware changes .

    If no Imaging Device entry displays in Device Manager after running the scan, there is a hardware issue. Contact HP Support for technical assistance.

    Figure 2: Device Manager - Action

    Image of the Device Manager with the Action item selected.

Step 4: Selectively update the imaging device driver

If a webcam driver is recognized after running the scan for new hardware in Device Manager, verify it is the latest version of the driver.

NOTE: If there is an HP webcam driver on the product page for your model and OS, use that driver, otherwise use the Microsoft USB Video Device driver.
  1. In the Device Manager, under Imaging Devices , expand the list of webcam drivers, right-click the webcam driver, and then select Properties .

    Figure 3: Webcam Properties

    Image of the webcam properties in the Device Manager.

    Make a note of the existing name of the webcam driver (Example: HP Webcam ), as it may change after the update.

  2. On the Webcam Properties window, select Update Driver... .

  3. When prompted, select the option to Browse the computer for desired driver.

  4. When prompted, select the Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer option.

  5. De-select the Show compatible hardware checkbox, select Microsoft in the Manufacturer pane, select USB Video Device in the Model pane, and then click Next to install the desired webcam driver.

  6. Allow the installation of the USB Video Device , and then click Close .

  7. View the Imaging devices option in the Device Manager to verify the presence of a webcam driver.

Step 5: Install compatible webcam application

To test the functionality of the webcam driver, install one of the compatible webcam applications listed in table in the Locate compatible software applications section above. After you are sure the webcam works, you can adjust the quality of the image and/or install your favorite webcam program.

See one of the documents listed below for more information on testing the webcam.

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Resolving common error conditions

Read a section below that best matches your problem or error message.

"Program cannot be installed" error message

The Program cannot be installed error message indicates either the program being installed is not compatible with the operating system, or the hardware (example: memory amount, CPU speed, display resolution) does not meet the programs requirements. Check the software application operating system and hardware requirements.

If a webcam application does not install, try downloading and installing an instant messaging program. These programs usually have minimal hardware requirements.

"No webcam or imaging device is found" error message when webcam driver is listed in Device Manager

If there is a webcam driver listed in Device Manager, the No webcam or imaging device is found error message indicates an incompatible driver. Follow the directions in Step 4: Selectively update the imaging device driver to resolve this issue.

"No webcam or imaging device is found" error message when no webcam driver is listed in Device Manager

If there is no webcam driver listed in Device Manager, the No webcam or imaging device is found error message indicates there may be a hardware problem. Follow the directions in Step 3: Scan for Imaging Devices to resolve this issue. If the problem persists, contact HP Support.

Webcam software application stopped working after another webcam program installed

If one webcam application did work but stopped working after another program was installed, a conflicting driver was probably installed. Go to Device Manager and follow the directions in Step 4: Selectively update the imaging device driver to install the proper driver.

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