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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.