Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Skype video not working on an HP Vista laptop

We had a client whose webcam would no longer work on her HP Vista Laptop. There were messages about ‘a failure to render’ and that Directx was not correctly installed.

We got repeated errors while trying to reinstall Directx. We also checked the video in Device Manager and Windows claimed that the drivers were up to date.

We ran Windows Update and found that Vista had not yet been updated to SP1. We updated to SP1 and all current updates. The problem persisted.

The next step was to go to the Nvidia site and download the latest drivers from there. After downloading and running the Nvidia package, Skype would once again run video from the laptop webcam.

UPDATE – As I tested the machine, the onboard camera continued to fail. I finally determined that the onboard camera was having some hardware issues. I plugged in Microsoft VX 3000 webcam. The software refused to install despite repeated attempts including updating the Windows installer. I finally got things stable by simply connecting the webcam without installing the software. Unfortunately the machine asks you to install the software for the ‘new device’ every time you boot. A simple “CANCEL” removes that annoyance.

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