We are shifting to a remote workforce in these times of COVID 19, and while for many workers in the United States that is the norm; it can be a big shift for others. We at Boxaid of course have all our employees working from home. We realized the benefit of this 13 years ago when we opened our doors. We communicate with our customers over a regular phone connection but many other businesses are using applications like Zoom, Webex, or Skype. These applications work well to share presentations, talk, whiteboard and in many cases you can see the other party over a webcam.
Sometimes you can get by without the webcam functionality especially if you just rolled out of bed. Sometimes it’s critical to use the webcam when you are accustomed to meeting co-workers or contacts in a physical space. Considering the times we are in, Boxaid phone calls are through the roof. We are working overtime to service our customers as quickly as possible. Today we ran into a Dell Inspiron running Windows 10 (the Dell Inspiron is an all in one desktop not a laptop) webcam that simply would not show video.
Troubleshooting Integrated Webcam
We tried all the usual items like uninstalling the driver for the integrated webcam, rebooting, and scanning for hardware changes. Nothing. Windows did reinstall the integrated webcam but when we started the Windows Camera application you can see that it was scanning for hardware for about 2 seconds then it would fail. It would repeat this in a constant loop. We tried this with the customer’s Zoom Application and the same thing would happen. It would bring up the image for about 1 second then try again. It was almost as if the webcam was not getting enough power.
We of course went to the Dell website and did a hardware scan and the Dell support site showed all the potential drivers for the Inspiron and the integrated webcam had no options for installing a driver. We of course followed Microsoft’s recommendation for getting the camera working to no avail.
We did the following according to Microsoft:
1. Made sure apps like Zoom and Skype had permissions to use the camera
2. We uninstalled Norton which was definitely interfering with the webcam
3. We of course uninstalled the webcam and rebooted letting Microsoft reinstall the webcam
4. We went to power management and made sure webcam wasn’t being disabled during sleep mode
Download Dell Webcam Central
Unfortunately none of these things worked and we spent at least an hour doing the above troubleshooting steps. We were running out of options. We finally ran into this Dell post on their website which recommended we install Dell Webcam Central which is an application that does a few extra things with the webcam like take pics and video. But it has nothing to do with the actual driver used by Windows.
Since we tried everything else we gave it a shot. Sure enough after the install of the Dell webcam software and a reboot, Zoom, Skype, and the Windows Camera application finally showed us a video image! Why on Earth did this ancient webcam software fix the problem? We have no idea. But we know there was no official driver for Windows 10 and this user upgraded from Windows 7 a while ago. They probably never noticed since they never used their webcam before. Stay healthy out there and if you need IT support or computer virus removal give us a call at Boxaid.