Troubleshoot bad or no video or problems starting LifeCam software

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Article ID: 933310 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you start the Microsoft LifeCam software, you may experience one of the following symptoms:
  • The video or still picture seems out of focus.
  • The video preview does not appear.
  • You see a black screen.
  • The software stops responding (crashes or freezes).
  • The screen image is scrambled.
  • The software does not start at all. Nothing happens when you try to start the software.
  • You receive the following error message:
    Error: A minimum of 800x600 and 16-bit color is required
Note These issues should not hinder you from using LifeCam with Live Windows Messenger or with other third-party Messenger programs.

RESOLUTION

If the image seems out of focus, and you are using a LifeCam with a manual focus ring on the lens, try to adjust the focus manually.

Step 1: Download and install the latest software

To download the most recent version of the LifeCam software, follow these steps:
  1. Visit the following Microsoft Hardware Web site:
    http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/downloads/default.mspx
  2. Click Software for Microsoft internet communications (webcam and headset) products.
  3. In the Select type of product box, select Webcams.
  4. In the Select your product box, select your LifeCam product.
  5. In the Select your operating system box, select your Windows version.
  6. In the Select your operating system language box, select your Windows language.
  7. Click Go.
  8. Click the link to download the most recent version of the LifeCam software.

Step 2: Install the latest video driver for your video adapter

Contact the manufacturer of your video hardware for information about how to obtain and install the latest version of the video driver for your video hardware. To see whether applicable driver updates are available, visit the following Windows Update Web site:
http://update.microsoft.com
To determine the name and manufacturer of your video hardware, follow these steps:
  1. Open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.
    • In Windows Vista, click Start
      Collapse this imageExpand this image
      the Start button
      , type dxdiag in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.

      Collapse this imageExpand this image
      User Account Control permission
      If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    • In Windows XP and earlier versions, click Start, click Run, type dxdiag, and then click OK.
  2. Click the Display tab.
  3. Under Device, see the Name field and the Manufacturer field to determine the name and manufacturer of your video device.
  4. Click Exit to exit the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.
Note See the "References" section for information about how to contact your computer or video card manufacturer.

Step 3: Adjust display settings

The LifeCam software requires a video card and monitor that can run a resolution of at least 800 x 600 at High Color. Set the Windows display resolution to 800 x 600 at High Color, and then test the software.

To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Open the Display Properties item or the Display Settings item in Control Panel.
    • In Windows Vista, click Start
      Collapse this imageExpand this image
      the Start button
      , type personalization in the Start Search box, and then click Personalization in the Programs list.
    • In Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows, click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Appearance and Themes.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • In Windows Vista, click Display Settings.
    • In Windows XP and earlier versions, click Display.
  3. Click the Settings tab.
  4. Move the Resolution slider or the Screen Resolution slider to the 800 x 600 pixels setting.
  5. In the Colors box or in the Color quality box, click Highest.
  6. Click OK two times.
  7. When you are prompted to save the settings, click Yes.

Step 4: Reduce the hardware acceleration setting (Windows XP only)

To determine whether there is an issue with the video adapter or with the video driver, reduce the graphics hardware acceleration setting. To do this, follow the steps:
  1. Right-click the desktop, and then click Properties.
  2. Click the Settings tab, and then click Advanced.
  3. Click the Troubleshoot tab.
  4. Move the Hardware Acceleration slider to the left. The Hardware Acceleration setting should not be reduced to less than three notches from the right side. The Hardware Acceleration setting should be the following:
    Disable all cursor and advanced drawing accelerations. Use this setting to correct drawing problems
    If you reduce the Hardware Acceleration setting, you may experience more issues with video rendering.
  5. Click OK two times.
Note If reducing hardware acceleration resolves the problem, you may have to update your video card drivers. See the "References" section about how to contact your computer manufacturer to obtain the latest video card drivers. You should be aware that if you reduce hardware acceleration, some games may not work. Also, you may see that some LifeCam effects do not work correctly. Therefore, it is important to obtain the latest video card software and drivers.

Step 5: Perform a clean boot procedure

For more information about how to perform a clean boot procedure, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
331796 How to perform a clean boot procedure to prevent background programs from interfering with a game or a program that you currently use

REFERENCES

For information about your hardware manufacturer, visit the following Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors/en-us

Properties

Article ID: 933310 - Last Review: September 29, 2011 - Revision: 8.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft LifeCam Show
  • Microsoft LifeCam VX-5000
  • Lifecam Cinema
  • Microsoft LifeCam NX-3000
  • Microsoft LifeCam NX-6000
  • Microsoft LifeCam VX-1000
  • Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000
  • Microsoft LifeCam VX-500
  • Microsoft LifeCam VX-5500
  • Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000
  • Microsoft LifeCam VX-7000
  • LifeCam Vx-800
Keywords: 
dftsdahomeportal kbexpertisebeginner kbtshoot kbprb KB933310

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