Article ID: 933311 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

When you start Microsoft LifeCam, the video preview is blank. This may only occur with better quality or higher resolution video or pictures. 

Or, you receive one of the following error messages:
Error message 1
Initialization error
Error message 2
There is no camera connected to the computer.

Resolution

Step 1: Connect to a different USB port

Connect the LifeCam to a different USB port on your computer to eliminate any problems with the specific USB port. Bypass any port replicators, USB hubs, KVM switches, and similar devices, and connect the receiver directly to the USB port on the computer. If you previously connected your LifeCam to a USB port on the front of the computer, try to connect the device to a USB port on the back of the computer. (The USB ports on the back of the computer usually have better bandwidth.) If connecting to another USB port does not resolve the issue, go to the next step. Older USB 1.1 ports do not have the bandwidth for better quality images and video. Therefore, make sure that the camera is plugged into a USB 2.0 port.

To resolve this behavior, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type devmgmt.msc, and then click OK.
  2. Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers.
  3. Examine the list of controllers for any controllers that have "USB 2.0" or "Enhanced USB" in their names.
If you have a USB 2.0 controller, you may have the LifeCam plugged into a 1.1 port or a 1.1 hub. Try connecting the LifeCam in to a port directly on the computer.

If you do not have a USB 2.0 controller, the LifeCam may only work at reduced resolution.

Step 2: Verify the minimum system requirements

Make sure that the computer that you are using meets or exceeds the minimum video, processor, and memory requirements to install and run LifeCam.

To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.
    • In Windows Vista or Windows 7, 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 in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. On the System tab, note the Processor and Memory values that are listed under System Information.
  3. On the Display tab, note the Approx. Total Memory value that is listed under Device. Most LifeCams require minimum of 2 MB video memory.
  4. Click Exit to exit the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.

    Compare the values that you noted to the minimum system requirements that are required for LifeCam. You can find system requirements for each LifeCam on the Microsoft Hardware website. Click the LifeCam product that you have installed and then click the Details tab to review System Requirements.

    To compare system requirements for your LifeCam product, please visit the following Microsoft Hardware website: 
    http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/digitalcommunication/Productlist.aspx?type=LifeCam
    Note If the computer does not meet the minimum system requirements, contact the manufacturer of the computer for more information about how to obtain the required updates and upgrades.

Step 3: Download and install the latest software

To download the most recent version of the LifeCam software, visit the following Microsoft Hardware website:

Microsoft Hardware - Software and Driver Downloads

Step 4: 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, please visit the following Windows Update website: 
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 or Windows 7, 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 in the Open box, 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 5: Adjust display settings

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 or Windows 7, 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, click Start, click Control Panel, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display Settings.
  2. Click the Settings tab.
  3. Move the Resolution slider or the Screen Resolution slider to the 800 x 600 pixels setting.
  4. In the Colors box or in the Color quality box, click Highest.
  5. Click OK two times.
  6. When you are prompted to save the settings, click Yes.

Step 6: Reduce the hardware acceleration setting (Windows XP only)

To determine whether there is an issue with the video adapter or 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 7: 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 determine whether background programs are interfering with a game or a program that you currently use

Step 8: Test on a different computer

If the issue persists, test the device on a second computer to see whether you can replicate the problem. If the LifeCam does not work on the second computer, visit the following website to contact Microsoft Hardware Technical Support:
http://support.microsoft.com/select/default.aspx?target=assistance&c1=502&

Step 9: Verify certain Windows registry keys (Windows 7 x64 only)

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
Follow these steps, and then close the Registry Editor:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E96C-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}


  3. On the right hand pane, double-click (Default).
  4. Verify that the Value data box contains this text: Sound, video and game controllers. If it does not, replace whatever is currently there with this text. Click OK.
  5. On the right hand pane, double-click UpperFilters.
  6. Verify that the Value data box contains this text: ksthunk. If it does not, type this text into the Value data box. Click OK.
  7. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{6BDD1FC6-810F-11D0-BEC7-08002BE2092F}


  8. On the right hand pane, double-click (Default).
  9. Verify that the Value data box contains this text: Imaging devices. If it does not, replace whatever is currently there with this text. Click OK.
  10. On the right hand pane, double-click UpperFilters.
  11. Verify that the Value data box contains this text: ksthunk. If it does not, type this text into the Value data box. Click OK.


References

For information about how to contact your video adapter manufacturer, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors

Properties

Article ID: 933311 - Last Review: June 21, 2014 - Revision: 10.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft LifeCam Show
  • Microsoft LifeCam VX-5000
  • Microsoft 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
  • Microsoft LifeCam Vx-800
Keywords: 
dftsdahomeportal kbexpertisebeginner kbtshoot kberrmsg kbprb KB933311

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