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How to test the built-in camera on a Windows Vista® notebook
Published Date : 15 Aug 2008   Last Updated : 09 Feb 2009   Content Ref: TEC1265322  


You cannot find a test or use the camera on a Windows Vista® notebook.


Vista does not contain any application which allows you to view pictures directly from the built-in camera.

In previous version of Windows (eg Microsoft® Windows® XP), the Webcam icon is displayed in the Windows Explorer along with the individual hard drive and optical disk drives. There is no Webcam icon in Vista. The Webcam will display only after it is setup within a graphics or video program.


Vista Camera Driver

Before you begin please ensure that you have a Windows Vista camera driver installed.

  1. Choose the Vista Start button.
  2. Type devi in the Start Search box.
  3. Click Device Manager that will be listed above the text box when you type devi.
  4. Click the + symbol adjacent to the Imaging devices text (if present).
  5. Double-click on the USB device listed and check that the Device status says 'This device is working properly'.

If there is no device listed, or it has a yellow or red icon against it, please download the correct driver by entering the serial number of the system in the Serial Number Search text box on the My Computer page on http://www.rm.com/support/mycomputer.asp.


Install Windows Live Messenger

The Windows Live Messenger allows you to participate in a video conference with other users. To hold a video conference, both users must have a working Webcam.

To set up a PC for a video conference in Windows Live Messenger, do the following:

  1. The first time you set up for a conference, click Start, Windows Live Messenger Download to install the proper program. On the Microsoft Web site click Get it free to start the download.
  2. When prompted with a security warning, click Run and follow the prompts to install the program.
  3. When Windows Live Messenger open, click Tools - Audio & Video Setup .
  4. Click Next and follow the prompts to configure the speakers, microphone and video settings.
  5. When the Audio & Video setup is done, click Actions, Video and then Start a Video Call .
  6. When the other person answers the call, the video images will display in the Windows Live Messenger window.
  7. Click End Video Call to end the call and close the program.

Install a third-party Webcam utility

You will need to find and install a third-party Webcam utility.

Unless available for download from the RM support Web site, RM do not recommend any particular software for this, however if you wish to quickly test your camera, you can use limited trial software such as Willing Webcam Lite from http://www.willingsoftware.com/  (free to try on a 21-day evaluation).

Another is example is AmCap from http://noeld.com/ which is Freeware.

Disclaimer: RM have no connection with these companies and take no responsibility for any adverse affects which this software may have - these are just examples of some of the third-party packages available.


There is no way to check that your Webcam is functioning unless you install extra software.

If you are using an external camera, you should use Windows Update to search for Vista hotfixes after upgrading to the latest Vista service pack.

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Document Keywords: webcam, camera, picture,

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