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Old 04-09-2014, 03:58 PM   #1
jazzo
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webcam suddenly stopped working


Hello guys, I wonder if you can help me. I have a dell xps 17 with ubuntu 12.04 installed - last installation was probably 3-4 months ago. ANyway, all of a sudden the webcam stopped working. No idea what has happened. I noticed it because it wasn't picking up the video on skype. I thought it was the person I was talking to that had problems, but after having called a few more people I realized that the problem was mine. Unfortunately I don't know much about cameras so I wouldn't really know what to do to find out what's wrong. I have found a thread somewhere saying that the camera can be tested using an application called Cheese, which I have downloaded and installed but everytime I run it, it says that an error has occurred.
ANy idea what I should do?
thanks
 
Old 04-09-2014, 04:10 PM   #2
JeremyBoden
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You just run cheese!
https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Cheese/Tour

Actually, maybe Microsoft have messed with Skype (they own it).

I don't use video with Skype - it's a bit intrusive.
 
Old 04-09-2014, 04:18 PM   #3
jazzo
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well cheese doesn't seem to run that's the thing. ANd as an update to the above, I don't get an error message everytime I run cheese, it just stops on it's own.
I seriously doubt that Microsoft has messed with skype so that it causes issues to my camera. It had been working fine till a few days ago. I have also run lsusb -n, I have attached the log file (can't paste here it is too long)maybe it will help somebody to understand what's going on:
Attached Files
File Type: txt lsusb.txt (44.8 KB, 3 views)
 
Old 04-09-2014, 11:03 PM   #4
frankbell
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If it's an external USB webcam (and your last post leads me to think that it is), the simplest test is to plug it into another computer, even if it's a friend's computer for three minutes of testing. If it doesn't work there, it's almost certain that the webcam is bust.
 
Old 04-10-2014, 12:18 PM   #5
jazzo
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Hi no it's not an external camera, it's inbuilt. Is there any way we can test it - like hardware testing or similar?
 
Old 04-10-2014, 03:56 PM   #6
Emerson
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Deleted.

Last edited by Emerson; 04-10-2014 at 03:58 PM.
 
Old 04-10-2014, 09:13 PM   #7
frankbell
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You could boot to a live CD of something and test with the Live CD. If it works, it would definitely prove that you have a software problem. If it doesn't work, it's not conclusively a hardware problem until you test the Live CD with another computer with another box with a like camera.

Another test is to try an external camera and see whether it works (if you don't have one, maybe you can borrow one from a friend for a little while). If it works, it would be one more indication that problem is a hardware problem with the built-in camera. Of course, the only conclusive test is to test the camera directly, and that is likely a job for a professional computer tech.

This YouTube video might help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNdXe8d11B8
 
Old 04-11-2014, 01:03 PM   #8
JeremyBoden
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One further possibility to try is
Code:
sudo lshw
This will give a lot of output.
Hopefully, you will see some info on your web cam (make/model etc).
Then its down to a Google search...
 
Old 04-11-2014, 03:07 PM   #9
jazzo
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All right, something weird just happened. I have dual booting on my machine so I thought I'd log in into windows and chech the camera there, just to make sure that it was actually broken. It did work there, so I thought that it was a ubuntu problem. I logged back in ubuntu, and guess what? the camera now works again...Not sure what to do now, as in, what should I get out of it?
 
Old 04-11-2014, 05:04 PM   #10
JeremyBoden
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That perhaps you should have tried your webcam on an alternate OS (if easily available).
Would have saved you downloading a live Linux CD.
 
Old 04-11-2014, 09:20 PM   #11
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Even in Linux, a reboot can sometimes untangle stuff.

Glad it's working.
 
Old 04-12-2014, 05:48 AM   #12
jazzo
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Hi frankbell, but that's the thing, I have rebooted a few times and it didn't work. Only after I logged into windows, tried the camera there, found it worked and finally rebooted into Ubuntu brought the camera back, so it wasn't strictly a reboot as such. Yes, I am glad it works again, I am just worried about what caused it really, but I suspect that we will never know, won't we :-)?
 
  


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