Friday, June 22, 2012

How to fix the inbuilt camera of Dell XPS laptops

If you are using a new Dell XPS laptop, then you would be very familiar with the Fast Access face recognition system which unlocks your laptop using biometrics. However, many of us would at one point or the other face the problem of the inbuilt camera being undetected by the Fast Access system. When this happens, the inbuilt camera stops working with skype and any other program which uses it and makes life miserable. After encountering this a couple of times, I had tried to be the techie I am and find a legitimate solution to the problem. Unfortunately, even after reading countless blogs and spending hours uninstalling and re-installing the device drivers including webcam central, I still couldn't get it to work. Then it struck me....

The first time this happened, I got so fed up I didn't use my XPS for several months. Obviously the battery was drained and I had to plug it in before using the next time. To my surprise, the Fast Access system detected the camera with no problems and worked very well. The good times continued for a few more months until the same thing happened again. So just on a hunch, instead of leaving the laptop unused for a few more months, I shut it down, unplugged the power cable, removed the battery, held down the power key for 30 seconds or so just to drain what ever power was left in the system, put the battery back in and re-booted the system. Viola! the camera problem had disappeared and the Fast Access was looking at my face fine.

It seems a bit odd to think that you would have to do something this extreme to get a software issue sorted. However, maybe it could be a hardware issue. Anyway, now you know what to do when your camera stops working again. Just shut down, unplug the power, remove the battery, drain the power, put the battery back in and start your computer. Easy enough....      

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