Toshiba Laptop Webcam Problems

Written by candace benson
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Toshiba Laptop Webcam Problems
Toshiba laptop running Ubuntu. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of ricardo bernardo)

Many Toshiba laptops, including Satellite, Portege and Qosmio models, feature built-in Chicony-brand webcams. The Chicony webcam can be problematic, especially when running a 32-bit version of Windows Vista. Microsoft has released an update that will correct problems with starting the webcam after terminating "Sleep" mode. Users may also have to install the appropriate driver or webcam software to correct webcam problems.

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Dark or Black webcam Image Problems

Toshiba laptop owners may have problems with the webcam displaying as dark or completely black a few seconds after the initial image appears or immediately after engaging the webcam. Users should ensure that the webcam indicator light is engaged. If not, users should run the "Camera Assistant Software" to turn on the webcam.

Low light can cause the webcam to power off and to display a dark image. Users can tweak the light and contrast by manually increasing the lighting in the room or by turning on "Night Mode." If these steps do not correct the dark image problem, users may have to reset the webcam itself, reinstall the "Camera Assistant" software.

Webcam Problems After Terminating Sleep Mode

Toshiba laptop owners with Windows Vista (any 32-bit edition) installed and the Chicony webcam may have problems starting the webcam after restoring the laptop from "Sleep" mode.

"Sleep" mode powers down a number of hardware components in the laptop. The webcam is capable of entering a non-operating system-induced sleep mode when it is not used for an extended period of time. After the user engages Windows "Sleep" mode and wakes the laptop, the webcam may give error messages such as "Locked by another application."

This webcam problem can be corrected by installing a Windows Hotfix, which is also included in Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Webcam Problems After Upgrading Windows Vista

Toshiba Satellite laptop owners may opt to use the Microsoft Anytime Upgrade to upgrade to Vista Ultimate. After doing so, the Chicony webcam may stop working and report a "Please turn on the camera" error message.

Users can correct this problem by reinstalling the Chicony driver.

Webcam Problems on Linux

Linux users who own Toshiba laptops with the Chicony webcam should install the Linux UVC Driver to make the webcam functional. The webcam may not work without this driver.

Grainy or Blurry webcam Image

The Chicony webcam can produce grainy or blurry images if the user does not remove the protective film that covers the external webcam interface.

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