Dell released the Latitude D820 laptop computer in 2006, a few years before internal webcams became standard features on laptop computers. The system originally shipped with the Windows XP operating system. If you have to format the computer and reinstall your operating system, you also have to reinstall any peripherals, including your webcam.
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Find out the make and model of your external webcam, or search for its original software. Webcams aren't complex devices, but they are particular, so install manufacturer-specific software in order to have the webcam work correctly. You can usually download the software if you've misplaced the original discs, but you'll need to know exactly what model of webcam you have. The name of the company is written on the webcam.
Insert the CD-ROM disc that accompanied your webcam, if you have it. Follow the prompts on screen to install the software and plug in the camera only when prompted. If you don't have the original software, proceed to Step 3.
Browse to the company's website and look for a "download drivers" link on the page. Some webcam companies, like Logitech, let you browse products by images, which can help you identify your webcam model. Download the Windows XP version of the driver and software.
Browse to the folder where you downloaded the driver in Step 3. Double-click on the downloaded file and follow the prompts to install the software. This process is different for every webcam, but there's a common and important step for every webcam: don't plug the camera in to a USB port until the software prompts you to do so. Windows needs to be prepared for the hardware, which is what you are doing when you install a driver.
Plug in the webcam when prompted or after the software installs, if not prompted. Windows XP recognises it once you plug it in. A "Found new hardware" window appears in the bottom-right; it then changes to display the name of your webcam. After a few seconds, you see a message saying "Your new hardware is installed and ready to use."
Tips and warnings
- If your camera isn't recognised when you plug it into the D820, it likely means that you've downloaded the wrong driver. If this is the case, unplug the webcam, click "Start" and "Control Panel," then uninstall the software. Return to the company's website, download another driver and repeat Steps 3 through 5.
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