Webcam Issues

Disclaimer: While the information on this and related pages on this website has been experimentally verified, the author does not claim responsibility for any damage caused to your system by following the steps given here. Please read the page carefully and do everything at your own risk.

This page is about an error that you may encounter while using the inbuilt HP Pavilion Webcam in Windows XP/Vista. If the webcam icon suddenly disappears from the desktop and/or the webcam is displayed as "USB Video Device" in My Computer and Device Manager (Control Panel->System->Hardware->Device Manager->Imaging Devices) and when you attempt to use the device, you get the following error:

Video Preview Failure
Creation of the video preview failed.
Please check the device connection and make sure that the device is not being used by another application or user.

then the troubleshooting steps given on this webpage might be of some use.

Step 1: Uninstall the old drivers

Go to Control Panel->System (or right click My Computer and select Properties). Click on the Hardware tab and start Device Manager. Under Imaging Devices, you will see 'USB Video Device'. Right click it and select Uninstall.

Then delete the file usbvideo.sys in c:\windows\system32\drivers\ [Optional]

Reboot your computer. If the device is not recognized as HP Pavilion Webcam, proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Install new drivers

The drivers for Windows XP are available here: and for Windows Vista are available here:

Reboot your system. If this doesn't work, then read below.

If you have downgraded your system from Windows Vista to XP or if your system came with XP and you installed Vista and have now reverted back to XP, then chances are that the Vista driver will work in XP. Weird as it sounds, this actually works. You can download the HP Pavilion Webcam driver for Windows Vista from the link given above. Install it and reboot your computer. Your camera will be listed as USB Video device but it will work. While it is possible to rename the device from Control Panel->Scanners and Cameras, the name of the device does not change in the Device Manager, indicating perhaps that Windows XP is unable to verify the authenticity of the driver even though it is using it. At this time, I have no idea why it should work.

You can follow this thread for more information:

A list of all problems with the webcam in XP/Vista has been compiled at We hope HP will take notice of these issues soon and make available necessary firmware updates and drivers.

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