Hopefully this solution may work for some that have had their cameras fail on them with an Inspiron 1545. I've noticed many posts across the net with this problem since 2009 and I only found one last solution in one post that I tried which worked for me.
I did some tech support on a friend's 1545 after it was upgraded from Vista 32 to Windows 7. As with many others, the webcam was no longer working. The attempt to download and install various drivers from Dells Support site gave me the same install errors many had. I honestly don't know if any of those drivers actually made it into a proper install, but the bottom line was that it still was not even detecting the camera.
As much as most comments that I've read kept asking about the Windows 7 drivers, I kept wondering why the hardware wasn't even being detected at all. Whether there is a proper driver or no driver installed, we should at least still see that there is the hardware under Device Manager, but there wasn't any detection of the camera which no rarely was commented on.
I actually did see one post recently that someone attempted to open up the LCD screen and fiddle with the camera which worked for them. So I did the same.
Look online for any YouTube video on how to open up the screen. It's pretty simple with just a screwdriver, but work slowly when removing the plastic frame around the screen. You actually don't need to remove the whole black frame, but just pull the top off a bit after unscrewing the top screws. There is a small cable you will see near the camera that you can lightly pull off if you have small fingers or use a flathead screwdriver.
I did all this with just the battery plugged in and not the powerbar. I powered up the laptop for about 5 seconds and then turned it off again. Whether this step needs to be done or not, I'm not sure, but it worked for me. I then inserted the camera cable back into the slot, screwed back up the black plastic frame and booted up Windows 7 again. Right away it detected new hardware and installed it smoothly. I checked Device Manager and saw it there under Imaging devices.
Funny thing is that the Driver for it isn't even Dell's. It's a Microsoft Integrated Webcam driver with a date of 21/06/2006 which I'm sure was automatically installed through Windows 7. I tested it out only with SKYPE and it works fine now.
What I also did do even though I didn't need to update the Driver was go back and install the Vista driver from Creative Technology. That worked as well, although I was also fine with the Microsoft driver.
I hope this might help some people resolve this issue or even save time that I was wasting trying to figure this out. Hopefully you are comfortable physically opening up your laptop screen.
Thanks Ronb3, It really works.
Thanks this also help me.
first power of PC take out battery
then off that wire
put back battery ,turn on pc till windows is loaded,
power off, take out battery, put wire back , strew everything back together
put back battery , and everything should work.
Like before, this is caused by wrong driver installation order i guess
Not really as this error is caused during the assembling process of this LT where the cam wire is not plugged properly due to which the webcam is not detected.
Did you recently install/reinstall the operating system? If yes, did you install the drivers i the correct order? How to Download and Install Drivers in the Correct Order
Troubleshooting the Dell Webcam and Dell Webcam Central Software
Also try running the Webcam Diagnostics
Did the webcam show in the symptom tree?
Any error messages?
Is the computer under warranty?
What is a Dell Service Tag and how do I locate it?
Original poster, If you have solved your problem, can you please mark the correct thread(s) with your solution. Thanks
Welcome to Dell Community!
Thanks PudgyOne for your suggestions. I've seen your suggestions in some other posts as well regarding a possibility of driver issues which I did check into. In all cases I've read with your threads and other threads, no one really confirmed that they solved the problem by playing with the drivers . As well, it was more of an issue that no one was even seeing the hardware/camera being detected physically which is why I attempted a physical resolution by removing the camera through the cable and then plugging it back in which seems to solve it. Again, this seems to be the case for this specific Dell or similar model when upgrading OS.
If others can resolve it through software/driver installation, that would be easier and great. But if they can't or if the camera's not even being detected, I'd suggest the physical solution mentioned in this thread which seems to resolve it.
Answering the questions I asked, when you ran the Webcam Diagnostics tells me how to handle the situation. The device manager does not mean anything to me, then webcam diagnostics tells me what is wrong.
Some webcams have come loose, some have had the drivers removed(we suspect a Windows Update but cannot confirm) rare but the webcam may have also failed. The diagnostics answers you give me gives me a clear picture.
Hmm. Not sure what happened with my paragraphs above but the formatting put my post all together. Sorry if it's harder to read on the eyes
Windows 7 is supposed to provide the webcam drivers, except some XPS Models, they can be found at Drivers & Downloads entering your service tag number, they'll be under Input.
Using the Webcam Diagnostics
If the webcam is listed in the symptom tree, if the test is run and there is an error message, then the webcam itself may have failed.
If the webcam is listed in the symptom tree and no error message, then the webcam is attached. At this time, the only way to get the webcam back is to reinstall the operating system.(Hopefully Dell will find a way to reinstall the webcam without having to reinstall the operating system.) We suspect that maybe a Windows update may have installed drivers wrong, causing the webcam to malfunction.
If the webcam is not listed in the symptom tree, then the webcam became detached from the motherboard, most likely at the top where the webcam is located.
I`m desperate!!! I tried everything to fix my dell 1545 webcam problem, but I wasn't able to fix it!!! There is no Imaging Devices listed in my computer ( it only appears when I connect the printer, but the webcam is never there) When I saw your message I was so happy. I did exactly what you suggested: Took of the battery, open the screen. unplug the camera cable, put the battery, turn on the computer, turn off the computer, tooke of the battery, plug the cable back to the camera, close the screen, put the battery and turn on the computer. The webcam is still not working!!!!!!!!!! I repeated all the procedure twice, but with the same result. I also run the diagnostics and I did't get any errors and the webcam was detected. Please do you have any other nice ideas for me??????????????
Thanks a lot.
Sorry to hear about the webcam challenges you still have. I wish we didn't even have to go through any of these issues since it takes up time from all our lives for these dinky stuff.
I'll try and throw out some ideas that may have not been attempted as of yet.
First of all, I'm assuming you had the webcam working prior with another operating system and then you upgraded to Windows 7 and now it doesn't work.
So for some ideas:
1. For worse case scenario which we have to consider is that the webcam doesn't work and is useless (which I still don't think is the common issue). But if this is the case, then your options are to go online and buy a new internal webcam, or buy a new external USB webcam for your purposes. If I had the choice, I'd probably invest in a new external webcam since it gives me more flexibility in using it on other computers, or even simply selling it off or giving it away when you no longer have use for it or if you upgrade to a new laptop. Of course let's not assume you have a bad camera first.
2. As for my steps that I mentioned and the steps you used... if you're willing to give this another one or two shots, try this step by step method.
a. Turn off computer and remove battery and power cable
b. Remove partial or the whole screen to access camera cable.
c. Remove camera cable
d. No need for battery here, just put power cable back and restart system
e. Go through the whole process of booting up and logging into Windows 7
f. Give Windows 7 a few minutes to fully log you in and detect any drivers, etc. for 2-5 minutes.
g. Shut down and log off from Windows 7
h. Unplug Power cable
i. Plug camera cable back into camera - no need to put screen fully back at this point since we are still testing
j. Plug power cable back in (no battery again) and boot up and log in
Our hope is that this time it will detect the camera.
At any point with the camera cable attached or not, when you look at DEVICE MANAGER, are there any items in the list that have a warning/problem sign (I can't recall, but I think it's either a red or yellow X possibly)? If there is, I'd suggest you might want to UNINSTALL it since this could be the camera device drivers that need re-install. But if you don't have any hardware items showing any problems, then ignore this note.
3. Optional, but if you want under DEVICE MANAGER, every time you boot up Windows 7 with or without the cable attached to the webcam, you can still try to do a manual SCAN FOR HARDWARE changes by clicking ACTION > SCAN FOR HARDWARE CHANGES. Again, we hope that it will detect the webcam if it hasn't by this point.
4. Not that installing drivers will help if it can't even detect the webcam, but you can still just try installing the Creative Labs Webcam driver when doing a search under Drivers for the Inspiron 1545.
I don't know for sure if this link will get you fully there, but it'll get you near there - www.dell.com/.../04
5. If none of these specific suggestions work and you have no other ideas, my last resort that I always do is smack or flick the hardware item giving me a problem since I think it's already broken. So for this case, with the cable plugged in, from frustration I might flick the webcam, pinch the cable for it and on those rare times, the hardware works again. I don't fully support this for any item I consider of value, especially under warranty, but my guess is that this laptop is already a few years old and could take the abuse by this point if you deem it broken.
What I do find curious is that you "detected it" under diagnostic tests, so there is that option of re-installing Windows 7. If you go this route, I'd probably not have the webcam cable plugged in on the re-install, but plug it in after Windows 7 is fully installed so that it is detecting the webcam possibly for the first time.
Let us know good or bad Michela what you do - that way it might help many others.
Again, as mentioned in point 1, the quickest solution would be to get an external USB webcam. If you have one available to test out, at least see if that works. It's not the ideal solution, but it's an option.
Good luck - Ron
BTW, Rick (PudgyOne) might have some workable ideas from his end since in his last post he did make comments regarding the Web Cam Diagnostic tests and if the webcam was found there with no error messages. If so, then I think his suggestion was to re-install Windows 7.
Again, that's an option as well, but on my end, if I were to go this route, I'd probably unplug the cable first and plug it in after Windows 7 is installed. Just a suggestion again.
Wow Ron!! I'm impressed for your detailed answer. I'll try it and let you know. Many many thanks!!!
The webcam was listed in the symptom tree and there were no error messages, correct?
Ron read this correctly, the only way to get the webcam back is to Restoring Your Computer´s Software to the Factory Settings or How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft® Windows® on a Dell™ Computer Until we can find an easier method to get the drivers back, this is the only method we know of.
Please make copies of files and folders that you cannot afford to lose.
If you made(you can still make them) the Windows 7 - IMPORTANT Windows 7 Backup Disks to create you can use Restoring Your Dell Computer to Original Factory Installation with Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0
We suspect that a Windows Update for webcam drivers may have caused this but we cannot be certain. Use Windows Update to update Windows ONLY.
Hello, sorry for my late reply, but I don't have good news. I did every possible test but the problem is still there.When I run the Webcam Diagnostics the webcam is shown. I also run the Webcam Diagnostics after having disconnected the webcam cable and the webcam disappeared from the list. The system detects the camera but it is not able to let it works. The disconnection of the cable did't work. The last alternative I have should be to "Restoring Your Computer´s Software to the Factory Settings " but I don't feel confortable in doing that so I preferer to use the workaround of installing an external webcam in the usb port (that is what I actually did and it works). Anyway, Ron and Rick thanks a lot for your support and if in the future you discover a solution (rather than the windows 7 reinstall) please, don't forget to send it to me! Thanks. ciao Michela