Acer Crystal eye webcam not found or working – Acer sucks!

Well, if you’re a Acer-notebook owner you will soon find out what ”crappy support” means.

If you haven’t already had some trouble with the built in webcam on your Acer laptop, be ready for it!

It all started 3-4 years ago and still going on with all of Acer’s notebooks. The cam just stopped working. I think I spent hours and hours reading all sorts of forums with different people that one thing in common, ”Acer Crystal eye webcam not working”.

How you find out:

Well, the first thing that happens is that when you try to start the program ”Acer Crystal Webcam”, a screen with a error popups.

acer

If you didn’t get the popup-message ”Camera no found”, you will probably get a blank screen in your Crystal Eye cam-program, instead of a picture of yourself. The reason for this is because Acer uses 2 different webcamsoftwares, Bison and Suyin.

The second thing you will notice, after reading 2000 posts and solutions on Google, is that in your devicemanager, a unknown USB-device appear.

Does Acer fix this?

No! They known this problem for years and if you check their forum at http://community.acer.com/t5/Acer-Notebooks-Netbooks/bd-p/notebooks you will see that they still have problem with the Acer built in cams.

They recommend all sort of stupid solutions like downloading the drivers again and re-installing them, but without any success. I will explain why this doesn’t work further down. And they want you to send the laptop to them or call their support that really sucks even more. The support claims they haven’t heard this problem, yeah right. 2000 posts on Google and they haven’t heard?!

Solutions:

Well, like I said, I read over 2000 posts on Google and they all had their theories. None of them worked for me but some of them worked for the posters, even If I doubt that the solution was what they wrote. I think many of the posters tried several things and then all sudden the cam started to work, and they just guessed that the solution was the last thing they tried to do.

Anyway, here are some of solutions.

1, ”A loose cable to the webcam in the laptop”

Well, I doubt that this is the problem. Trust me, I opened my laptop with all the 40 screws and the cable isn’t put in a way that it just came loose of it self, not even if I shake the computer. But, however, if it is, you will have to open the laptop and if you do, please remember where the screws were.

2, ”Connector on backside of the cam”

I read that someone pushed the backside of the cam and it made a ”click”-sound, that somehow this made his cam work again. The problem would be that when you open your laptop you probably push it up and therefore it cam loose. Please don’t push to hard if you try this.

3, ”Run Acer Crystal Eye Webcam as Administrator”
Well, that didn’t work either. But someone wrote it so I might as well take it up here.
Start, Programs, Acer Crystal Eye, Rightclick the program and run as administrator.

4, ”Run Compability mode for Win XP or other”
That didn’t work for me but someone wrote that it solved their problem.
In Vista: Start, Program, Acer Crystal Eye, Rightclick the program, Properties, Compability, Mark ”Run this program in compabilitymode for: WinXp (or other ones..).

5, ”Clear the Picture-folder”
That sounded really stupid but it solved the cam-issue for some people. Just empty or move all the files in that folder so it’s empty. I personally think that the issue with that is that the program couldn’t handle all the files in the folder so it got stuck, and that the poster to the solution mixed up the real issue with cam not working.

6, ”Uninstall Windows Live and all of it’s content”
The poster wrote that uninstalling Windows Live made his cam work. It didn’t work for me but he’s on something here. It could be one of the Windows Live-files that overwrites the cam-drivers, since Windows Messenger is using the webcam. It could also be Skype. This might be worth trying.

7, ”Download the drivers and update USB-driver”
Well, this is mostly the real problem. However, it’s not as simple as a poster wrote. She explained that you have to download the drivers, unzip them to a folder, go to your device-manager, locate the unknown USB-unit, rightclick on it, update the drivers and then manually point the computer to the folder where there should be a .inf -file. Well, not in my case. If you have a Acer Aspire 5730Z the 2 webcamprograms (Bison and Suyin) will either be in a single ”Setup.exe”-file or other files that doesn’t contain the .inf -file. But, shes right about the .inf file. I explain this further down.

8, ”Call the support and give them your serialnumber”
Well, one guy that had a blog for the solution said he called the support several times and that they finally acknowlegded that there was a problem with the driver. Since you don’t really know if it’s a Bison or Suyin-cam in the laptop, they could tell by the serialnumber. He then got a ”special driver” for his computer that solved the case. I really doubt this but he made a important point why the cam stopped working. Read further down!

My theory:

After reading all the posts on several different computer, tech, support-forums there were some interesting points. Why did the cam all sudden stop working?

Well, on almost all of the cases they had Windows and you probably know that Windows runs updates all the time. I think I read something that solution number 8 wrote, that servicepacks and updates overwrites the drivers for the cam. This is mostly the case. By installing a ”newer” driver, Windows thinks your old driver isn’t any good and not up to date. Thats why he got the driver, probably in a extracted version so he could update the driver.

I have tried uninstalling the unknown USB-unit but if I restart the computer, the first thing it does is to install it again and using the windows driver usb.inf. And since I can’t update the driver like the women in solution number 7 did, it won’t work.

I have tried to install both the drivers from Acers webpage and the drivers from the eRecovery but that didn’t work either.

My thoughts about Acer:

Well, they known this problem for so long now, and still today they have the same problem and haven’t made any solutions for it. What do you do if your computer not working as usual? You buy a new one..
This is probably one of the reasons why Acer is still going strong, they ignore the customers but blames it on them instead of fixing the solution. And can you imagine how many customers that doesn’t have the warranty anymore? And the Acer solution for this is to have a expencive call-number that will cost 3 dollars a minute. FFS!!!

Well, know that you know, please don’t buy any Acer laptops until they fix this big problem.

2 reaktioner till “Acer Crystal eye webcam not found or working – Acer sucks!”

  1. An excellent analysis and probably the most thorough on the net. I came to the same conclusion until something odd happened.

    I replaced the hard disk in my Acer 1830T whose webcam had stopped working (Camera no found!) and when I re-installed the 64-bit Windows 7 operating system onto the new disk, the camera worked.

    While it was working, I used ”device manager” to identify which drivers were being used. They were the generic ksthunk,.sys and usbvideo.sys from Microsoft. Nothing exotic at all.

    But then, all of a sudden, the webcam stopped working and the image when blank. On a reboot, the ”device manager” entry for imaging devices had disappeared and the non-working usb device had appeared under the entry for usb controllers.

    Well, I figured — just as you reasoned — that Microsoft had updated the drivers or something and had thereby screwed up the webcam.

    So, as an experiment, I re-installed the old disk, wiped it clean, reformatted it, reinstalled Windows 7, and restarted the computer. Surprise — Camera no found!

    OK, I pulled the old disk and installed the new disk (on which I had previously installed Windows 7) and restarted. Camera no found!

    Hmmm…. this seemed like odd behavior for a software problem. It worked and then it stopped even with no other software applications running.

    But an external webcam plugged into a usb port worked just fine and showed up immediately in device manager under Imaging devices.

    OK… having spent several days fiddling with software, etc. I decided to order a replacement for the internal webcam. A little online research identified it as s a Suyin SY9665SN which is pretty generic and designated by Acer as their part number HF1315-S32B-0V01. These are pretty inexpensive and can be found from many sources online for USD $6.50 to USD $15.00. I ordered one from a seller on eBay for USD $10 and it arrived in a few days.

    Before working on any laptop or netbook computer, be sure to disconnect all power and completely remove the battery. This is important both for safety and to avoid damaging components being removed and replaced.

    The Acer 1830T (”TimelineX”) provides easy access because the plastic bezel around the screen can be pried off gently with an eXacto knife. It gets pulled forward enough to gain access but is not removed. Other Acer models may require more complex disassembly.

    The camera has a tiny ribbon cable connector at one end which can be gently separated using the eXacto knife to easy the connector apart. The camera board in the 1830T is secured on two plastic posts and lifts off. There are two grounding foil tabs adhered to the back of the camera and they can be carefully separated by using the knife to peel off the tabs. Note that the knife is a very slim tool used for prying and not for cutting. Nothing should get cut in this process!

    Once the replacement camera is in place, it’s easy to just snap the bezel back in place. The whole process took me about ten minutes working at the kitchen table.

    (As with any computer repair, beware of static electricity. If you live in a dry environment or a well-heated home, a wrist grounding strap is a good idea and costs very little.)

    With everything back together, I reinstalled the battery and reconnected the power cord. When I restarted the computer, the problem was still not fixed — but that was because I had no completely the steps necessary for the computer to recognize the new webcam module.

    In ”device manager” I uninstalled everything under the heading for usb controllers. You do this my right-clicking on each device and selecting ”uninstall” from the menu box. When everything is uninstalled, even the heading for usb controllers should be gone. Then, you do shut down and restart the computer.

    When it restarts, it will automatically reinstall all of the usb devices and – voila! — it should discover the replacement webcam. In device manager, the heading for Imaging devices should be there with ”1.3M Webcam” listed underneath.

    I also want to note that the webcam software on the Acer support site is an application for use with the webcam and NOT the drivers which everyone has been blaming Acer for not supplying. The drivers a generic drivers from Microsoft which come with the Windows operating system.
    The Acer ”crystal eye” software is slightly different for each of the Suyin, LiteOn and Bison camera modules which Acer uses.

    None of this lets Acer off the hook for allowing this problem to remain undiagnosed in so many online discussion boards and in Acer’s own support forum. My conclusion is that the webcam is a small and fragile board with several tiny surface-mounted devices. It is located at the top center of the lid, right where the user grabs the lid to open it or even to improperly pass the computer to someone. Apparently, based upon all the complaints about ”Camera no found!” and error messages about non-working ubs devices, the software diagnostics appear to be telling the truth: the camera hardware is not working.

    It would have save a lot of time if Acer had said that it is not uncommon for the actual webcam module to fail and need replacement.

    This is not to say that there might not be other problems such as the ribbon cable, the connection to the motherboard — or even a software problem, corrupted driver, or conflicting usb address. But I think that it has become too instinctive to blame the software without considering a hardware defect.

    1. Thank you for replying in such a long and described answer 🙂

      You are probably right, but when reading all of those forum-posts a few of them solved their camera-issues. Do you think it could be a hardware-issue for those ppl too?

      I remember that when my cam didn’t work the first time, just a week after it did work and then stopped working again.

      The problem still is that Acer doesn’t confirm that it is a hardware (or software) problem. They just keep ignoring it and push out new products with the same cam (or upgraded ones) and I can still read about new laptops that have that issue.

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