Sunday, August 23, 2009

Using Vista Webcam Drivers in Windows 7

Back when Windows 7 came out in BETA I was quick to download and install it. I was not at all surprised when my webcam didn't work with it as I remember this being a problem with Vista. I think I ran Vista for about 1 month at home and work before giving up on and going back to XP. But now Windows 7 is right around the corner as a "real" operating system. So why would they still not have a driver for my webcam?

Ah, the wonders of capitalism. Could they create a driver for my old webcam that would work with Vista? Sure they could. But they would have to pay someone to sit down and develop that code. And that money would be a waste, because we expect our drivers to be free. Since this is a device that I all ready own and have owned for a while, there is no sense in spending money on new driver development. But whatever happened to customer service?

Today I decided to give this webcam driver issue another try. I went out to Creative Labs web site and downloaded their "Windows Vista" driver for my webcam. When I ran it, the installer did an OS check and said "we don't support this version of Windows". So then I opened the .exe file with WinRAR and extracted the files into a directory. From there I was able to right click on the setup.exe file and run it in "troubleshooting mode". This mode in Windows 7 allows you to try and run things as if you are using an older operating system. In my case I faked like I was running Windows Vista. The install completed, and the driver seems to work. I immediately fired up Skype and was told "you have working video".

A big thanks to the developers of Windows 7. And a big "up yours" to Creative Labs. Looks like it will be another couple of years before you get any more of my money. ;-)

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