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Windows 7: Webcam mic permanently on, causing feedback

21 Dec 2011   #1
nick roto

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium , Service Pack 1, 64 bit
 
 
Webcam mic permanently on, causing feedback

I have a Microsoft LifeCam 5000 which I use for Skype calls. The microphone has recently become stuck ON so that all room noises are picked up and played through the speakers, even when Skype is not running (it's not set to open at Startup and I always quit when I've finished using it). Lifecam was in Startup so I disabled that but still have the problem; I checked it hadn't re-inserted itself in Startup - it hasn't.
The change may have occurred after I opened the LifeCam's own application to check lighting for the video image. I'm sure there's a simple solution (i.e. so the camera mic is turned off when the device is not in use) that does not involve uninstalling/re-installing - I want to be able to fix this if/when it happens again. In fact I think this problem has happened before, some years ago, probably when I was still running XP, but I can't remember the fix. Help appreciated.
I am running Win7 Home Premium with IDT audio.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Dec 2011   #2
bassfisher6522

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Get into device manager; select and expand sound video and game controllers; then highlight your webcam mic and right click on it, then select disable...I have a logitech webcam with built in mic and had the same problem. This worked for me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2011   #3
nick roto

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium , Service Pack 1, 64 bit
 
 

Thanks Bassfisher,
That fixes the problem BUT the mic is now disabled when I do want it i.e. when I want to use Skype. It looks like I can reverse the fix by repeating the process to ENABLE the camera mic. However I have to restart the computer each time I make hardware changes so this is not a great solution for me. Do you use the camera sometimes?
Happy Christmas,
Nick
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22 Dec 2011   #4
bassfisher6522

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

For me, I use a headset with mic when I use Skype. I just change the settings accordingly in the Skype options. This way I have use of my webcam using Skype with out the mic and use the mic from the headset. I have my mic turned off in device manger and with the settings in Skype set to use the mic from headset as default and video source set to Logitech webcam as default. Works great for me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2011   #5
nick roto

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium , Service Pack 1, 64 bit
 
 

I use Skype for video calls to my son and grandson in Australia, joined here by my wife and sometimes my daughter. Headsets wouldn't be the same.The webcam microphone used to work only when needed, so something has changed. If necessary I will try uninstall/re-install but don't know whether that will work either and would prefer a solution I can more easily repeat if there's a recurrence of the problem.
Any more ideas anyone?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2011   #6
ReviverSoft

Windows 7 HP / Ultimate x64
 
 

Here you go:

Quote:
You do NOT have to enable/disable the mic every time you want to mute it.
Instead you can simply mute it from the level tab under its properties

- Right Click on Volume Icon (system tray)
- Select Recording Devices
- Double Click the Microphone from the list of devices (You can also right click and select Properties)
- Open the tab marked "Levels"
- Adjust the volume slider or click on the mic icon to mute
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2011   #7
nick roto

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium , Service Pack 1, 64 bit
 
 

That's great, thanks.
I'll use that procedure from now on. The only slight negative is explaining to my wife what to do if she wants to use Skype when I'm not there (not that often); she hates any complexity and won't remember - I'll have to pin the instructions on the wall! I still wonder what caused the change but at least I have a practical work around now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2011   #8
Qdos

 

Have you tried changing USB ports. It can cause the drivers to refresh and has been known to resolve awkward issues of this type, especially in Win7 systems...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2011   #9
nick roto

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium , Service Pack 1, 64 bit
 
 

Thanks Qdos, that's fixed it without me (or worse, my wife) having to mute it each time. Thanks to Riviversoft and Bassfisher also for their suggestions which did help in the meantime.
One slight concern is what happens if this repeats and I run out of USB ports. Can they be reset? Probably I'll just move devices around and I'll be OK for the lifetime of this computer.
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