Subscriber Brian wrote recently with a computer problem — his computer automatically rebooted when he plugged in his web cam:
I am in Romania so can’t simply can’t find a teckie who can solve my prob.
I have Logitech quick cam Ultra Vision. Suddenly it has started making my comp boot and reboot.
I thought at first the sudden booting and rebooting was due to a cable problem or a virius prob or spy . But I have had my discs check and rechecked.
I only discovered the cause of this constant booting and re booting when I removed all the connections and then replacing them into the ports the comp booted the moment I put the web can into the USB.
I uninstalled as per windows XP I have also gone through hard disk and deleted files that XP missed I then reinstalled but the problem persists.
Any suggestion as to how to resolve the problem?
Brian from Romania.
Brian has a problem — he’s in a loop where he can’t uninstall the hardware from Windows unless he plugs in the hardware, but when he plugs in the hardware, it causes Windows to spontaneously reboot.
Windows shows the connected hardware, their drivers and some other settings in the Device Manager, which is accessed via the Control Panel. That’s also where you have to go to tell Windows to uninstall the hardware and remove it from the list of installed hardware.
But, when you have removable hardware, like a web cam or a flash drive, Windows does not show the removable hardware in Device Manager unless you have the hardware connected. Brian’s problem, though, is that Windows reboots if he connects the hardware.
I wrote back to Brian to suggest these steps to see if he could solve the problem.
See if you can boot with the webcam plugged in.
If you can, then open Device Manager and “Remove” / “Uninstall” it from Device Manager.
Then, uninstall the driver software.
Of course, the problem could be that the web cam has failed and is causing some type of error signal to Windows causing the reboot. I’ve seen video cards cause blue-screen crashes and resulting reboots, but haven’t seen it happen with USB devices.
That does bring up an interesting question. I wonder if Brian is seeing a Windows BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) before the computer reboots.
If so, one of the settings he can change is to tell Windows NOT to reboot upon a crash. That way, he can read and see what the error says. Of course, I’m pretty sure that it will point to the web cam’s driver. Unfortunately, that doesn’t tell us a lot — it could be that the driver is corrupted, or that the web cam hardware has failed.