Darn webcam driver keeps installing over and over again

By einargizz ยท 6 replies
Mar 31, 2013
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  1. I have a Creative Live web camera that keeps reinstalling itself again and again, every time it disconnects from my computer and is reconnected.

    The reason for the frequent disconnects is due to a finicky usb hub that has a tendency to disconnect from the computer, which I intend to replace in due time but for some reason, every time it happens, or every time I unplug or re-plug the Web camera, the automatic update reinstalls the driver for the camera. Every time it does it, I get a new driver with a number at the back that keeps going up with each install; I'm currently up to Live cam #17.

    This isn't a problem, per say, since I can use the camera and everything works fine but the OCD in me is terribly bothered by the prospect that I have a list of webcam drivers that keep piling up, every time my webcam disconnects.

    At the moment, I'm looking through the Device Manager and the Windows\system32 driver folders in order to figure out how I can clean out the redundant drivers and stop this silly process and would appreciate any and all help.

    Best regards.

    Oh, and I'm running Win 7, service pack 1.

    And the webcamera is the only device that keeps doing that. The specific name of the device is "Live! Cam Optia", from Creative technologies.
  2. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,671   +413

    Although I'm not positive, I doubt you'll find multiple drivers stacking up.
    I have a Creative webcam I installed on my XP Pro, but never had the problem you're describing.
    Perhaps you installed it incorrectly?
    On mine, I didn't plug in the USB cam till it told me to. Then of course, I had to reboot a time or two.
    Good luck.
  3. einargizz

    einargizz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I figured there should at least be some sort of record of previously installed drivers, since the automated updates keeps adding an incremental number to the device name.
    I originally installed it by installing the supported driver that came with the camera and allowed a helper program from creative to download the newest update. Windows now keeps installing the newest windows release for that driver.

    Right now, I'm attempting to manually uninstall the current drive and allow automated updates to detect it all over again. That resulted in me getting a driver for the camera that bears no number. The creative support program detected it and is downloading the newest update and after that I'm gonna play the "plug goes out/plug goes in" game.
  4. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,671   +413

    Perhaps you should go to their website & get the driver(s) there.
    When did you get this webcam? I bought mine about 6 years ago at Bestbuy & have never had a problem with it.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Driver cleanup
    Windows will only have one copy of the driver files on your disk. When Windows installs multiple instances of a driver, each "instance" is defined in the registry. Each instance points to the same single set of driver files on disk.

    You can use USBDevView to see all instances and uninstall. Run USBDevView and click the DeviceType column header to list your devices by type. Then scroll to Image (or maybe Video). All the webcam instances should now by nicely bunched together in the list. Use the Connected column to learn the current instance being used (where Connected=Yes) vs. the old, "ghost" instances.

    You can select all the ghost instance, then select File->Uninstall Selected Devices and all those old, ghost entries will be uninstalled from the registry

    Given the flaky hub, not sure how to prevent the problem from reoccurring tho
  6. einargizz

    einargizz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey there LookinAround. Thanks for pointing out USBDevView. I tried using it and found multiple instances of the drivers for all the devices that are using the hub, including the hub itself. The webcam was simply the only one with the decency of letting me know that it was being copied. All repeats have been removed.

    My previous effort of manually deleting the Webcam driver did work, though and there was only one instance of the webcam driver to be found.

    So it looks like I'll be getting myself a new USB hub.
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Hey back at ya einargizz! Glad the tool could help.

    You might also find this an interesting read How to Cleanup and Remove old USB Storage Drivers

    It's not unusual for Windows to install a driver instance each time a USB device is plugged into a different port. Though sounds like that hub may have only made matters worse

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