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The Windows 10 anniversary update has stopped millions of webcams from working

By midian182 ยท 29 replies
Aug 22, 2016
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  1. The long-awaited Windows 10 anniversary update arrived early this month, bringing a number of new features to Microsoft’s latest operating system. But some users found it introduced a few less welcome changes, such as breaking their USB-connected webcams.

    There had been a small number of reports stating that Windows 10 devices were freezing after being updated, but Microsoft has issued a workaround while it investigates the problem. With the webcam issue, however, the Redmond company hasn’t issued a temporary fix. Anyone experiencing problems may have to wait until Microsoft releases a patch, probably sometime in September.

    Microsoft’s anniversary update allows multiple Windows 10 applications to use a webcam at the same time. Previously, if you were Skyping with one, for example, you couldn’t use the camera with other services.

    In order to prevent performance drops as multiple apps simultaneously decode media streams, the anniversary update stopped USB webcams from using MJPEG or H264 encoded streams, allowing only YUY2 encoding.

    If a Windows 10 device's webcam attempts to use MJPEG or H264 following the update, it will freeze. A number of cameras have reportedly been affected by the issue, including the popular Logitech C920.

    In the support thread, users are blasting Microsoft for not advertising the change. A Microsoft camera engineer, Mike M, admitted that the company had done a “poor job” of letting people know about the changes.

    "So yes, MJPEG and H.264 being decoded / filtered out is the result of a set of features we needed to implement, and this behavior was planned, designed, tested, and flighted out to our partners and Windows Insiders around the end of January of this year," wrote Mike M.

    "We worked with partners to make sure their applications continued to function throughout this change, but we have done a poor job communicating this change out to you guys. We dropped the ball on that front, so I'd like to offer my apologies to you all," he added.

    The fact that the number of days people have to roll-back the anniversary update was cut from 30 to just 10 has added to the problems, leaving people without working webcams unable to switch back to the earlier version of the OS.

    Rafael Rivera has reported a workaround for the problem. Providing you don’t mind altering your registry, try making this change: HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows Media Foundation\Platform, add DWORD “EnableFrameServerMode” and set to 0, you will then need to restart Skype.

    Permalink to story.

  2. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe Banned Posts: 837   +441

    Huge mistake.
    alabama man likes this.
  3. Michael Graves

    Michael Graves TS Rookie

    Could you not find a stock photo that highlighted a webcam from this century?
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,421   +1,821

    It emphasizes the irony of the blunder.
    Raoul Duke and alabama man like this.
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,421   +1,821

    One other thing they broke, again, is hosted Wi-Fi networks. They need to be reinitialized for them to work. They also broke this as part of the upgrade from 8.1 to 10.
    alabama man and Greg S like this.
  6. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 460   +330

    And what makes the situation even more stupid, thousands of people in the Insider Program were reporting this issue on the Feedback app yet Microsoft did **** about it.

    It's like what the hell's the point of the Insider Program if Microsoft doesn't listen to what their Insider Program users are telling them? A lot of people on Betanews and Thurrott.com think of the Insider Program as nothing but a farce.

    Microsoft will do what Microsoft wants to do regardless of what we tell them. The arrogance of this company seems to know no bounds.
  7. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 3,778   +1,086

    Maybe they listen, but can't figure out how to make a fix and get it through committee.
    Raoul Duke and alabama man like this.
  8. Duckeenie

    Duckeenie TS Booster Posts: 80   +62

    Expect a few extra tarts turning up at the benefits office this week then.
    alabama man, Lurker101 and wastedkill like this.
  9. Whitefyre

    Whitefyre TS Enthusiast Posts: 28   +11

    I believe it also has messed up some logitech gs500 mice
    mine has been erratic since that update
    alabama man likes this.
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,285

    Are you using the Logitech driver or Windows generic driver?
  11. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,427   +594

    I'm using on the AU version and have a G500 and my mouse is fine.
  12. I have a 720p plasma TV hooked up by HDMI, not recognized anymore, Kobo e-book software doesn't recognize the reader anymore. That's all it broke for me.
    alabama man likes this.
  13. Sum Guy

    Sum Guy TS Booster Posts: 62   +16

    Win 10 has been a a lot of problems for me. A lot of my software is not supported by win 10, but strangely the software will work with Win 8 and Win 7.

    I think MS wants to lock everything down like Apple. It's not the direction I want to see MS go, but they seem to be going that way. Also they don't seem to listen to feedback at all.
    alabama man likes this.
  14. alabama man

    alabama man TS Guru Posts: 563   +355

    So it's more important to support to the two people who want to use multiple apps with single webcam than supporting all webcams. Why couldn't there be a option to choose your encoder and if you chose yuy2 you could use multiple applications with one cam?
  15. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 775   +145

    I'm sure the glitch is a NSA software glitch that's suppose to let them easily watch you at your computer, however, the bug has now frozen everyones cameras.
    Burningfeetman and wiyosaya like this.
  16. SeaMatrix

    SeaMatrix TS Rookie

    I've used Microsoft for years. BUT IF Microsoft wants to go in the direction that Apple has been on, then I will just finally switch to Apple.
    Burningfeetman likes this.
  17. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe Banned Posts: 837   +441

    Bam !
  18. Athlonite

    Athlonite TS Booster Posts: 126   +30

    exactly what I was thinking in twenty years of PC use I don't remember seeing anyone use multiple webcam streams ever and to make it worse I don't know the reason for not allowing H.264/X.264 as probably all GPU's made in the last 10 years are quite capable of en/de coding multiple streams even if it's the same source I once had 12 different TV episodes playing all at once on screen just for SnG's sounded terrible but looked impressive as hell
  19. Technosense

    Technosense TS Member Posts: 42   +25

    Funny, I waited until this release figuring most of the bugs would finally be ironed out. Updated my laptop to 10 and found it much better than my last venture outside W7. But is it really worth it?

    Even using Shutup 10 to close down spyware streams doesn't put my mind at ease when I see the effort put into snooping while ignoring things like this.

    W11, Privacy version, now only 3x as much as W11 (all up in your business version) has probably been introduced....wonder where that guy works now?
  20. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,359   +831

    Have you tried running those programs in compatibility mode?
  21. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,359   +831

    DaveBG and Athlonite like this.
  22. lazer

    lazer TS Addict Posts: 209   +43

    Sounds like Micr$lop in action, better at marketing than at providing decent software.

    I am still with win7 and NO upgrades on one machine and Ubuntu on the other. I will stay like this since my philosophy is: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and win7 and Ubuntu work great!
    DaveBG likes this.
  23. Athlonite

    Athlonite TS Booster Posts: 126   +30

    Until you find yourself without security updates and get hacked or worse encrypted lock out

    I don't have any older program (32 bit or 64 bit) that refuses to work like it should in Windows 10
  24. Luca Vee

    Luca Vee TS Rookie

    It serves well anybody stupid enough to leave a solid desktop oriented OS such as windows 7 for a hybrid mobile-device-compatible windows 10, especially since w10 completely failed on mobile platform and no devices with it will ever have any chance to sell (RIP Nokia). But I guess all the w10 zombies can keep talking to Cordana while the rest of their machine no longer works! Personally I still haven't started talking to my PC, still typing...
    DaveBG and abysal like this.

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