Apr 24, 2008
Tip and Trick Editorial

Fix Logitech QuickCam (Messenger, Chat, Zoom, IM, Express) Not Compatible Driver Issue in Windows Vista SP1

Logitech, one of the leading webcam manufacturer as QuickCam series, has made a decision that left thousands, if not tens of thousands of customers in the cold, by deciding that older models of their web camera, such as Logitech QuickCam Messenger, Zoom, Chat, IM and Express, does not support Windows Vista, and the driver provided for download is incompatible and not compliant, and thus users unable to install and use the Logitech QuickCam webcam.

There is a trick to use XP driver in Vista to make unsupported Logitech QuickCam works. However, with the release of Windows Vista SP1, the trick comes out with new error. After installing Windows Vista SP1, for some users who have use the XP driver trick to use the unsupported Logitech device, or attempt to install XP driver for Logitech webcam, the following error message will appear:

The device can not be started.

And the microphone attached on the QuickCam no longer works, where the system cannot capture or hear any sound via mic on the webcam.

Switching to install higher version of drivers does not help either to solve the problem. And thanks to reader Luis, a workaround solution has been found to fix the error.

The cause of the Logitech QuickCam webcam error on Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1) is USB audio class driver, USBaudio.sys, which has been updated in SP1. To solve the problem that the Logitech QuickCam Messenger, Zoom, Chat, IM, Express and other unsupported webcam model cannot be used in Windows Vista SP1, one workaround solution is to ‘downgrade’ the USBaudio.sys driver file located in \Windows\System32\drivers folder to older RTM version.

If you haven’t remove the backup RTM files that saved by SP1 setup installer, there is a backup copy of USBaudio.sys version 6.0.6000.16386 in \Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\wdma_usb.inf_9ce240de folder. However, in normal running computer, the file is always in use, and thus locked and cannot be deleted nor moved while system is running. Use the trick below to copy and swap back to old version of the file.

  1. Take ownership and grant full access permission of \Windows\System32\drivers\USBAUDIO.SYS file.
  2. Insert Vista DVD into DVD-ROM drive to boot up into Vista Sytem Recovery Console and open command prompt.
  3. In the command prompt window, issue the following commands one by one, follow by Enter key each time. The commands are assuming that the system drive (where Windows Vista is installed) is C:\ drive. If your root system drive is different, change accordingly.

    ren C:\Windows\System32\drivers\USBAUDIO.sys USBAUDIO.sys.original

    copy C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\wdma_usb.inf_9ce240de\USBAUDIO.sys C:\Windows\System32\drivers\ /y

  4. Restart the computer. The Logitech QuickCam camera should work properly without error.

If you’re running dual boot system, or have a boot CD or boot disk supporting NTFS system, it’s possible to boot from other operating system (so that the Vista system is not running and not locking the USBAUDIO.sys file), and overwrite the driver with older RTM version of it.

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