If you’re having problems getting your webcam to work with FaceMouse or your scanner to work with ClaroRead Plus, Pro, or Scan2Text, it might be worth making sure it is all working properly. This is a guide to getting your webcam or scanner to have the best chance of working with your Claro program. (Both scanners and webcams are imaging programs, hence the common article.)

You should restart your machine after each step.

First, update Windows. If you’re on an old Service Pack then lots of things may be broken. Done that? OK, let’s start.

  1. Check out Add/Remove programs. Uninstall other programs that use the scanner or webcam. Reinstall the software for your webcam/scanner. Restart the machine a couple of times. Note that this is the only “safe” operation: everything from here on down means you are messing with your Windows installation and you may break something.
  2. Check out Device Manager. Look for broken entries, get the drivers and fix them. Try View > Show hidden devices too. Find the device you’re trying to fix, try and update the drivers. Delete devices and drivers you don’t need (e.g. old scanners, webcams, USB devices you’re no longer using)
  3. Check out Autoruns from SysInternals, now available from microsoft.com. This shows all the programs that load when your computer starts up. Uncheck programs that might be using the scanner/webcam and restart your computer so they’re no longer loaded. Identify non-Microsoft drivers and programs that might be using the scanner/webcam and uninstall them.
  4. Close everything and start Task Manager and look at Processes. Check what’s running and isn’t Microsoft. Uninstall the programs that you don’t expect to see there or aren’t Microsoft.
  5. Try uninstall codec packs and media/imaging programs from Add/Remove programs. This can influence image processing by unrelated programs.
  6. Try running this from command prompt to restore codecs:
    regsvr32 /u %SystemRoot%\system32\qedit.dll
    regsvr32 %SystemRoot%\system32\qedit.dll
  7. You’ve now checked Add/Remove programs, Device Manager, Autoruns, and Task Manager. This has probably given you clues as to what has been on the system. Check Program Files, including Program Files\Common Files, for drivers and DLLs still belonging to these old things. Try uninstalling/disabling them again, or try deleting the folders (Windows will object, and this is highly likely to break something.)
  8. Try running CCleaner to remove broken registry entries pointing to things that you have uninstalled or just deleted – use the Registry section, and run it several times, it’ll pick up new things each time. Try deleting temp files next.