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FaceTime/PhotoBooth do not see built in iSight, Skype does

1520 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Feb 19, 2013 2:51 PM by EZ Jim RSS
Saundhaus Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 16, 2013 8:00 PM

I had this problem once before after an update and was told to reinstall the system software. That worked fine, but it's happened again and I've had no updates. Before anyone asks the usual questions here's some info:


• The iMac recognizes that there is an iSight connected

• Reset SMC/PMU

• Tried a new account. Still doesn't work.

• Repaired permissions and everything was fine.

• In console I get: FaceTime: [Warning] Couldn't start local preview: Error Domain=GKVoiceChatServiceErrorDomain Code=32017 "Could not start video previewing" UserInfo=0x7f8a2b3cd0d0 {NSErrorUserInfoDetailedError=108, NSLocalizedFailureReason=Video unavailable, NSFilePath=/SourceCache/AVConference/AVConference-245.23.4/AVConference.subproj /Sources/VideoConference.m:3957, NSLocalizedDescription=Could not start video previewing}


Any suggestions?



iMac (24-inch Mid 2007), Mac OS X (10.7.4), 4Gb Ram/320 Hard drive/500 watt firewire speakers system.
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,260 points)

    Saundhaus wrote: ... Any suggestions? ...


    (0) Do you quit Skype before trying to use the camera with your Apple apps?


    (1)  Does restarting Mac let your cam work with Apple apps before you launch Skype?


    (2) Are you using the latest Skype version that is compatible with your system?


    (3) If you have updated Skype, the problem might be a bad Skype install.

         Have you tried a fresh Skype download and install since the problem reoccurred? 


    (4) From your posted info, Skype may not be releasing the camera when you quit.


    Have you checked for help with your problem in Skype's dedicated Skype Discussions for Mac? The Skype users who post there may have already solved your same problem.  You can even sign in and ask for email help directly from Skype's Technical Support people to see if yours is a known issue.


    (5) Your system info shows you using Mac OS X (10.7.4).


    Regardless of whether you are already updated to 10.7.5, properly applying the latest Combo Update for your OS X version may correct your problem.  If you don't have a preferred method, here's how I apply combo updates:


    Unless you already have one, make a current backup NOW.


    • Use your Mac's Disk Utility to repair permissions and then

       download and apply the latest Combo Update, for your Mac OS:



    • Repair permissions again immediately following the system restart

       that completes the Combo update.


    (6) Use Lion Recovery to repair your startup disk (not disk permissions.)

         Then restart the Mac and test your Apple apps' camera functions again.


    (7) If nothing else works, use the fix you know: use Lion Recovery to reinstall Lion OS X.



    Mac OSX 10.8.2

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,260 points)

    Saundhaus wrote: ... I've tried the Lion recovery and there were no problems. I'll try ...


    I read your update to mean that you used Lion Recovery's Disk Utility to repair your startup disk. 


    I understand your frustration.  If your problem is related to your use of Skype but you must keep using it, Skype Help should be able to give you the best suggestions for minimizing their product's impact on your other system components.  This might be as simple as restarting your Mac after Skyping.


    We will watch for your status update after you have tried the remaining suggestions that have been offered here.




    Mac OSX 10.8.2

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,260 points)

    Saundhaus wrote: ... I have no proof that skype is causing the problem....


    If you want proof, follow Skype's instructions on how to uninstall it.  Restart Mac and verify that your camera works with your Apple apps when Skype is not installed. (


    Reinstall Skype; launch and quit Skype.  Then check whether your camera still works with your Apple apps.


    If yes, Skype is NOT your problem.


    If no, repeat the uninstall, test, reinstall and retest al least one more time.


    If your camera works with your Apple apps whenever Skype is not installed but fails every time when Skype is installed, Skype is causing your trouble.


    We will watch for your status update after you have tried the remaining suggestions that have been offered here.



    Mac OSX 10.8.2

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,260 points)

    Saundhaus wrote: ... It's not skype.


    Then perhaps it is some other third-party item you have added.


    If you have tested all non-Skype suggestions that already have been offered here and are certain they do not correct your trouble, I can offer two other things I would try if my Mac exhibited the behavior you describe.


    (1) When your Apple apps are not working, restart via Safe Boot and check Apple app camera function.


    If your camera works with any Apple app, (Example: my Photo Booth captures still images while Safe Booted.   Although thumbnails do not display in the tray, clicking in the blank space will display the PB image.) your trouble would likely be caused by a conflict with something that Safe Boot inhibits.  The only way I know to determine which item causes that conflict is to zero the disk and then reinstall one third-party item at a time.  Test camera function with Apple apps before adding any third-party items and again between every third-party addition.


    (2) When your Apple apps are not working, zero your disk, reinstall ONLY Mac OS and Apple apps.


    Test thoroughly (several sessions over several days) to be certain that your camera works reliably when your Mac has NO non-Apple software installed.  If you encounter ANY camera issues at this point, your Mac requires service by an Apple-Authorized Service Provider.  There are no user serviceable parts of Mac's camera.


    The complete process I use is described in ¶ (5) of






    Mac OSX 10.8.2


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