9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2011 10:44 AM by singerdf
singerdf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Recently, I have been experiencing problems with my built in isight camera. All works fine after a recent start up. Then after 345 min- a couple of hours, I get the camera in use by another application error and my video icon disappears in ichat and I cannot use Photobooth. Apple has replaced the camera, done an archive and install of Snow Leopard and replaced the motherboard. Still stuck at the same place. I have tried in a test account and it takes longer to fail there. I have unplugged all USB devices.k

We are really lost and confused.

I am a simple user with very few third party applications.


Any help or suggestions would be wonderful.

Debbie

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • bcus28 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm just guessing here, so take this with a grain of salt, but your flash global settings may be allowing certain sites to access your computer camera.

    If you're unaware if this is the case, you can go to the adobe site or right click on a flash advertisment and go into global settings. From there you can deny the use of your camera and/or microphone on your computer.

    Good luck in whatever it is!
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,730 points)
    singerdf wrote:
    Recently, I have been experiencing problems with my built in isight camera. All works fine after a recent start up. Then after 345 min- a couple of hours, I get the camera in use by another application error and my video icon disappears in ichat and I cannot use Photobooth. Apple has replaced the camera, done an archive and install of Snow Leopard and replaced the motherboard. Still stuck at the same place.


    Unless one or more of your third-party add-ons is interfering, it seems to me that Apple may need to fix your problem again.

    Try restarting the Mac next time the problem appears. If the problems persist after restarting, try all relevant suggestions from:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2090

    If your iSight problem still occurs in more than one  app and more than one user account, the reset suggested there often restores proper function of inbuilt iSight.



    However, if your built-in iSight still does not work after carefully following all the suggestions in the "How to Troubleshoot iSight" article, and especially if iSight does not show as a USB hardware device in your Mac's System Profiler utility, yours is most likely a hardware problem. In that case, contact Apple or an Apple-Authorized Service Provider for service.



    I have tried in a test account and it takes longer to fail there. I have unplugged all USB devices.k


    I do not understand this.

    Do you mean that you can somehow make it work again after it has failed without taking it to an Apple Service Technician?

    If so, does the problem reappear under exactly the same circumstances as before you managed to get your iSight working again?



    We are really lost and confused.

    I am a simple user with very few third party applications.


    *If onset of your problem occurs while you are using some Flash-based video web functions*, user bcus28's suggestions about your Flash Plugin merits consideration.

    For Adobe's Flash Player help, see http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/

    If you have not done so, also check to be sure you are using the latest Flash Player that is compatible with your Mac OS X (10.6.7):

    http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/otherversions/



    Any help or suggestions would be wonderful.

    Debbie


    We will watch for your status update and may be able to offer other suggestions based on the details in your response.

    EZ Jim


    Mac Pro Quad Core (Early 2009) 2.93Ghz Mac OS X (10.6.7); MacBook Pro (13 inch, Mid 2009) 2.26GHz (10.6.7)
    LED Cinema Display; G4 PowerBook 1.67GHz (10.4.11); iBookSE 366MHz (10.3.9); External iSight; iPod4touch4.3.1
  • singerdf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Here are a few more details. The camera shows under the USB tree always. I do not know that the camera is not working until I go to video chat on ichat. It can take from 1 hr to overnight before I can no longer use the camera. The following actions always bring it back:

    log out and back in. repair permissions. restart.

    I like the idea about Flash and will go look at that today. I would have no idea how the global settings got changed.

    Thanks for the amazing response and I will keep you posted.

    Debbie
  • singerdf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Update. I updated Flash and changed my camera setting to always ask. The message: "camera is in use by another application" came up. took about 4 hrs. This time I just had to quit ichat and restart. I had such high hopes for the Flash fix,

    Any other ideas? Why does quitting ichat solve the problem?

    Thanks,

    Debbie
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,730 points)
    singerdf wrote:
    Update. I updated Flash and changed my camera setting to always ask. The message: "camera is in use by another application" came up. took about 4 hrs. This time I just had to quit ichat and restart. I had such high hopes for the Flash fix,

    Any other ideas?


    This sounds like an intermittent hardware problem. It might take a long time for the Apple Service Technicians to track that down.



    Why does quitting ichat solve the problem?


    Quitting iChat should not seem to be a repeatable solution to a repeatable iSight failure every 4 hours.

    I note you are now showing that you have downgraded OS X to Mac OS X (10.6.4). Whether that is correct or not, because you are still having sporadic iSight problems, I suggest you apply the latest OS X Combo Update (currently 10.6.7). Use the following method to update:

      • Backup your Mac and turn off Time Machine



      • Disconnect peripherals and restart Mac



      • Use Disk Utility to repair permissions



      • Download and install http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1361

      • Repair permissions again immediately following the restart that finishes the update.



      • Test iSight. Reconnect needed peripherals and test again.



     (• Turn Time Machine on again when you are satisfied that the update worked.)



    Thanks, Debbie


    You're welcome.

    We will watch for your status update.

    EZ Jim


    Mac Pro Quad Core (Early 2009) 2.93Ghz Mac OS X (10.6.7); MacBook Pro (13 inch, Mid 2009) 2.26GHz (10.6.7)
    LED Cinema Display; G4 PowerBook 1.67GHz (10.4.11); iBookSE 366MHz (10.3.9); External iSight; iPod4touch4.3.1
  • singerdf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Jim,

    The OS keeps changing on me. I am still at 10.6.7. Apple did an archive and install at the outset of this.. They have replaced the camera and the motherboard. Still the camera shows up as "in use by another application" after some time.

    I too agree that it is a hardware problem, but am left to wonder what is left to replace.

    I am worried that if I buy a new laptop and use my Time Machine backup to data migrate this will come along for the ride.

    Very frustrating.

    Thank you,

    Debbie
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,730 points)
    singerdf wrote:
    Jim,

    The OS keeps changing on me. I am still at 10.6.7.


    Even at 10.6.7, you can still use the procedure I posted to apply the 10.6.7 Combo Update.

    Regardless of your present version, applying the current Combo sometimes fixes problems that resist other suggestions. Even if applying the Combo does not correct the problem, it costs nothing but a bit of time to check whether the combo version can correct a software problem.



    Apple did an archive and install at the outset of this.. They have replaced the camera and the motherboard. Still the camera shows up as "in use by another application" after some time.


    Your AASP will want you to be satisfied with the work he did for you. Especially if you had this repair performed recently, you can certainly politely ask your AASP to recheck his work to be sure he "fixed" the thing(s) that were really the cause of your iSight "behavior" problem.



    I too agree that it is a hardware problem, but am left to wonder what is left to replace.


    Let your Apple Authorized Service Provider worry about that. He has the necessary special tools, test equipment, technical data, and replacement parts to find and correct the problem(s) as quickly as possible. However, remember that intermittent problems may take much longer to troubleshoot and identify than issues that can be reliably and quickly repeated.

    To guard against possible loss of your data, *be sure you make a backup of all your important files immediately before relinquishing your Mac for service.*



    I am worried that if I buy a new laptop and use my Time Machine backup to data migrate this will come along for the ride.


    If you decide to replace your MacBook, you are wise not to use a Time Machine restore to put your old (and possibly problematic) information on a new Mac.

    If you buy a new Mac, I would suggest that you follow the on-screen prompting and use Migration Assistant to migrate only your settings and data files. Rather than migrating apps and any third-party add-ons, I suggest you do new installs of those items as (and if) you need them.

    In order to easily identify any possible conflicts on your new Mac, *install any necessary additional apps and add-ons _one item at a time_, testing thoroughly between each addition.*



    Very frustrating.


    If your problem continues after everything you have tried, including all the suggestions here, the best way to minimize your frustration is to backup your important data and let your AASP handle it.



    Thank you,

    Debbie


    You are most welcome, Debbie.

    EZ Jim


    Mac Pro Quad Core (Early 2009) 2.93Ghz Mac OS X (10.6.7)

    MacBook Pro (13 inch, Mid 2009) 2.26GHz (10.6.7)

    LED Cinema Display; G4 PowerBook 1.67GHz (10.4.11)

    iBookSE 366MHz (10.3.9); External iSight; iPod4touch4.3.2
  • singerdf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow, fancy new format.  Ok, Jim.  We downloaded the combo update. I will keep that tip handy.  I always just use software update.  Still the same problem.  Took about 6 hrs this time.  I am trying to provide as much useful information for the Apple guys as the computer is going back in in Wednesday.

     

    Just to recap:  New camera, New Motherboard, Archive and Install, no login items, deleted HP software and re-added the most up to date software for my printer, updated Flash, changed Flash camera settings to always ask before using the camera, applied the combo update for 10.6.7 and have tested with a new user account.

     

    The behavior is consistent:  after some amount of time the camera is not available as it is in use by another application.  Quitting ichat and restarting ichat fixes this.  Can't explain this but will be telling the genius tomorrow.

     

    Wish me luck and I will pass along what they find.  I am torn between some sort of USB controller which is hardware and a software glitch which I don't know how to find short of wiping the drive clean and installing only documents, itunes and iphoto from Time Machine with a clean install of all other software.

     

    Thank you for your patience and your suggestions,

     

    Debbie

  • singerdf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Apple has agreed to replace my hard drive.  They do not believe this is a software issue.  I guess time will tell.

     

    Thank you for all of your suggestions.  I will post back once I have a full system restore and new drive.

     

     

    Debbie