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Possible Fix for Win10 AU Webcam Fail

Owing to a technology change in the Anniversary Update to Windows 10, webcams on many PCs have since failed to work properly. To be more specific, various kinds of webcam software including programs from Logitech, Skype (and Skype for Business), and others, won’t show outgoing video. Worse, these programs hang up within a minute or two after startup for no reported reason. My family ran into this very thing last weekend when we tried a video chat via Skype with family members in Germany. Winhelponline offers several news links for those interested in more background. (Thurrot.com, Fooling Around, Graves on SOHO Technology). This news attributes a change in video encodings supported as causing the Win10 AU webcam fail.

MS promises to fix these issues with an update as soon as it can. My best guess is that this will likely appear in the September cumulative update. In the meantime, Windows maven and Windows 10 Field Guide author Rafael Rivera offers a pair of registry hacks to work around this problem. Each hack requires accessing a single registry key and adding a new DWORD name, value pair to its attributes.

The complete registry key strings in question are

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows Media Foundation\Platform
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Media Foundation\Platform

The same value needs to be created in each key. The first one is for 32-bit applications, the second is for their 64-bit counterparts. It’s named EnableFrameServerMode, and its DWORD value should be set to 0 (zero).

What’s Causing Win10 AU Webcam Fail?

The cause of this issue comes from Microsoft’s apparent decision to drop support for MJPEG and H264 video encoding standards for YUY2. Thus, following application of the AU, applications that do not yet support YUY2 quit working. This tweak restores support for those other formats, and should hopefully return such programs to normal operation. It’s a relatively benign registry change so there’s no reason not to try it and see.

Beware the Usual Registry Edit Warning!!

Editing the registry improperly can render any Windows system inoperable. That’s why it’s a great idea to precede these propose registry hacks with creating a new restore point. If the registry edits go south, apply that restore point and you’ll be back in business.

But Wait! There’s More: Free Win10 eBook…

As of this morning, NeoWin.net is giving away a free ebook version of The Windows 10 Bible, by Rob Tidrow, Jim Boyce, and Jeffrey R. Shapiro. This 888 page guide to Windows 10 is available as a free download from Wiley through Neowin.net for anyone and everyone willing to cough up registration information in exchange for access. Find the details at “Grab this ‘Windows 10 Bible’ eBook valued at $32.99 — for free.”

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