I had a busy week using USB on my system.
- I've needed to connect to my Android phone using developer tools through USB.
- Install MagicJack.
- Fix Microsoft Lifecam to work with my system again to video chat friends on Skype.
Getting my Windows 7 to read the Android phone was a minor PITA. It worked in the end.
I needed to MagicJack to work. Calling tech support *about* your cellphone is a hassle when your cellphone is the only number you have. Skype voice, even if it sounds great to your friend on the other end on Skype, always sounds terrible to tech support. My theory is that the call gets transferred at the other end of customer service from general to tech or advanced tech support over VOIP and the double sampling kills the quality. MagicJack should also be susceptible to the same weaknesses as Skype, but I was desperate for a solution, and willing to give it a shot. A MagicJack number is also good to have to support Google Voice, especially if you have more than one GV account. Mobile numbers can only be used as such on one GV account.
I got it to work... on my Vista machine. Windows 7 x64 was a problem no matter what I tried. There are downloads for both firmware and the program on that MagicJack website. The latter supposedly supports Windows 7. I couldn't get Windows 7 to recognize the MagicJack. I thought updating the firmware by plugging it into the Vista box and running the update and then plugging it back into the Windows 7 machine would work. No dice.
Then my Microsoft Lifecam Cinema stopped working. This device too also has a program update and a firmware update. Both worked fine on the Vista machine. Again, Windows 7 refused to recognize the webcam and install the drivers.
0/2 left me wondering if I did something to mess up my USB setup or if an update broke things. Scouring the web and trying OLD solutions over and over -- for better or worse, Google likes long old threads on authoritative websites, like Microsoft Tech Social -- I got no closer than when I started. (I didn't listen to the Microsoft support drones who are fond of telling you to reinstall the OS.) I probably rebooted my computer two dozen times today, easily, in futile cycles of uninstalling and reinstalling.
Finally, I did a search on Microsoft's main tech support pages and found a USB hotfix for seemingly unrelated issues. I figured that if something is broken with the USB, repairing with the latest USB system files could surely have collateral benefit. I was right.
After applying kb 978258
My Windows 7 x64 machine was able to see and install the drivers for both MagicJack and the Lifecam. (The Lifecam required uninstalling and reinstall and twiddling with the registry settings.)
Yay! Let me know if this works for you.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Monday, March 29th, 2010 and is filed under Uncategorized.
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