Saturday, December 20, 2008

Skype crashing on you? It might be a driver issue.

Does Skype keep crashing on your Windows machine? Try this helpful hint: Make sure that your webcam's driver is up-to-date, preferably using drivers developed by the manufacturer.

My mom and I recently had this problem where we couldn't audio or video chat for longer than just a minute or so--sometimes the conversation lasted only seconds. It was very buggy. Skype would crash on her computer, but not on mine (I'm on a Mac, for reference). We found it interesting because I could skype just fine between my home Mac and my work's Dell laptop, so I isolated the problem to my mom's computer, which is a fairly recent and capable model.

The problem stemmed from us not using the correct driver for the web cam, a Logitech Pro 9000. After some troubleshooting, we discovered that Windows automatically installed a default generic driver for the webcam. So we went over to Logitech's website, downloaded the latest driver for it, installed, rebooted, and presto. As I write this blog, I'm video chatting with my mom and the timer is 40:21 and counting.