What is re-enabling my laptop webcam?

#1
Asus G75VW laptop. Windows 7 fully updated. Avast, Malwarebytes, SuperAntispyware, and Spybot SD show 0 infections/PUPs/etc.

I disable the webcam on the laptop in the device manager and when I reboot it is re-enabled. I did my best to use the tools in Spybot to look through the registry and Google the individual items to see if something might be the culprit but I'm not seeing anything that is likely the issue.

I know how to disable the webcam in the bios but I want to be able to easily enable it if necessary.

How do I disable the webcam so it doesn't re-enable when the system reboots? What other resource should I be looking at to find what is turning it back on?
 


#2
Normally, when you disable something in the device manager, it stays disabled through reboot. As a first step, look at msconfig to see what is being loaded at bootup.
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#3
Additionally check the services console.
services.msc
It may have an associated service that when started, automatically fires up the camera
 


badrobot

Senior Member
#4
Do you have any program that you use for the webcam? If so, you may want to check the preferences if the webcam is set to startup on boot. Or you may also want to stop that program from loading up upon boot up.
 


#5
Thanks for the responses and your time.

I used msconfig to do a selective startup. This is my result.
The following services combined need to be enabled in order for the webcam to be re-enabled after being disabled:
Power
Windows Event Log

These services turn on after reboot even though I unchecked them:
avast! Antivirus
Base Filtering Engine
Group Policy Client
RPC Endpoint Mapper
Task Scheduler

This startup item is enabled after reboot even though I unchecked it:
avast! Antivirus

I didn't examine the contents of services.msc at the time of this writing because I didn't notice the post until I went to write this follow up. I need to process that view and figure out an approach to deal with the quantity of information.

I don't have any webcam software other than what came with the machine (asus lifeframe) and I went through its settings to see if it was perhaps part of the issue and there is nothing there to have it enable the cam or load the software on startup. It pops up a dialog if the cam is disabled.

I am wondering if it is something in the Task Scheduler? Is that the next logical step?

I am determined to track this one down instead of flattening and reinstalling the OS even though at this point it would have been faster to resolve.
 


Last edited:

badrobot

Senior Member
#6
Avast is ok to start on boot up. You need that for web security.

Do you have the Power4Gear Hybrid utility? You can disable the camera from there, too.

asus-g51vx-power4-gear-hybrid.jpg







....
 


#7
That was it! When plugged in enable the camera was checked. I unchecked it (on all 4 profiles), rebooted, and the camera stays disabled. The task scheduler has an entry P4G from ASUS that executes the batterylife.exe when a user logs on. The GUI pictured in your post is executed from P4GXui.exe. Without testing any further I'm guessing batterylife.exe reads a properties file that the P4GXui.exe writes.

Thanks for the help.
 


Last edited:

badrobot

Senior Member
#8
Great! Thanks for sharing the good news. Cheers!
 


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