Yesterday evening, I managed to crash my cheap Wansview Webcam. Yes, you read that correctly. I was playing with OBS (fantastic tool, remember my ninja smoke bombs?) and the camera settings when the webcam suddenly went AWOL. This morning, I was sure I had bricked it:

To brick: to render your computer useless, as useless as a brick.

But thankfully, it wasn't bricked, I managed to get it back to work.

Crashing it was, in fact, astonishingly easy. In OBS, you can change the settings of a camera, brightness, contrast, hue, etc. Those changes are not made on the PC side as I thought but on the camera side. I imagine that OBS let me enter values that were not allowed from the camera perspective. Thus the camera tried to initialize itself, show me one picture, and crashed.

I took the picture below on my son's laptop. As you can see, the settings are weird, at best. I figured the problem was not on my machine, but on the camera itself.

For anyone having the same problem in the future, here's how I solved this problem: ninja-clicking-skills!

  • Deactivate the camera in OBS
  • Plug the USB Cable-out and back in
  • Restart OBS
  • Since the camera is not active, it displays no image, and thus doesn't crash
  • Then "activate" the camera, click on "configure video," click on "default" and "apply," and all this before the camera has crashed

It took me a few tries to be fast enough, but it finally worked 😅

I honestly don't dare to play with the settings again. At least not as long as it is my main Webcam.

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash