Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Possibly repair a non-functional built-in iSight Other Hardware
I suffered an inexplicable loss of (built-in) iSight funtionality after installing Boot Camp, Parallels, and applying a system update. I don't know exactly what caused the problem, but I tried all the possible fixes I could find (zap PRAM, reset PMU/SMU, reinstall Tiger/Leopard, etc.), but none worked for me.

When I first received my iMac (17", 1,8Ghz, 2Gb RAM), the iSight would show up as iSight in System Profiler. Then, when I noticed it wasn´t working anymore, it was listed as a Vendor Specific product. I found a post where someone reflashed their iSight firmware in Linux with the Apple-supplied firmware (in the Core Services folder), and this fixed his problem for good. Unfortunately, I wasn´t able to contact him or replicate his procedure. I was getting pretty desperate at this point (it had been about three weeks since I discovered the problem) until I found this comment, which led me to this page, where I found the solution.

On the site is a small iSight patch that you drop in the top-level Library » StartupItems folder. This solved my iSight problem. I admit that I don´t really use my iSight very much, but I just can´t stand the feeling of having something not working "just because."

I would really like to find out how many people have returned their Macs to a service center to have their iSights replaced, when in fact it seems to be a software fault of some kind. I know it will not be the same for everyone, but this has worked for me, and I am very grateful to Matt for his research and easy StartupItems fix.

[robg adds: If you choose to try this fix, be aware that you're installing a kernel extension that could do nearly anything. Searching the net, however, feedback has been positive from those who have installed the extension, so it seems like a good fix to a problem I've heard about from more than one person. I have not, however, tested this one myself.]
  • Currently 3.22 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (9 votes cast)

Possibly repair a non-functional built-in iSight | 6 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Possibly repair a non-functional built-in iSight' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Possibly repair a non-functional built-in iSight
Authored by: deviantintegral on Feb 08, '08 08:15:37AM

It doesn't look like source is available for the kernel extension. I'd be very wary about installing it because there is no easy way to see what it actually is doing.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Possibly repair a non-functional built-in iSight
Authored by: Xris on Jun 02, '09 07:57:23PM

I know it's been quite a long time, but after trying to make the System recognize a generic mouse scroll click button, I came back to this fix to find out what it does.

Quite simply: It maps the new USB id's to the AppleUSBVideo.kext.

In fact, one can accomplish the same effect by digging into the .plist file containing the official USB id's, writing in the "new" ones, reloading the .kext (which happens on reboot anyway) and all set.

I still see this as an Apple introduced bug. One of their 10.4.x updates screwed with my iSight, and still in 10.5.x it hasn't been fixed. Really all that needs to be done is to add the troubled iSights ID's to the official .plist and problem solved.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Possibly repair a non-functional built-in iSight
Authored by: Xris on Feb 08, '08 03:43:16PM
Hi, this is the first link I found that pushed me in the right direction (posted by Michael Engel):

which is followed by

I must report that, so far, I haven't had any "side" effects from this patch. Other than the fact that my iSight is working as expected.

If this indeed has happened to several people, shouldn't Apple be notified about it? If this is a bug, can't it be notified thru the developer connection web site. Has someone had any experience in this?

[ Reply to This | # ]
Possibly repair a non-functional built-in iSight
Authored by: aj_fischler on Feb 10, '08 11:26:34AM

My sister's 17" iMac had this problem, and after following the directions, it now works again. Big thumbs up here!

[ Reply to This | # ]
Possibly repair a non-functional built-in iSight
Authored by: Xris on Feb 10, '08 03:59:06PM

I have submitted a bug report to Apple about this.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Possibly repair a non-functional built-in iSight
Authored by: evandroferres on Jan 24, '09 05:09:31AM

Installing that folder in my StartupItems folder solved my problem. Resetting the SMC used to solve it too, but only until the next time I shut down my computer. And by the way I think there's no need to worry about installing the patch. It's not a firmware patch. If it causes any harm to your system all you have to do is remove it from the StartupItems folder.

Thank you for the hint!

[ Reply to This | # ]