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Camera LED does not work? Make sure it's not taped over. :)

X200, X201, X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300, X301 series specific matters only.
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dr_st
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Camera LED does not work? Make sure it's not taped over. :)

#1 Post by dr_st » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:00 pm

Funny story. Everyone knows that the most important feature of any webcam is the LED light that comes on when the camera is working so that you know when the malware that you inadvertently downloaded is spying on you in the shower. Well, I recently noticed that on my X220 the LED was not working. A fairly bizarre issue; searching online for users with similar complaints was not fruitful.

Upon further inspection it looked like it was, in fact, lighting up, but very weakly. I'm not used to LEDs being weakly lit. Every one I saw either worked or didn't. So I was puzzled. Fortunately, on the X220 access to the webcam module is very easy - just two screws to remove the LCD front bezel. When I saw what the problem was I almost burst out laughing. Turns out that the last technician who replaced my LCD under warranty used a piece of black mesh tape over the antenna cables in the lid to hold them in place, and cut the tape too long, so that it covered the LED (it is almost indistinguishable at first glance from any other resistor/capacitor, so it's easy to not realize you are covering something that should be exposed).

A trivial fix (and, fortunately, reattaching the LCD bezel on the X220 is even easier than removing it). The fact that it took me over 2 years to realize I had this problem shows you how frequently I use the webcam on my devices, heh.

All is well that ends well. :D
Current: Thinkpad 25 (20K7), Yoga 14 (20FY), X220 4291-4BG, T410 2537-R46, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G
Collectibles: T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X32 (IPS Screen)
Retired: X61 7673-V2V, T60 1952-F76, A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad

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