One thing that I don’t like in Windows Vista and 7 is it doesn’t have a built-in way to activate a webcam to test if it’s working or not. To test a webcam in Vista or 7, I had to use the “Setup Audio and Video Devices” feature from Windows Live Messenger. Unlike Windows XP, when you have a webcam connected, you can activate the webcam directly from My Computer and see what’s it’s showing without using any other software. It is unknown what the reasons are for Microsoft removing such a useful feature in Windows Vista and 7, but it does give some advantage to software makers such as CyberLink to make money by selling their webcam software called YouCam.
CyberLink YouCam is a very popular webcam companion software which normally costs $34.95 for the standard version and $44.95 for the Deluxe version and is bundled in some laptops such as HP for free. YouCam allows you to easily add really interesting and funny effects to the real time streaming. You can also display the avatar that you’ve created while hiding your face, record the webcam video, capture a single snapshot or even a series of photos in burst mode. There’s also a video enhancement feature where you can adjust the level of noise, brightness, contrast, exposure and even sharing your webcam with multiple webcam applications.
Previously we have written a guide on how to install CyberLink YouCam 2 for HP laptops on any Windows computer, and here is an updated guide to reflect on YouCam 3.5.
CyberLink YouCam 3.5 is NOT a driver for your webcam. It is a software that gives dynamic effects to your video from your webcam. Do take note that before you can install CyberLink YouCam 3.5, you must first have a webcam. If you don’t have one, you won’t be able to install.
1. First of all, download the full version of CyberLink YouCam 3.5 from here. The installer is hosted on an official HP FTP server and is 157MB in size. If you can’t download, make sure you have access to port 21.
2. After it’s finished downloading, run the downloaded sp56980.exe file where the setup will extract the files to C:\SWSetup\SP56980\ and then try to install. You will get a Error window that says “This software can only be installed on a Hewlett-Packard system“. Click the OK button to close the Error window.
3. Click on the Start button and type msinfo32 at the Search programs and files followed by hitting the Enter key. If you are on Windows XP, type msinfo32 in Run window (Win+R). Take note of the System Name OR System Manufacturer information.
4. Go to C:\SWSetup\SP56980\ and open the Custom.ini file with a text editor such as Notepad or Notepad++.
5. Replace the Hewlett-Packard that is highlighted in yellow with EITHER the System Name OR System Manufacturer that you’ve noted in step 3 and save the text file.
6. Run the setup.exe file from C:\SWSetup\SP56980\ and you will be able to install Cyberlink YouCam 3.5 on your Windows computer. Make sure that Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Yahoo! Messenger and AOL Instant Messenger programs you might have open are closed or else the installation cannot proceed.
YouCam 3.5 is currently the latest version being used by HP even though it has reached version 5 if you refer to the official CyberLink website. If you really want to use the latest YouCam 5 and don’t mind paying for the upgrade, you can do so by clicking the “Upgrade CyberLink YouCam” blue arrow pointing up icon located at the top of the program and get a 50% discount with YouMemo 2 thrown in for free.