iSight light always on; iChat + Photobooth have black screens...HELP

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by maju, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. maju macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2009
    (I have a 13" Macbook, with OSX 10.5.5)

    The green light for the iSight camera randomly comes on (and stays on) when I boot up my Macbook. The Activity Monitor does not even detect that it's on. Here's where the real problem is: When I use Photobooth or iChat, the video screen stays black. Photobooth takes black pictures, and people I use iChat with can see only a black screen (though I can see them). Audio works fine during iChat.

    This has been a problem since I purchased the Macbook (with OSX 10.5.2). I have not installed any A/V software or anything recently, I've never flashed any software or messed around in the terminal, but now the problem will not go away now even if I reboot the computer. I have tried leaving the battery out over night, but the problem comes back again later.

    Please help me someone...I'm out of the country for 4 months and now I can't see my girlfriend on iChat anymore...:(
  2. sk8mash macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2007
    Take it to an Apple store.
  3. maju thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2009
    Not an option. I'm in Japan on exchange, and I can't explain this issue in Japanese. I've heard of other people having this kind of problem, and I've google searched this to no end, yet still I haven't found any absolute fixes for this. That's why I'm asking here. :(
  4. edman437 macrumors newbie


    Jan 27, 2009
    Easy Fix

    Most of the time that you have problems with your mac's hardware you can easily fix them by resetting PRAM.

    To do: Shut down your computer. Get ready to hold Command + Option + P + R. Turn it on, and directly after hearing the startup tone hold Command + Option + P + R. You must press this combination before the gray screen appears, but after hearing the startup tone. Hold the combination until you hear a second startup tone.

    PRAM has been reset, and it should fix the isight problem.

    - Tom
  5. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    I don't think resetting the PRAM is applicable in this case. You will want to do the SMC reset instead. Shut down the computer, disconnect the Magsafe, remove the battery, hold down the power button for a good 5 seconds. Put the battery back in, reconnect the Magsafe, boot it up. Your iSight should once again work unless the iSight itself is totally hosed in which case taking it to a store is the only option.
  6. Vulcan macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Have a friend that knows Japanese? Or maybe you'll get lucky and get a genius that is fluent in English.
  7. walldawg84 macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2008
    This happened to me (about 10 months ago ... ish) and resetting the PRAM fixed it, it certainly hasn't happened since ... try it and see if it fixes it for you, it's a definite option though before getting yourself to a store (with someone who speaks fluent japanese or the hope the staff speak english) or phoning applecare or something!
  8. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    As others said, reset the SMC and PRAM. This is very common and usually fixes it.
  9. why so serious macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2009
    this happens to me sometimes. When it does I just completely shut down the computer, wait a few seconds, then turn it on again. This always works for me.
  10. paulj-48n macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2010
    jedimeister's solution worked for me

    My wife's macbook 13" (new in Nov. 2008) had this exact same problem. The SMC reset fixed it.

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