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Integrated iSight sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.

Hello!

Recently, I purchased a Macbook A1342, late 2009, and its iSight behaves weirdly. Sometimes the integrated webcam works perfectly, and sometimes it appears not to be recognized at all, as if the laptop had no camera installed whatsoever. I tried pretty much every solution I found on the internet and absolutely none of them ever worked. I even tried removing the screen bezel, disconnecting and reconnecting the webcam to the cable to see if it would stabilize but didn't.

I believe it is somewhat related to the system booting, because on the few times it is working, it works fine until the macbook reboots. Yesterday I turned it on and the webcam worked. To test, I didn't shut it down when I went to sleep and as I woke up, I opened the macbook and the webcam is still working. Does anyone have any idea what I could do to make it work stably?

Here's what I already tried:

  • sudo killall VDCAssistant (no matching processes were found)
  • sudo kilall AppleCameraAssistant (no matching processes were found, even if the webcam is working)
  • Installing an older version of MacOS (Yosemite)
  • Reinstalling the Catalina
  • Logging into a different user account or booting into safe boot mode
  • Disconnecting the webcam cable and reconnecting it on both ends (camera and logic board - it is the same connection of the display, right?)
  • Check if the webcam works through different apps

I will attach some screenshots about info on the webcam. These info only appears when the webcam is working. When it is not, I get "no video capture devices were found". Seems like the macbook fail to recognize that there is a webcam available at the moment it boots.

Thank you!

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Hello Alan Henrique! I’m glad you bought a late 2009 MacBook! These are great machines that still hold up well today! As for the problem with your MacBook’s integrated iSight camera, you have probably tried every single possible solution to try and resolve the problem. At this point, it sounds like the iSight camera is starting to fail, and you should just replace it all together.

Here is the replacement iSight camera board for your MacBook: https://www.ebay.com/itm/251313930505?ha...

Here is the iFixit guide that will help you replace your iSight camera: MacBook Unibody Model A1342 iSight Camera Board Replacement

I hope you will be able to fix the problem with your MacBook’s iSight camera. Happy fixing!

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Thank you, Bob! I thought about purchasing a replacement iSight board, but I'm afraid this might be a cable issue or something else, especially for the fact that, when it works, it doesn't stop working until I reboot the machine. Do you know about any terminal commands that would display my hardware before I boot?

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@alanmh It could also be the cable going bad, but it is usually harder to find replacements for those. As for Mac terminal commands, I would have no clue. I know the Linux and Windows terminal and command line really well, but I am not very fluent in the Mac command line as I tend to not need to use it as much.

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@alanmh I would try asking another iFixit Answer Forums question about those commands if you need them.

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