Microsoft’s Build event for developers and all things AI is in full swing, but even its hardware products are making the news this morning. As reported by The Verge, multiple Surface Pro X users have found themselves with a 2-in-1 that does everything but turn on its cameras (both front and back).
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In place of your face or what’s behind your computer, webcams are displaying a “0xA00F4271<MediaCaptureFailedEvent> (0x80004005)” error code.
If you’re experiencing a similar problem, the quick fix, as discovered by several Surface Pro X users, is to manually change the date and time of your system to either May 22 or any time before then. While this is merely a temporary solution for the issue, and it suggests that the malfunctioning was caused by an expired Windows security certificate, you should adjust the setting with caution.
That’s because by changing the date of your PC, software and services that run on a scheduled basis can quite literally lose track of time. Furthermore, systems that rely on encryption and authentication to communicate with each other must be operating on the same date and time.
Microsoft Support has acknowledged the widespread issue and, generally speaking, patching up an expired security certificate should take less time than the standard software update.
If you can live without your Surface Pro X cameras for a day or two, then the safest play here is to wait it out. Otherwise, it may be time for a new, dedicated webcam.