If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.
If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.
I tried using software like "Split Cam" or "Many Cam".
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I get the same error when I turn my Canon video camera to laptop using firewire cable. Any application that ties to a webcam gets exclusive control over it.
There is no real easy way to know what current application is using the webcam, but when most applications loose the webcam, they do not automatically reconnect.
If I was you, I would go to Device manager and simply disable then enable the webcam which should release it from whatever program is grabbing it. I would launch Device Manager again and go to the webcam, click the button and make a note of all the files.
Now, download Microsoft / Sysinternals Process Explorer and try doing a search against these files, it should be able to show you what file/process is hogging the camera.
Next, use Microsoft / Sysinternals Autoruns and locate then disable (don't delete yet) the program from starting.
Next time you start your machine, hopefulyl there will be no problems and you can use any program with the webcam in which case, you can delete the entry that is disabled.
If however there is a problem, reenable it, however you may be out of luck - in which case, please write in comments and I will try to help further.
If you are getting the infamous "video camera in used by another program" error then follow the instructions from here: followed that procedure and it 100% fixed my problem with my access to my built-in video camera and my logitech orbit cam.
For what it's worth, I had this problem with a Creative HD webcam on XP SP3, and in the end (after much trial and error), I managed to get rid of the problem by some combination of doing all the following, probably doing all of them would be a good starting point for XP users. I tried uninstalling driver etc, still a program was using the camera. Only way I could do it was from the task bar - hidden icons - gestures - right click - turn off.