Some users have experienced this common problem with Live MSN, where they weren’t able to use their webcam properly as it led to the Windows Live messenger service hanging. This article offers some solutions and links for further reading.
Windows Live MSN is part of Windows Live Essentials which include blogging, photo gallery, and other services. Live MSN is widely used just for chatting with friends along with video conferencing for business, as long as you have a working webcam.
At times there can be problems with the webcam hanging or freezing, which are particularly common if you are running the Vista operating system. These can also occur with particular manufacturers, such as the Philips SPC520NC or other Philips models. Whilst other users of such cameras have reported problems, most freezing problems are due to bad configurations or more specific problems.
In the following section we will discover possible solutions when your webcam stops working, freezes or shuts the MSN service completely.
Disabling Universal Plug & Play
UP&P (Universal Plug & Play) allows your computer to connect to other computers, for example in a shared network, and allows you to use other network based services. However, due to some exploits (such as buffer overrun) you can disable this service which can solve some related freezing problems. Remember that, most importantly, you will not be able ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) once this is disabled.
To disable this service you need to get to "My Computer" in the "Start" menu (or any other way) and right-click on it for the drop-down menu to appear. Select the "Manage" option. Double click on "Services and Applications" and then "Services."
Find the "SSDP Discovery Service" in the services list and click on it. On the toolbar above select "Action" and click on "Stop." You can also right-click on the SSDP and select "Stop" from this menu.
You can also check the following Knowledgebase article:
Turning off SSDP services
Checking your webcam’s drivers
Firstly check that your webcam is working outside of Windows Live services. You may need to download new drivers for it, for instance if you’ve recently switched operating systems. The drivers depend on which model you have, so you will need to check with their website or do a search for driver updates.
Lastly, don’t forget to run any updates for Windows; service pack updates solve a lot of problems regarding compatibility issues and freezing in IM applications.
You can also check the following search (Vista Forums) for webcam problems:
Vista Forums: My webcam hangs or freezes