Why is my camera not a camera?
July 1, 2008 7:00 AM   Subscribe

I have an Olympus digital camera. On my old computer I could plug it in via a USB port and transfer images from the camera to the computer, using the Olympus software. But I got a new computer last summer -- and neither my computer nor the Olympus software recognizes it AS a camera. Instead, they think it's a flash drive. Is there a way to correct this?

I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling the Olympus software, and updating it with the Olympus site. Unlike other questions I've seen that are similar, I AM able to get things off the camera -- I just have to treat it as a flash drive to do so. But it is mildly annoying and requires one extra step; so if there's a way to fix this, fine, but I'm not bereft of photos so I can put up with the current status quo if need be.

Stats on the computers -- the old one was a Gateway running Windows ME, purchased in 2000. New one is a Dell Vostro running Windows XP, purchased last year.
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
You should still be able to use the Olympus software. The new software is organized a little different, though.
posted by majikstreet at 7:05 AM on July 1, 2008

they think it's a flash drive.

And this is a problem, why? Just open a new Explorer window (Windows key + E) and drag the files over. Easy Peasy. Why even bother with Olympus's silly software? It's just one more thing running in the background all the time hogging memory.
posted by ChasFile at 7:13 AM on July 1, 2008

It's probably a driver issue. Go here and scroll down to Driver Software. Download the USB connect softwar efor your machine.
posted by Aanidaani at 7:29 AM on July 1, 2008

I was recently annoyed by the opposite - my Fuji camera didn't show up as a USB drive, which meant that I couldn't use any memory card recovery software, and I had to go through the hassle of finding an xD-compatible card reader before I could try to restore a lost movie.
posted by martinrebas at 7:40 AM on July 1, 2008

What ChasFile said. I ran into the same problem last time I got a new camera--I searched and searched for drivers, to no avail. Then I just started dragging and dropping, which is way easier. If you want software, try the free Picasa--it makes organizing and simple image editing a breeze.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:46 AM on July 1, 2008

Why even bother with Olympus's silly software?

....Habit. (blush) Just drag-and-drop would indeed be easier, you're right.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:48 AM on July 1, 2008

..or you could get a card reader and not have to plug the camera in.
posted by kenchie at 9:02 AM on July 1, 2008

A generic way to troubleshoot this:

1. Check the Olympus website to see if there is an UN-installer available. If so, run that before doing step #2. If not, unplug the camera, uninstall the software and reboot.
2. Run Microsoft Update to make sure your XP is completely up-to-date. Install everything,
not just the critical updates; for some reason, hardware updates are usually "optional".
3. Reboot.
4. Install the latest version of the Olympus software, paying careful attention to when you plug the camera in (usually you do not start with it plugged in, but wait until the drivers are installed).

Good luck.
posted by OlderThanTOS at 9:24 AM on July 1, 2008

Per MrMoonPie's suggestion, if you install software like Picasa to manage your photos, it will usually recognize the camera and copy over the photos, just like the Olympus software.
posted by junesix at 1:16 PM on July 1, 2008

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