Camera issues can be caused by a variety of problems. However, doing a little investigation on the ThinkPad in particular, I found a couple of options that could be applicable to your situation:
- Simply remove and reinstall the driver for the camera. You'll need to go into the Device Manager utility, find the camera, right-click and choose "Uninstall device", making sure you check the box that says "remove software" when prompted. Then choose "Scan for hardware changes" in the "Action" menu. This should rediscover the camera and reinstall the drivers.
- Disable "FrameServerMode" in the registry. This is somewhat more advanced, and only addresses a very specific scenario. Using regedit, you will need to find the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Media Foundation\Platform key in the registry, add a
DWORD value named
EnableFrameServerMode, leaving it set to the default value of
0. If you are running 64-bit OS, you will also need to do the same for the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows Media Foundation\Platform key. You can find more details about this particular problem here.
Whether either of these will address your specific scenario, I can't say for sure. These kinds of problems are very difficult to diagnose without having physical access to the computer in question.
If neither of the above help, you can also check some settings in the Power Options (go to "Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options" in the Control Panel, click "Change plan settings", click "Change advanced power settings"). Look at these, if they are available:
You can try setting those to "Disabled" and "Off", respectively, in case the camera is turning off as a result of power management issues.