Am unable to engage in video chat or Skype because the machine says I have no webcam, which I do, as the video used to work.
hi cindy, here is the answer, go to check this link: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Sony_VAIO_laptop_with_built_in_web_cam_and_don%27t_know_how_to_turn_it_on
The cable from camera to motherboard maybe damaged as it runs through the display's hinge.
Most of the time it comes down to the camera driver software. Go to the main Sony site and look for the support or software location. Then using your model find the appropriate driver and download and run it.
Skype can't find built-in camera on Sony Vaio
Open up Device Manager (right-click on Computer, select 'Manage', then select Device Manager in the left-hand column). Open up the 'Sound, video and game controller' section and verify that your webcam is listed and does not have a red X or black exclamation point next to it. A red X means it is disabled. The exclamation point means there is a problem with the device (normally related to drivers). Double-clicking on the device entry will bring up its property page where it will list the device status and any relevant error codes. Doing a lookup on the error code should tell you what is wrong and, possibly, how to fix it.