Hello sign in does not work on my first generation Surface Book after a rebuild – fixed

I have just rebuilt my first generation Surface Book from our company standard Windows image. These images are used by all our staff all the time without issue (on Surface and Lenovo devices), so I was not expecting any problems.

I used to rebuild my PC every 6 months or so, but got out the habit when I moved to a model I could not swap the hard drive out of as backup during the process (using a new disk for new install). I got around this by using Disk2VHD, not quite as good as I can’t just swap the disk back in, but I won’t have lost any stray files, even though I always aim to keep data in OneDrive, Source Control or SharePoint, so it should not been an issue anyway.

Anyway, the rebuild went fine, no issues until I tried to enable Hello to login using the camera. The process seemed to start OK, the wizard ran, but after a reboot there was no Hello login option.

After a bit of digging I found that in device manager there were no imaging devices at all – strange as the Camera App and Skype worked OK.

The Internet proved little help, suggesting the usual set of ‘you have a virus install our tool’ but after much more digging around I found that the cameras were all under ‘System Devices’ in device manager. So I then…

  1. Uninstalled them all (front, front IR and back)
  2. Scanned for hardware changes (they reappeared, still in ‘System Devices’
  3. Ran a Windows Update and some new Intel Drivers were downloaded
  4. I could then run the Hello setup wizard again, seems all old settings were lost

That was all much more complex than hoped for. My guess is that the system rebuild changed some firmware in a strange way that makes for the misdetection of the cameras.

Anyway it is working now.