I have an HP dv6 win 7 laptop. I hadn't used the onboard camera for a few weeks so I am not aware of the exact date it went missing? It is no longer lsited in device manager. I tried to go back, using an earlier restore date (bios in safe mode) but as luck would have it I couldn't go back far enough. I found the last date that I used it but as mentioned that date wasn't available as restore date...I am thinking that since I purchased this laptop at a pawn shop, missing original start up disc of course, that I may be resolved to just purchasing a usb plug in camera? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
HP/Compaq laptops have a bad record for components failing, in particular wireless adapters & webcams, and if it's not listed in DM (not even as an unknown device) then it's almost certain that it's failed such that it's no longer detected.
As you rightly say, the fix is to buy an external webcam which plug into a USB port.
Creative, Microsoft or Logitech are the best brands to buy for reliability & technical support. Don't be tempted to buy some obscure brand at a bargain price.