How To: Import DV Video on Windows 7 using Windows Live

If you (like me) have recently plugged a DV camera into Windows 7 for the first time, only to find that the “Import Video” wizard you’re used to from Windows Vista has vanished, fear not!

How to get the Import Video wizard back:

Rest easy; the wizard is not dead forever, but merely moved from inbox Windows to the Windows Live Essentials pack.  Here’s how to get it working just like it used to:

  1. Install the Windows Live Essentials pack.  In particular, you are going to need at least the Windows Live Photo Gallery, and probably the Windows Live Movie Maker if you want to then do something with your video.
  2. Plug in your camera.  Windows 7 should automatically install the necessary drivers.
  3. Launch Windows Live Photo Gallery (not Movie Maker).
  4. Click File -> Import From a Camera or Scanner.
  5. Select your device, then click Import.

You’ll now see the Import Video wizard you’re familiar with.  Voila!

7 thoughts on “How To: Import DV Video on Windows 7 using Windows Live

  1. Robert Melchionda

    I followed that advice – it did not work! According to my research thus far, I have a “tape” DV camera, a Sony DCR-HC21. Windows 7 will not work with a Digital Tape Camera. Only VISTA with the ILINK will work! Once again, Microsoft took a giant leap backwards with the introduction of Windows 7 by removing features. WIndows Live Movie Maker is a mere shadow of Windows Movie Maker 2.1! The 2.1 program was great, then came 2.6 with less features.

    I am still trying to figure out how I can import my video and what software I am going to have to purchase for this new problem. I can only hope I can find something as easy to use as WMM 2.1, and as powerful.


    1. Colin M Post author

      Hey Robert,

      Sorry to hear you are having difficulties getting your camcorder connected to your Windows 7 machine. If you’ve still got some time, stick with Windows 7 and Windows Live Movie Maker, and work on the setup you’ve got. I can definitely say that “tape” / mini-DV cameras (as well as hard drive, flash memory, and other storage formats) have worked well for me on Windows 7 so far. (I was actually importing from a tape DV camera when I wrote this post.) The “ILINK” term you see on your camera is actually just Sony’s marketing name for the industry standard IEEE 1394 or “firewire” interface, and your camera should be supported using this interface with Windows 7.

      Please see Sony’s site for more information on their Windows 7 support, and to download the Sony software that came with your camera: Choose your version of Windows 7 from the drop down box there for more details.

      Hope that helps and good luck!

  2. Laggeman

    I just found this site along with another one sugesting the same way to go around to import video with Windows 7.
    I have a Canon HV10, and using the HDV/DV output won’t let me import the video. However, using only DV-output it works smooth and flawless. Maybe something for Robert Melchionda to try?

  3. Jagannath Boramani

    Dear Colin, I tried you trick using USB cable. It didn’t work. I don’t have IEEE port on the PC (it is here on camera). How to proceed?

  4. Spasojevic

    I did all that even checked my firewire drivers and still I get this message: Import Video could not find a compatible digital video device. Verify that the digital video device is properly connected and turned on.

  5. Taylor S.

    I have an issue where I followed these exact steps, but when I get to the video wizard interface is my problem.

    It will finish the first step of rewinding, but will never finish capturing. One time I waited 30 minutes for a 1 minute long video I was using as a tester for the software. I thought maybe I should click stop, but then it just told me my file wasn’t complete although it already went through the entire video of one minute.

    I was trying to transfer my dv tape that I recorded with my XH A1. My computer runs on Windows 7 and I updated Windows Live Essentials just make sure that wasn’t the issue.


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