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Windows 3.1 runs on an old PC, without any USB connector.
Perhaps you mean windows 8.1?
You can be right, because since windows 7, Microsoft is only making drivers for certified equipment. Most factories, only try to get certification on windows 8, for their new camera's And the factories also can't (or won't?) develop new drivers so their older cams can be used on new operating systems. I had the same experience with a very expensive Logitec remote controlled webcam. On the box is compatible with Windows Vista. But when I first bought it, I could download a driver from Logitec, so the camera worked perfect.
After I reinstalled my windows 7 recently. My cam would not work as it did before and I could not get the same drivers I had before.
So the want you to buy new computers for the new software, and then replace all the equipment attached, because your can't install correct drivers for the old gear.
Try to install first the driver of the cam which is in your cd/dvd driver. during the setup process, there's a step that ask you to connect the hardware which is a cam and then plug the cam and continue setup, after finishing installation, restart the computer then that's the time your cam recognized, then continue little remaining setup to finally complete the installation.
Logitec cams have some issues with some Windows operating systems particularly Vista, However if you have Vista you will have to download Vistas driver for that exact cam model. If your operating system isnt Vista then setup the cam in "control panel, printers and other hardware, scanners and cameras". Also I trust when you installed the driver you did NOT plug camera in till it told you to do so.!! ALL USB powered devices must NOT be plugged in while loading drivers.
You need to ask her which , computer she is using , ie weather its windows based or a MAC os , or a linux , and when you get that walk up to any store ...pick a logitec,creative, webcam that matches the platform supported ..