Help me please before Ive pullled ALL my hair out.

I recently bought a sony DCR-HC62E, and am trying to get it to connect to my Dell laptop running Windows vista home premium edition.

Facts so far.
1. Used to have an older sony camcorder which I was able to download the DV footage to the laptop via ieee 1394 4-4 pin cable. No issues
2. After I got the new camera I was unable to get the computer to detect a camera was connected, or the camera detecting it was connected to the computer, i.e DV in/out was not on the display.
3. Took camera, cable and software to sony shop, and eventually figured out the cabble I had was damaged, so got a new cable and they managed to get it working with ony of thheir sony laptops no problems.
4. With the new cable I can get the camera to know its connected, i.e DV in/out appears on the camera LCD display. But I cannot get any software on the computer to detect a camera is connected
5 The IEEE 1394 integrated card appears to be working as the driver is their and when I uninstall it and search for new hardware it detects it.

Can someone please offer any advice as to how I might be able to resolve it, or to carry out further checks. Only solution Dell has offered is to restore the laptop to it's original factory settings. But this is a real pain as I would loose loads of data, and have to re-install all my software. Only going to do this if all else fails.

If you need any more information just ask.