Update Scanner Drivers for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7
A scanner is the external hardware device you need to turn hard-copy documents and photos into digital formats so that you can modify, send, or simply store the digital copy in your PC. The flat-bed scanner is one type regular users are most familiar with. It can be a singular device or part of a multifunction printer such as certain models produced by Hewlett-Packard. Then there are hand-held types like Fujitsu’s Mobile Colour Scanner, where the device is moved across the document. There are also sheet-fed scanners like some of Canon’s imageFormula models that look and operate like fax machines.
Old models naturally are made for old operating systems and connect to PCs that use legacy serial or parallel ports. New models typically are based on the USB or (less frequently) the Firewire connection standard. Regardless of scanner type or model, compatibility with the operating system and connection standard is always necessary, and central to this issue is using the correct scanner drivers.
When a scanner’s driver is inadequate, missing, or corrupted, the following problems may occur:
- There is a noticeable lag in operation or the scanner is in a constant ‘busy’ status such that no other features would work.
- The system could not detect the scanner.
- The PC slows down, the desktop freezes, or a blue screen appears every time the scanner is used.
Scanner driver issues could possibly arise from these situations:
- You may forget to install the correct scanner drivers or are unable to do so because you don’t have the installation disc. The device could be made minimally operational by the generic drivers that come with Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, but not all of its features may be active.
- When you perform a new operating system installation, such as upgrading from XP to 7 for example, the existing scanner driver could be deleted or overwritten. The higher version of Windows could also turn the original scanner drivers obsolete.
- When you replace an old scanner with a new model, you may overlook uninstalling the old drivers of the previous device. Having two sets of scanner drivers installed at the same time can certainly cause conflict and slow down or even crash the system.
Windows’ Device Manager is the typical built-in tool you can use to deal with hardware problems. Through this utility you can check if your system actually detects the scanner. It can also show you if there are any issues with the device. There are tools within the program which enable you to look into the scanner’s properties so you’ll know its exact make and model.
One solution you can attempt is to disconnect and disable the scanner then re-connect and enable it again. This may help you isolate the problem and confirm that the problem actually lies with the scanner and is not caused by other devices. Afterwards, you can uninstall the scanner and then reinstall it using the original drivers.
If the problem persists, then another solution is to update the scanner drivers. Driver updates can be freely downloaded from the scanner manufacturer’s website. You have to make sure though that you acquire the exact driver for your model and that it matches you system requirements. The faster and safer way to go about this is to use a driver update tool because it automates the process and takes out the guesswork. Available right here is one such utility program that can automatically locate and install the correct scanner driver for your system. This driver update tool can also update other problematic system drivers.