One of the "joys" of updating or upgrading to a new operating system is replacing peripherals that don’t work with the new OS. Some manufacturers routinely provide new drivers when new operating systems are released.
Other manufacturers, though, especially those providing relatively cheap peripherals, will simply abandon the older models. While I was initially disappointed that the manufacturer of our flatbed scanner didn’t provide a new driver for Windows 7 (or even Vista, which would probably have worked), we quickly realized that the scanner was over 6 years old and had cost barely over $100.
The most significant issue one we hadn’t really realized — the lightbar in the scanner was fading and scan quality was deteriorating, although it never had been really great. It had also always had problems making black & white copies and grayscale. They were either light or blotchy, or if set to copy as a color document, the background had a blue/green cast.
The related software that we used has been Paperport. We’d upgraded over the years to Paperport 9, but that was 3 versions out of date. Needless to say, Paperport 9 didn’t work with Windows 7, especially Windows 7 64-bit.
So, we started shopping. First stops were a couple local stores. One had a few brands that didn’t interest us. The "big box store" did not stock any flatbed scanners, just multi-function printer/scanner models that sometimes included fax also. Their salesman’s comment was "we’ve got them in our online store."
Next stop was to do some looking at NewEgg, which is where I buy most of my computer components. They’ve also got peripherals, cameras, GPS’s and other electronics.
Although the vendors do not indicate Windows 7, I did further checking in the user-comments at Amazon and NewEgg, as well as the Canon web site. We found that Canon’s web site showed the "Compatible with Windows 7" logo, while the detailed specifications stopped at Vista.
Comments at Canon’s site stated that it worked with Windows 7, as did comments at some other sites. Another comments we found said that the scanner worked fine with Windows 7 64-bit. Yet another comment said that the ArcSoft PhotoStudio software was not compatible with Windows 7, but that didn’t bother us.
The tricks to the installation were:
- Do not plug the scanner into the computer until after installing the software. The documents with the scanner warned about this, and even told you what to do if you didn’t follow the directions.
- and, REBOOT! The instructions did not tell us to do this. Until we rebooted, the scanner’s driver (installed from the CDROM that came with the scanner) was not recognized by Windows 7. Fortunately, this didn’t cause the problem that installing the scanner before installing the software would have caused.
Once we rebooted, Windows 7 automatically found the scanner, set it up, and we were ready to use it. Our first scan was a photograph. The scan was gorgeous.
We did not try to install the ArcSoft PhotoStudio software, which is photo-editing software. My wife uses Adobe Photoshop Elements for her photo editing. I use Ulead’s PhotoImpact when I edit photos. Therefore, potential incompatibility with that software was not going to be a problem.
How did we like it? My wife loves her new scanner! She showed me an absolutely perfect replication of a scanned black-and-white LaserJet image — I could not tell which was the original and which was the copy.
I would have been happy with the standard software that came with the Scanner. However, we’ve used Paperport for years and have stored most scanned documents in its proprietary format. Paperport makes scanning, filing and document conversions extremely easy.
So, we installed PaperPort and were immediately operational.
We’ll probably covert those documents slowly to JPG and PDF files. But, maybe again, we won’t. However, for now, we needed to be able to access them using Paperport.