6.6. Troubleshooting Scanners
Eliminate the obvious culprits by making sure your scanner's plugged in, turned on, and plugged into your computer. If the scanner's plugged into a USB hub (Section 1.8.3), try plugging it directly into a USB port. Also make sure you've installed the scanner's latest drivers, which usually requires a trip to the Downloads or Support area of the scanner manufacturer's Web site.
6.6.1. Cleaning the Scanner's Glass
Your digital camera's lens usually focuses on the people in front of it, so a few pieces of dust on the lens don't matter. Your scanner keeps its gaze fixed directly on the glass surface, so any dust not only shows up clearly, it gets magnified. To keep little specks off your scans, thoroughly clean your scanner with glass cleaner before starting any scans .
Spray the glass cleaner on a cotton cloth, not on the scanner's surface. Then wipe the glass free of any debris. Between each scanning session, wipe the cloth over the glass, being careful to remove any fingerprint smudges left from picking up the old item from the scanner surface.
Figure 6-6. Left: Don't try to remove tape or writing from a photo, as that almost always damages it in some way. Instead, scan the photo and make your changes using an image editing program.
Right: Photoshop Element's Clone Stamp tool lets you copy one area of the photo to another. In this case, the tool copied undamaged portions of the photo's border over the written area, removing it. The tool also copied parts of the ceiling beam over the handwriting, to completely remove it.
6.6.2. Common Scanning Issues
These problems surface most often when scanning:
Grinding noises . Many scanners lock down their scanning mechanism during shipping. A grinding noise often means your scanner's trying to run while its carriage is locked in place. Find the scanner's lock (Section 6.2), switch it to off, and try again.
Lack of response from scanner or error messages . When the scanner stops responding, the problem usually boils down to a simple cause: you haven't scanned anything in the last few minutes. After 5 to 10 minutes of inactivity, most scanners doze off into a power-saving mode. If you see an error window, click the Try Again button, repeatedly. After the seventh click or so, the scanner usually wakes up and scans your image.
The "one-touch" button doesn't work . Some scanners offer "one-touch" scanning that lets you push a button on the scanner's case for automatic scans using a preset resolution setting. Windows XP's scanner wizard doesn't support these types of buttons , which means that you need to install and use the scanner's bundled software (Section 6.4).
Not enough memory or space . Scanners can create monster- sized files. If your scanner complains about not having enough memory or hard drive space, you're probably trying to scan at too high a resolution. Reduce the resolution (Section 6.4) and try again.