Fixes for common scanning issues

5. November 2012 05:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

The right scanner can make life a lot easier. Instead of filing hard copies of invoices, purchase orders and other documents, you can scan them and store them on a computer. Instead of physically looking for paper copies later, you'll just have to perform a quick search on your computer. Of course, this is all contingent on producing clear, legible copies of the documents in question. It also depends on immediately scanning copies and storing them onto the hard drive. If your scanner experiences issues, there are things you can do before seeking professional help. Pick up a few great tips for fixing your scanner below.

Nothing Happens when You Press the Scan Button

This usually happens after some other issue has occurred. In most instances, the scanner is unable to respond because a previous job is still in its memory. To perform a new scan, you need to clear out the old file. You should be able to do this through your computer's scanning interface. Just click on the icon for your scanner and look for a command about removing old jobs from the queue.

Jams Occur without Paper in the Scanner

Nothing is as frustrating as scanning a multiple-page document and getting an error about a paper jam. If you're scanning something, there shouldn't be any paper in the tray in the first place. Open up the scanner and use a flashlight to carefully examine its interior. A small scrap of paper or some other debris has probably become jammed in the machine. You can also try using computer duster to blow away small particles that are causing the error.

The Light Blinks But Nothing Happens

Several things can cause this error, and it needs to be resolved before you can successfully scan anything else. The easiest way to put a stop to this is by opening and closing your scanner. If it's also a printer, pull out the paper tray and replace it. If all else fails, turn it off, let it sit for a few minutes and turn it on again. If this error occurs along with a code, find out what the code means in your owner's manual.

Illegible Copies

There's no point in scanning and storing a document if it's illegible. There are a few reasons for a scanner to produce difficult-to-read copies. To understand why this problem occurs, you need to know how scanners work. These machines use lenses to scan images on a document. If the lenses are dirty, the resulting copies will be illegible. With that in mind, you need to find the lens on your scanner and make sure that it's clean. Follow instructions in your owner's manual to clean the lens properly. If the lens is damaged due to overzealous cleaning, more expensive repairs will be needed.

In some cases, illegible copies happen because the scanner bed is smudged or otherwise dirty. It's made out of glass, and it needs to be completely clean. Make sure that's the case before attempting a scan. From time to time, gently wipe down the glass to keep it as clean as possible.

Scanners are relatively simple machines. When issues occur, they can usually be handled in a minute or two. If the repair tips above don't work, though, you will probably have to bring in the professionals. In the meantime, store documents that need to be scanned in a safe place. With any luck, your scanner will be returned promptly, and you will be able to catch up on your scanning quickly. To avoid this issue in the future, consider buying a used scanner to use as a backup.   

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