Fixed My Scanner the Old Fashioned Way
So my scanner kind of broke. I bought this thing about 8 months ago off eBay for $75. It's an HP ScanJet 5200C and it's never been quite right. From day one it would freeze up now and then and I'd have to restart (thanks ebay seller whoever you are who probably knew the thing was screwed and decided to dump it off because it kind of worked.). This is like real annoying because I use the dang scanner for the daily letter and now I've been scanning stuff in for the book.
But recently after two or three scans it would lock up. And I'd restart. Then get one or two more scans. Then it would freeze. And I'd restart. Then one. Then finally yesterday I got none. The stupid scanner would make this clickity click click noise like it was trying to scan but was confused.
I've tried everything to fix it. This is geeky but for those of you who know computer stuff: here's what I did:
First I uninstalled then reinstalled the hardware. Then I thought it might be a software conflict so I uninstalled and reinstalled the software and updated the drivers including adding a new patch for Windows XP. I took the USB plug from my USB hub and plugged it directly into the back of my computer because I don't totally trust USB hubs. I also changed the USB cord. I shut down my firewall and my Norton Anti-virus and anything that might have been running in the background with the hopes that it was causing a weirdo conflict. Then I switched the USB cable to hook up a serial port to see if I could get it running that way. I also called up my computer expert friends and checked to see if they had any advice and they tried these things all in the Device Manager and all that. Nothing worked. I couldn't get one scan out of the thing.
So because I figured it was a goner and I don't have a warranty, I decided to try one more thing. I picked the thing up like six inches off the table and then let it drop. Then picked it up again whapped it down once on its side. This is probably the worst thing you can do to a scanner. But I guess that drop jarred something loose cause it immediately started whirring away again. The click click was gone and I'm back to scanning. Not sure how long it will last but for now the problem stopped- just like my old TV when it makes that high-pitched noise which earns it a slap upside the head. But knowing electronics it's the beginning of the end for it. The high-pitched noise always comes back on my tv and the scanner freezing will too.
But sometimes after trying all the wimpy techy fixes you gotta go hardcore with these things so they remember who's boss.
*Update: That 'fix' only lasted like 10 scans then it broke again so I went out to buy a new scanner today and had a problem hooking it up which made me think it really was a software issue in the first place... and I most likely broke a perfectly fine scanner by beating it up. Who's boss now... :-(