Scanner Problem

This probably isn’t the place, but the scanner newsgroup never answers my question.
I have an HP ScanJet 5100C that used to function perfectly. Now, however, when it tries to scan something I get a grinding noise and the scanner light doesn’t move. I went to HP’s help site and it said to do something with the lever in the back, because this must mean the scanner was locked and I have to unlock it. The lever was in the proper position, though! Just to make sure, I pushed and pulled until I could push and pull no more. It still doesn’t scan, after unplugging it, the computer, replugging it, reinstalling software, etc. Does anyone have any idea what the problem is?

Has the scanner been bumped or dropped? Sounds like the gear that moves the scanning mechanism has come loose! I have a Mustek scanner and it has a geared belt that moves the scanning mechinism up and down the copy table. If it’s under warranty, take it in. Otherwise, you COULD pop the cover and look for loose gears or a loose belt. Of course with the current price of scanners dropping dramatically, you could buy a new one.

I’m not familiar with the particular scanner you mention, but just to help the boys in the band along, let me ask.

Had anything in your software/hardware setup changed between the last good scan and the present dysfunction? Was anything moved? Your description does hint at a hardware failure of some sort.

P.S. Yes this is the place - any question that’s resolvable by factual input methinks belongs.

I have no answer to offer you for your scanner problem. This is a hijack: I have a scanner problem of my own.

OmniPage Pro 8 for the Mac does not install a driver for my antediluvian UMAX UC630 3-separate-passes vintage 1995 flatbed. I can scan in Photoshop (for which the UMAX driver that came with the scanner still works) and save a TIFF and OCR that with Omnipage, but I’m wondering if there exists a repository of additional scanner drivers that will work with Omnipage.

I too, of course, am a good candidate for the advice “At today’s prices why don’t you just buy a new scanner?”, but I have the sense that old expensive equipment is sometimes more solid than newer, much cheaper hardware even though the new stuff is a lot more powerful. My grandma got 37 years out of her 1956 Westinghouse refrigerator; my folks’ GE microwave oven which they bought in 1978 died two years ago. My $550 3-pass 24-bit scanner feels, if not precisely like a tank, then at least like a small office photocopier. It has proven to be a very reliable image-sucker.

Hmmm…maybe UMAX, rather than Omnipage, would have a more modern driver?

Hey, I have that same type of scanner!

And it’s got the same problem. I think that it’s either a bad flatcable for the motor, or the motor’s driver circuit is out. No, it wasn’t dropped, and yes, it’s just out of an extended warranty. Sounds like it’s a common problem.

I’ll post if I find anything. In the meantime, I’ll keep an eye on this post.

Well, according to another board, the “lamp transport” assembly is defective, and this is a common problem on 5100C’s. :rolleyes: (This is what passes for troubleshooting??? I want component level!!!) Supposedly, the repair assembly costs more than half the cost of the scanner.

I tell you what. It may be a while, but I’m just going to tear mine apart. Come to think of it, the transport runs freely back to the bottom of the glass but doesn’t stop. A home sensor may be out. I’ll check and let you know what I find.

I put a new driver in the other day for my old epson scanner [old, but it has a huge plate & the new scanners have only page size plates] by going to Just visit the scanner maker’s site & find the support section. Tons of info there. tons…