Scanner: Why On All The Time ?

  • I have a Umax scanner that stays on all the time. That is, the scanning lamp inside is only on when you are actually scanning something, but there’s a little greed LED on the front that stays on all the time, and there is no power switch on the unit to turn on and off. I am told this is not uncommon. The power goes out in my neighborhood frequently, and every time I start up the computer after a power outage, the scanner takes 30 seconds to “warm up”. Why? What’s it doing that it has to do, even if it isn’t being used? - MC

I also have a Umax scanner which stays on all the time as does the printer. I guess you can plug the power supply into a power strip which would de-power everything.

Well I can’t tell you much, but I’ll toss out what I do know.

First, a lot of scanner manufacturers seem to think that if I own a scanner, I’ll be using it three times a minute. They install a ridiculous ‘instant access’ driver so I don’t have to wait 45 seconds for the regular driver to initialize itself. This causes the processor to constantly field calls that basically say, “Do you want to scan now? How about now? Now?” It slows the system, and makes it less reliable. If you can, kill that thing. You won’t lose the use of the scanner, you’ll just have to wait for it to start up when you do use it.

But that was software, and actually off the topic. I don’t know why your scanner doesn’t have an off switch, except maybe that it would cost 75 cents more to have one.

One last not-quite-sequiter: If you do put the scanner on a power strip to turn it off, be careful not to put an inkjet printer on the same power strip. If you turn off their power without using the printer’s own power button, the print heads can end up somewhere besides their ‘parked’ position. If they aren’t parked, they can dry out. And no one wants to buy a new cartridge without getting every drop out of the old one first.

If you don’t want to use it, unplug it.

Read the manual for the printer & see what it says.

I don’t know if it should be doing that, it could be the driver you are using isn’t for your operating system…

There are a few scanners on the market that autosense if you put a document into them and want to begin asking you about scanning. If you have one of those, its likely it is going to be on all the time.

I don’t know if this is relevant to your case or not, but I’ll offer it up.

I’ve got a SCSI scanner on an NT system that must be powered up when you boot the system, or the system will not recognize it. I usually leave this system running 24/7, but have found that, as long as the scanner’s on when I boot, I can turn it off and turn it on when I need it and the system will recognize it.

Happy scanning!

What beatle said.

Your system needs to recognize your scanner on boot up. I believe, but not sure, this is true of Win95 and Win98.

That’s not true in my case, I can have the scanner off at startup and it’ll still work when time comes to scan.

However, my printer is “daisy-chained” through the scanner so when I need to print, I need to have both the printer and scanner on.

Don’t you want to keep your scanner on so you know if the cops are coming to get you?

I have a parl port scanner that I just turn on when I need to use it. 30 seconds warmup for the special sensors inside is okay, a bit longer than mine. has ssupport doesnt it? Their web site sucks, it would have taken me forever to get an answer. Next time buy a scanner with a power switch.

Most scanners don’t list “power switch” as a feature. And you shouldn’t have to base your purchase choice on that feature alone.

I’ve got two scanners- an older, more expensive model with a power switch, and a newer, less expensive model without. I think Beatle’s answer was correct but have no proof to back it up.

How do you like it?

I bought an Astra 2000U, and I was thoroughly disappointed with the long warm-up time, operational speed, and the fact that it simply stopped working less than six months after I purchased it.

Oh yeah! The software sucks, too.

The reason the newer scanners are left on all the time is that since many computers only have one parallel or USB port, the scanner acts as a “flow-through” device that goes in-line between the computer and whatever other device of that kind you have (usually a printer).

There are obvious consequences for turning off one’s scanner when it is the only effective bridge of communications between the computer and the printer on the other side.

You’ll also notice with your Umax that the scanner will “go to sleep” after a specifiable period of time by turning the power to the scanning lamp on. Think of the LED as a night-light.

Long time RGMWer and ardent AOLer

I have a Umax Astra 610P and it has the same “feature” - lack of a power switch. However, I keep it unplugged most of the time and my printer (which is chained through there via the parallel port) works just fine, even with the scanner unplugged. Am I missing something or should I just stay real quiet and hope my printer doesn’t realize that it shouldn’t be working while the scanner is unplugged?

As for the scanner, it does have a slow warm-up (45 seconds… Is that slow? Feels like it when you want to scan something) but I never really had any other issues with it. Of course, it’s not like I’m scanning rare works of art of something.

Parl port pass throughs are independent of the power supply.

I bought a Epson scanner when it was $1200 but discounted to $200, it has a power switch & a warmup of about 10 seconds.
I turn it on anytime & it’s recognized.

Is it just me, does scanner software almost uniformly suck? UMAX, in particular. My mom’s old UMAX software wouldn’t even save pictures in JPEG format.

Epson software seems a little better, but it’s still kinda clunky looking.

Seems to me to be another major pitfall in shopping for a scanner. Who even thinks about the included software or gets a chance to try it out first?

I have an old Epson, the software is pretty spiffy. I would have probably missed the power switch idea because I was scanner shopping the other day.

But then the software for scanners, printers, etc, they make these days has the option of turning them on when they are needed, at least my printer has that option. Then ten minutes later I can set it to turn off.

Close this thread now, Jophiel!!! Your printer is obviously using the same physics that allows cartoon characters to walk in mid-air, as long as they don’t look down. If you let it see this thread or --God forbid-- print it, your printer will “look down”, and immediately stop working until you turn the scanner on.