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Scanner-Parallel, Troubleshooting | Tech Info | Troubleshooting |

This section covers problems dealing with scanners which are connected to the parallel port of a computer.


There are several factors that cause problems in these situations.

  1. The BIOS settings for the Parallel Port are not correct.
  2. IEEE 1284 cable should be preferably used
    There are two kinds of cables which are sold, and its tricky to differentiate them. One says "Bi-directional" and the other specifically mentions that it is "IEEE 1284" compatible.
    Make sure you have the proper cable
  3. The printer driver can cause problems after a scanner has been added
    Obtain and install the latest software driver


  1. The BIOS settings for the Parallel Port are not correct.

In order to know what the setting should be you need to look at the scanner's User Manual to see what setting the Scanner requires. Another good source is the scanner manufacturer's technical support web site page which should detail settings.

Additionally, when a setting is entered that is not a Standard Parallel port Setting, then the printer cable has to match that setting. For example, if the setting is Bi-Directional then you need to make sure your printer cable is "Bi-Directional" as well.

Typical Settings are as follows:

Com Port - LPT1, Normally IRQ 7

I/O Address - Normally 378, Can also try 278

Mode - Bi-directional, also try EPP/ECP (make sure you have a Bi-directional cable

Ranges for the above settings can be found at the "Hardware Info" page.

Specific Manufacturer Models

Plustek  - 
1.No light emits from the scanner.
Add to the System.ini file, In the [ScannerParameters] section


2.OpticPro 9630P/FBIV: Yellow, Green, Grainy and/ or Vertical Line images are scanned. (see link above)
3.Action Manager is minimized on the Taskbar and will not maximize (open)
In SCANFX.INI in the [ScanfxWindow] section...
delete the following lines:


4."Grainy" or bad images appear when scanning. (see link above)

click on the SETTINGS tab
Locate the Color Palette selection box
Click on the button at the right-hand end of this box and select the High Color (16 bit) option  from the popup (or any setting higher than 256 colors)
Click on the APPLY button
restart your computer

5.OpticPro 4800P/FBII: Pentium II Computer locks up when the scanner software has been installed. (see link above)

Check the file c:\windows\system.ini. ...
in the [386Enh] section...
...add (if they do not exist) or modify the following lines:


6.OpticPro 4830P/ FBIII: Pentium II Computer locks up when scanner software has been installed. (see link above)
7.OpticPro 9630P/FBIV: Pentium II Computer locks up when the scanner software has been installed. (see link above)
8.OpticPro 9636T: Installation doesn't finish or error messages are displayed at the end of the installation. (see link above)
9.The scanner makes an unusual sound when starting to scan. Is this normal?
10.Error Message: "Scanner Not Found" or "Program was unable to find your scanner."  (see link above)

Problems when connecting Scanners and Printers to the parallel port

Depending what mode the scanner and printer are running ( and its always safer to have them both running in the same mode) you could need different cables. The port mode is set in the BIOS section of your computer, and must be synchronized with the driver windows uses. Normally if you change the BIOS setting, the quickest way to synchronize it with windows is to go into the device manager and delete the parallel port driver and reboot the computer. The new driver will be installed automatically after rebooting.

The EPP (enhanced parallel Port) mode usually needs the IEEE-1284 compliant cables. This is most likely the mode you are running.

To troubleshoot both problems (excessive cable length and wrong type cables) you should turn everything off, and disconnect first the printer then the scanner and try to operate the system with only one of the two connected at one time.

If things work OK with the scanner only and then with the printer only, then its an 'excessive cable ' length problem. 

If one or the other does not work then at least you've narrowed it to that device.

If you have the problem still with just one device connected then its either a software conflict / bad drivers problem or one of the cables is not working correctly.



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