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August 30, 2011 10:02 AM   Subscribe

I have some devices (scanners, actually) for which there are no drivers for Windows 7. Is there some way to use them anyway?

What I have in mind is, can I run older operating systems on a virtual machine under windows 7 and have these devices work? Or does virtualization not work down to the machine level?
posted by Obscure Reference to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've managed to do precisely that with a couple of devices. So yes, I'd say you're on the right track.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 10:07 AM on August 30, 2011


Have you tried VueScan?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:08 AM on August 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


The list of supported scanners is here. I found VueScan was able to support scanners that were no longer supported by Epson and Nikon for newer versions of the OS.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:11 AM on August 30, 2011


One of them is on the Vuescan list. But, here's the thing . . . The software that came with the scanner does OCR. It's built in to the interface as opposed to a separate program.) I notice that Vuescan has it's own interface, but also, its own drivers. Will I be able to use the original interface with vuescan's drivers? (Is this just something I'll have to try?)
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:29 AM on August 30, 2011


There is a demo you can try, I think.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:30 AM on August 30, 2011


Tell us the models! For example: Many retired HP models used generic drivers for both printing and scanning (those 5+ years old when Win7 came out). There were some mild tricks to get them up and running.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:53 AM on August 30, 2011


I know that the VirtualBox VM software has USB passthrough, so you can connect any USB device to e.g. Linux or Windows XP running inside a virtual machine.

Linux is reasonably capable at scanning. VirtualBox is free, Ubuntu is free, and it's pretty easy to set up. Might give it a go.
posted by krilli at 11:19 AM on August 30, 2011


Fabulous! HP scanjets 4200c and 5300C. Will try vuescan & virtualbox too. One of these is bound to work!
posted by Obscure Reference at 11:22 AM on August 30, 2011


(And if you already have access to a copy Windows XP to install in a VM, then that's probably going to work even better than Ubuntu)
posted by krilli at 11:37 AM on August 30, 2011


I've started digging through the forums and well... ouch. HP has their list of scanners that are fully Windows 7 compatible. Of course neither are on that list.

The 4200c seems to work through Vuescan as it is a fairly standard TWAIN driven scanner. You should get generic scanning functionality through it or other third-party programs.

The 5300c is very likely not going to work. I found a couple of forums that stated the drivers for the 5300c (along with 3 other similar models) are SCSI via USB. This presents all sorts of hell when trying to get this driver running on both Vista and Windows 7, especially 64-bit. No one reported success with a 64-bit OS on the 5300c despite all compatibility modes. The only workaround I could see with this one would be to load the scanner with Scanjet 7400c drivers and give it a whirl as the scanners were functionally similar.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:54 AM on August 30, 2011


And I am 64 bit! But can't I still use Virtualbox running XP for the 5300c even with 64 bits?
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:09 PM on August 30, 2011


Yup! The virtual machine can be set to act as 32-bit, and acts as such, also when talking to the USB stuff.
posted by krilli at 12:31 PM on August 30, 2011


The 4200c seems to work through Vuescan as it is a fairly standard TWAIN driven scanner. You should get generic scanning functionality through it or other third-party programs.

4200c isn't on the vuescan list. 4200 is but says I will first need an hp driver (which, of course, doesn't exist). The funny thing is, I plugged it in and gave it a try and it claimed to be scanning something, but when I looked, it wasn't the document I put in it! I wondered how this could be possible until I realized, there was a scanner elsewhere on the network and that's what it was using instead of the 4200c.
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:54 PM on August 30, 2011


Try VirtualBox. I managed to do exactly what you are doing with my old HP scanner in a virtual Windows 2000 on a Vista64 host.
posted by Simon Barclay at 4:55 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


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