Can I bring my scanner back to life?
February 22, 2008 3:55 PM   Subscribe

My trusty UMAX Astra 3400 started scanning solid gray tonight. Any thoughts on what could be wrong, and how to resuscitate it? (if even possible)

My old scanner was my dependable steed. Automatically recognized by XP, good scan quality, no cruft or feature bloat- just functionality. Tonight, when scanning a document, the result came up solid gray- just one shade. No image. I tried a number of documents, softwares, and more than one computer. Same result. It would be a sad day to have to pitch this thing, and I'm not above surgery to bring it back. Has anyone seen this before, and if they have, is it fixable?
posted by potch to Technology (4 answers total)
I dunno how to resuscitate it, but if you want a replacement you are welcome to my old Astra 3400, which works fine but is incompatible with Mac OS X 10.4/10.5, and therefore of no further use to me (and has already been replaced with an Epson scanner). Yours for the cost of shipping from California. If you want it, send me mail and we can work out the details.
posted by mosk at 4:21 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sounds like the bulb/camera part (the bar that moves, I'm not sure of the terminology) might be stuck. I have a scanner that has a switch to lock it in place (for transport, I assume), and it occasionally gets stuck without telling the software. I'd get a big gray rectangle.
posted by Plug Dub In at 4:52 PM on February 22, 2008

Sounds like your cold cathode is out. (That's the light that PDI mentions above.) You might source a new one, but unless you're a pretty competent hardware hacker, you'd need the right one. And by the time you source and pay for the right one, you might as well have bought a new scanner.

posted by SlyBevel at 6:10 PM on February 22, 2008

Response by poster: Plug Dub & SlyBevel: I've tried running it lid open, and the scan head moves smoothly across the flatbed, and the light is working just fine.
posted by potch at 12:00 AM on February 23, 2008

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