Scanner Software

Hi there,

We have some very old Contex scanners that are currently connected to Windows XP workstations.  We unfortunately now have to try and upgrade all of these workstations to Windows 7 as Windows XP is no longer supported.  I am having a problem with getting the software on Windows 7 to recognize the scanners, which are connected to the workstations via SCSI.  The scanner is being recognized by the workstation under Device Manager, but the software isn't recognizing the scanner.  We are trying to get NextImage and WideImage to work with it but is there another software that we could potentially try?  We cannot replace the scanners at this time because of budget reasons so getting to work on Windows 7 is ideal.

Any help with be greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
- Christian
Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Unfortunately looking backward and not moving ahead has its disadvantages.   Download, install and run XP Mode for Windows 7 from Microsoft and run the scanner in the resulting XP machine. This will work.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Christian,

> some very old Contex scanners

What model(s)? Regards, Joe
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your comments!

The model we have is a Cortex TX 40.  

For Windows XP Mode, is this like a VM?  The main problem is that we aren't allowed to have any XP workstations or VM, if possible of course.  

Thanks!
- Christian
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Christian,

Contex has two scanners with Tx 40 in the model — CHROMA Tx 40 and CRYSTAL Tx 40. Have you downloaded the latest Nextimage? There's been a very recent release — Version 4.3.2, Build 63412, May 2015 — that may (or may not) work on W7. Download is here:
http://support.contex.com/withoutdesign/support/software_registrations/nextimage_registration.aspx

Likewise, there's been a very recent release of WIDEsystem — Version 5.1.1, Build 63108, May 2015 — that may (or may not) work on W7. Download is here:
http://downloads.contex.com/supportfiles/software/widesystem/WIDEsystem-Installer-511-63108.exe

Since John is the one who mentioned XP Mode, I'd rather have him follow up on your question about it, but in the meantime, here are a couple of Microsoft website links where you may learn about it:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/features/windows-xp-mode
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/install-and-use-windows-xp-mode-in-windows-7

Regards, Joe
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rindiCommented:
XP mode is XP running as a VM using the outdated VirtualPC. I don't think VirtualPC was able to directly get access to hardware, like SCSI cards or the driver used to talk to the scanner.

If the drivers and software mentioned above don't work, it will be very unlikely you'll get it working under Windows 7.

Your best chance then is probably Linux, as it still supports lots of very old hardware out of the box.

Otherwise, I can't really see how budget can be a big issue here. You can get really cheap multifunction printers that include a scanner, probably for less than 100$ these days. Just compare these prices with the time you are wasting trying to get the ancient stuff working. You have probably used up more time/money already than what such an mfp would cost.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
rindi,
The Contex scanners are what's known as large format scanners. They are very expensive — thousands of dollars, some are tens of thousands of dollars. For example, the Contex CHROMA Tx 40 is $22,900; the CHROMA Tx 40 Plus is $24,900. That's why budget is, indeed, a big issue here.
Regards, Joe
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
First, on using virtual machines: There should not be any logical or business issue using XP as a virtual machine. Looking after legacy software is one big reason for workstation virtualization.

Second:  XP Mode is free to download and try. It is for Windows 7 only and does not move to Windows 8 or Windows 10.

So another approach (I use this) is VMware Workstation. Get a license for XP (they are still available), make an XP virtual machine and try the scanner driver in the VMware virtual machine. This may work if XP Mode does not. It is also a more flexible solution overall and moves up to new operating systems.
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profgeekCommented:
What drivers do these scanners use?  I've had good luck with old scanners in Win 7 with VueScan.  It supports over 2,500 scanner drivers, many of them not supported natively in Windows 7, but you might need to contact them to see if they would support yours:

http://www.hamrick.com/
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
profgeek,

That's a good thought! VueScan is a fine product that I recommend without hesitation, although the Contex scanners are not on its Supported Scanners list:
http://www.hamrick.com/vuescan/supported-scanners.html

That said, Ed Hamrick is an extremely knowledgeable and helpful guy. Every time I've emailed him, he has responded promptly with excellent comments. I am not liberty to divulge his personal email, so I suggest that Christian contacts him at the email shown at his support site:
support@hamrick.com

Regards, Joe
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Thanks again everyone!

John: The problem with having any XP workstations or VMs is that Microsoft doesn't support them anymore so our global IT department has decided that we can't have them because no more security updates will be released.  That's their main concern.  I would keep them, but unfortunately we were told to get rid of as many as possible this year.  Now I just saw a video about XP Mode and it mentions that you can run applications as XP mode, would this be an option for old programs that only run on XP?  What about drivers?

Joe: What I'm concerned about is that NextImage or WideImage can't see the scanner, I'm assuming because it needs something else not available in Windows 7.  I will download the Widesystem install and see if it loads a possible driver.  

Profgeek: Thanks!  I'll download VueScan and give it a shot.  

Rindi: Do you know of a Linux scanner application that I could try?  Like Joe said, these scanners are wide scanners for large scans, which we do a lot of.  We do have Debian workstations so we could try that as well.

Thanks!
- Christian
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Keeping an XP machine in a Virtual Machine is fairly safe (even if Microsoft is not updating). People use old Windows 98 machines in a Virtual Machine for the same reasons.

However, I leave that decision to you. But it appears the scanner stopped with XP even though it was expensive.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> I'm assuming because it needs something else not available in Windows 7.

Yes, it needs a driver, and drivers are specific to versions of Windows, including bit-level (32-bit or 64-bit). Many scanners use industry standard scanning drivers, such as ISIS, TWAIN, WIA, and WIA2. However, some scanners use proprietary drivers (for example, the entire Fujitsu ScanSnap series). I don't know what drivers the Contex scanners use.

Btw, one of the issues with VueScan is that it sometimes requires the scanning driver from the manufacturer. On one of my email exchanges with Ed Hamrick about the Canon LiDE 210, he said, "Unfortunately, VueScan only works with the LiDE 210 if there's a working Canon driver available." He explained further with, "VueScan doesn't need the manufacturer's drivers for most scanners, but I use a plugin library for some scanners (like the LiDE 210) that gets installed with the scanner drivers." That's why you need to ask Ed about your Contex scanners.

The Contex website does not show support for any Tx 40 with the latest versions of Nextimage or WIDEsystem, so I'm doubtful that it will work, but it's worth a try — maybe you'll get lucky. If not, you should contact Contex about W7 support. Those are very expensive scanners to mothball! Regards, Joe
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rindiCommented:
There are many applications inside Linux you can use for scanning. You just need to have sane and it's components installed, and then any software that can use sane should work. For example The Gimp can scan. you just need to make sure the necessary plugin is installed.

You could try the PCRepix LiveCD, it includes The Gimp and sane, and I think also the plugins for scanning are already included in the Gimp. The advantage here is that if you are lucky you don't have to do anything and it could run out of the box, which may not be the case with your debian installation. If you want you can always install the Live Media after that:

http://pcrepix.sourceforge.net
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Thanks Rindi, I'll check it out.  Do you know any commands that I could run to test to see if the scanners are being recognized?

- Christian
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rindiCommented:
I would just start The Gimp, then try scanning something.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Christian,
What SCSI card are you using? What does Device Manager show for your SCSI card?
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Joe,

I currently have an Adaptec AHA-3040 card (Device Manager image attached).

Thanks,
- Christian
device-manager.JPG
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rindiCommented:
Have you added the Windows Scan Management in the Windows features, and then just tried using the built-in paint tool to do a scan?
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Christian,
OK, that looks good. Your Contex CRYSTAL Tx 40 is showing up in Imaging Devices without an exclamation mark, and your Adaptec SCSI card is also showing up without an exclamation mark (you said AHA-3040 in your post, but Device Manager shows AHA-3940, which I assume is correct). You may want to try the latest AHA-3490 W7 driver from Adaptec:
http://www.adaptec.com/en-us/downloads/ms/ms_win_7/productid=aha-3940&dn=aha-3940.html

But I think the problem is more likely that Nextimage and WIDEsystem don't support W7. Furthermore, my guess is that you'll need the Contex software to take advantage of the wide format capabilities of the CRYSTAL Tx 40 — general purpose scanning software isn't going to cut it.
Regards, Joe
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Joe: I checked and that driver for the AHA-3940 is the same version as the one I already installed.  The software is my concern as well, as the features will probably be important but I hope it can at least be recognized as a scanner.  I also tried XP mode but the VM is not recognizing the scanner at all so I'm assuming SCSI is not supported, which is very disappointing.

Rindi:I installed the Scan Management feature but when I open it up, it won't see the scanner.  It's asking for a host name, IP or URI but I am not sure what it requires.  I assumed it would just recognize it locally.  Any ideas?

Thanks,
- Christian
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> I checked and that driver for the AHA-3940 is the same version as the one I already installed.

OK, good to know. I didn't think that was the problem, but I figured it was worth mentioning.

> I also tried XP mode but the VM is not recognizing the scanner at all so I'm assuming SCSI is not supported, which is very disappointing.

Remember that ASPI is required by SCSI scanner drivers to communicate with the SCSI card. In XP, ASPI is not present by default, so you must install it. Here's the link for it at the Adaptec site:
http://www.adaptec.com/en-us/support/_eol/scsi_sw/aspi-4.70/

Download and install the version for XP.

However, I still think that the real problem will be with the software that supports the large format scanner features. Given that your CRYSTAL Tx 40 is a $13,900 scanner (and if you have the Crystal Tx 40 Plus, it's $15,900), I'd like to think that Contex would be helpful in getting it to work in W7, especially since XP is no longer supported and represents a security risk. If I were in your shoes, my next action would be to contact Contex and make a lot of noise. :)  Regards, Joe
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rindiCommented:
Just try the Windows paint program. It should be able to use the scanner if it's driver is twain compatible.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I also tried XP mode but the VM is not recognizing the scanner  <-- In addition to Joe's suggestion, and given that you were willing to try XP Mode, consider VMware Workstation and an XP machine. That might work because VMware is more robust than XP Mode.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
The WIDEsystem software has both TWAIN and WIA drivers. The Nextimage software has a TWAIN driver. This is from the Contex support site:
Is there a TWAIN driver for my contex scanner?

A TWAIN driver and WIA driver is incorporated in WIDEsystem scanner driver software. WIDEsystem can be downloaded from this support site.

Nextimage also includes a TWAIN driver.

NOTE: WIDEsystem’s TWAIN and WIA drivers do not support the SD scanner family. For TWAIN with SD scanner use Nextimage TWAIN.
They're incorporated in the WIDEsystem and Nextimage downloads that I posted links for earlier. Regards, Joe
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Joe: I installed ASPI but no scanners were detected.  Is there something else I'm missing?  I also tried to get it working by installing WideSystem for XP.

Thanks,
- Christian
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
As well, I just got a reply back from Hamrick and Cortex scanners are not supported with Vuescan.

- Christian
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> I installed ASPI

You did that in XP, not W7 — right? That ASPI driver is just for XP (which you can then run in W7 as discussed above).

> I just got a reply back from Hamrick and Cortex scanners are not supported with Vuescan.

Yep, no surprise there.

One possibility is a SCSI to USB adapter — W7 will recognize USB. But I don't know if it will work overall. Worth a try, though, considering the cost of the scanner.

Have you contacted Contex?

I'm going offline for the rest of today. I'll check back into the thread tomorrow to see how you're doing. Regards, Joe
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Joe:  Yup, on XP.  They installed no problem and I even checked them using ASPICHK.exe (I believe).  Windows Paint and Windows Scan and Fax do seem to be able to recognize the scanner as it's showing up, but I haven't tried a scan job yet.  My hope would be that a program out there that works for Windows will also see the scanner like Paint and Windows Scan and Fax.  It's too bad Vuescan doesn't work, that would have been a good option.  

- Christian
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rindiCommented:
If you can scan using Windows 7 Paint, it will also work with other software that interfaces to the twain driver, for example there is also a GIMP version that runs under Windows, or a simpler program but still very powerful is IrfanView.

So just do a test-scan with paint to verify it works.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> Windows Paint and Windows Scan and Fax do seem to be able to recognize the scanner as it's showing up

That's good news, but MS software typically supports WIA drivers, not TWAIN (so products like Paint and Windows Fax and Scan are not good ways to test TWAIN drivers). And since WIA uses a standard dialog for all scanners, while TWAIN uses one created by the device manufacturer, you'll likely need TWAIN-based software to leverage the large format features of the Contex scanners (the TWAIN dialog can provide the options/controls specific to the Contex scanners and even custom capabilities that go beyond the TWAIN specs).

> My hope would be that a program out there that works for Windows will also see the scanner like Paint and Windows Scan and Fax.

Virtually all imaging/scanning software packages these days (except MS products) support TWAIN. One free one that you can try is IrfanView, excellent imaging software that I've been using for many years:
http://www.irfanview.com/

The download page provides many links, but I recommend the TUCOWS link to download IrfanView:
http://www.tucows.com/preview/194967

This will download a single install file called <iview438_setup.exe> with no adware and no junk!
And the TUCOWS link for the PlugIns, which are required for PDF support:
http://www.tucows.com/preview/415586

This will download a single install file called <irfanview_plugins_438_setup.exe> with no adware and no junk!

Install IrfanView first, then install the PlugIns.

When you run IrfanView, click the File menu and pick [Select Scan/TWAIN Source...]. If the TWAIN driver for your CRYSTAL Tx 40 is properly installed, you should see it (and WIA) in there. Here's what mine looks like:

IrfanView Select Source
Select the TWAIN driver, click the File menu and pick [Acquire/Batch scanning...]. If it works, you have a proper TWAIN driver installed, which means that virtually any commercial software package will work. Although IrfanView supports PDF with the PlugIns (and multi-page TIFF, even without the PlugIns), you may want to try a commercial (non-free) package with more capability.

What types of documents are you scanning with the CRYSTAL Tx 40?

I just got back online, but it's the wee hours in my neck of the woods, so I won't be checking back into the thread until my morning,several hours from now. Regards, Joe
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Hi Joe;

Thanks!  I installed the plugins for IrfanView, but I haven't done any testing yet.  I have attached what I see when I try to select a source.  Does it look right?

I haven't contacted Contex yet but I will.  They can seismic data in, which I'm assuming needs to be at a good quality.  

Thanks,
- Christian
irfanview-source.JPG
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Christian,

> Does it look right?

Yes! That looks great. It means that it found TWAIN and WIA drivers for your scanner. Of course, it doesn't mean that they'll work, but you should try all three drivers. Click the File menu, click Select Scan/TWAIN Source..., then click each driver, testing one at a time. After selecting a driver, click the File menu and click Acquire/Batch scanning.... Click OK and the driver should run. If it does, you'll see the TWAIN or WIA scanning dialog. For example, here's what one of my TWAIN dialogs looks like:

TWAIN dialog
Fill in the dialog and try to scan. Do any of those three drivers work? Regards, Joe
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rindiCommented:
You can first also just do a "Pre-Scan". That should take far less time and you'll still see the image of the scan.
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Hi Joe,

Sorry for the late reply, I was away for a couple of days.  Here's an update:

1.  Selecting the "Contex WIDEtwain" option doesn't work because every time I try to scan, it comes up with a "Rescan bus?" message.  I'm thinking it can't see the scanner.

2.  Selecting the "Nextimage" option doesn't work because it opens NextImage, but it also doesn't see the scanner.  It just opens NextImage in demo mode.

3.  Selecting the "WIA-Contex CRYSTAL Tx 40+" option works, but it only opens a very basic tool for scanning that only has to select a Color, Grayscale, Black and white picture or Custom Settings.  There doesn't appear to be much that can be done with this option, similar to Windows Scan and Fax option.  

As well, if I can find a program that works better and has more options, it may not have the option to handle the scanned document properly.  I have been told that since some of these seismic documents are very long, they would prefer not to have the scanned document to rewind itself after the scan has been done.  Typically, all scanned documents just automatically feeds itself forward until it is done and just drops to the back of the scanner itself.  It would be quite a mess if the document re-winded itself after it was done getting scanned.  Anything that could be changed for that?

Thanks,
- Christian
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Christian,

1. It's probably because the TWAIN driver doesn't work in W7. Btw, is your W7 32-bit or 64-bit?

2. Also likely because of not having a W7 TWAIN driver. As I noted in an earlier message, Nextimage uses a TWAIN driver.

3. Good news that WIA works, but as I said in a previous post, WIA uses a standard dialog for all scanners, while TWAIN uses one created by the device manufacturer, so you'll likely need TWAIN-based software to leverage the large format features of the Contex scanners (the TWAIN dialog can provide the options/controls specific to the Contex scanners and even custom capabilities that go beyond the TWAIN specs).

> As well, if I can find a program that works better and has more options, it may not have the option to handle the scanned document properly. I have been told that since some of these seismic documents are very long...

Yes, exactly my point. You need software that can handle the large format features of the Contex scanners, which is likely to be only the Contex software, although it's possible that other software could properly leverage the Contex TWAIN driver. But right now, I think that's the key problem — there isn't a W7 TWAIN driver for the CRYSTAL Tx 40.

> Anything that could be changed for that?

Not without the TWAIN driver and scanning software designed to handle that. Regards, Joe
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
At this point, I will return to my earlier point.

Get VMware Workstation (a very robust professional virtualizing application). You can get it on a trial for 30 days. Get a license and CD for Windows XP Pro. Make a virtual machine. Download and install SP 1 then SP 2 then SP 3 and then IE 8.  Now update it (I understand XP updates are still available for machines being rebuilt).

Then try your scanner software in the XP machine.

I do understand that XP is out of support, but safe inside a VM it is fairly safe from risks and so not a serious issue for your business. It should be prepared to make an exception (or standing on principle, approve a new scanner).
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Hi all;

Thanks very much for your help with this.  Since there wasn't a good option for us, we have gone back to management and see if there was an option that would satisfy them and allow these XP workstations to stay.  There is an option now, which is being looked into and hopefully approved.  If we end up going with this option, I will close this request and provide feedback with points.

Thanks again for everyone's help!
- Christian
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If you succeed with management, consider the VMware Workstation, XP Pro virtual machine route. Why? Properly set up and cared for, the virtual machine will last forever (longer than the scanner).

A new machine will be less and less likely to run XP (BIOS, Chipset and drivers). An old XP machine could die at any time.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Christian,
What actually worked from the post that you accepted as the solution? Thanks, Joe
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Christian PalaciosSenior IT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Hi there,

XP mode and Linux options were used.

- Christian
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
OK, thanks for letting us know. I'm guessing you closed this today so you could ask your new question. :)
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