I’m trying to figure out whether my scanner problem is hardware or software, and if it’s hardware what steps to take next.
I have an Epson Perfection 4490 Photo flatbed scanner, which is maybe 10 years old. Last summer I moved from a 2010 27" iMac to a Mac Studio M1 Max. Since that time, my ability to connect to and use the scanner has been intermittent at best. From Image Capture I either get “Failed to open a connection to the device” or “Overview scan timed out”. (Often this causes the light on the front of the scanner to start flashing slowly rather than staying on.) I’ve also gotten “Scanner reported an error”.
For a while I could usually get it to work via some incantation of turning the scanner on/off, disconnecting/reconnecting it, and rebooting the computer. But lately it seems to be consistently failing.
When I got the new computer, I initially attached the scanner via a new USB-B to USB-C cable. After I encountered problems, I switched back to the old USB-B to USB-A cable I’d used before with a USB-A-to-USB-C adapter, but that made no difference.
I downloaded the latest Epson “ICA Scanner Driver v5.8.12 for Image Capture”, dated October 2022, and that did not resolve the problem. I’m running the current version of Ventura.
I tried to use the trial version of VueScan, but it encountered the same problems. My assumption is that whatever’s not working is at a system/driver level such that the problem will occur regardless of which application I’m trying to use.
So my first question is: Does this seem like a problem that would resolve itself with the purchase of a new scanner? My concern is that it sounds as if no one is putting any actual effort into flatbed scanner development, and that a “new” scanner is apt to be indistinguishable from an older model. If a new scanner is unlikely to fix things, are there any additional incantations or rituals that might straighten things out with the current device?
If a new scanner is the way to go, my next question would be which direction to go for a replacement. I definitely need a flatbed scanner; I collect Boy Scout patches and related memorabilia, and my primary use case is to scan patches, so I can’t really substitute phone photos. (The scanner helps with
(For documents, these days I use a Doxie scanner which is absolutely great. I used to do documents on the flatbed as well but I got the Doxie for convenience and speed.)
I know at the low end there are a lot of all-in-ones. I have a perfectly fine printer and would prefer a stand-alone scanner, but if the best option is the scanner part of an all-in-one I could probably live with that. I would love it if there were a good flatbed that could handle legal size or (even better) large-format, but my impression is that everything with that capability is priced for business ($1500+). But within the consumer market I’m more concerned with quality, convenience, and reliability than with price.
Any thoughts or suggestions?