[if you are looking for the solution to the problem jump to the bottom of the article]
We recently purchased what looked like a pretty decent scanner for our company. It had all the features we wanted without having to splash out on the expense of a full blown photocopier multi-function device. The HP Scanjet 5590 ticks all the right boxes, colour, ADF, TMA, Duplex, Copier etc. You can take a look at it on HP’s website.
A lesson in finding the right type of support
It arrived, looked sturdy enough, and so I began install the software on the PC that was going to control it, a decent enough XP desktop PC that easily meet all the system requirements. However the software wouldn’t install properly. I uninstalled and reinstalled it at least 3 times, each with varying degrees of success. Sometimes just the TWAIN driver would install, other times the software loaded but crashed. I decided to give it a go on a spare laptop we had lying around and thankfully it installed without a hitch, or so I thought. I put it in the correct location in the main office and gave the “Copy” button a press on the front of the scanner. Now, this should just scan the document and print it out on the user’s default printer. Unfortunately it didn’t. In fact none of the buttons worked. After the problems I had on the first PC I was beginning to despair. Turning to my faithful servant, Google, I began searching to see if this was a common fault. As usual Google threw up numerous results to the badly monitored HP forums, as well as other sites. The problem seemed common enough but the answer was nowhere to be seen. So the next stage was the official HP support pages for the scanner. It turned out I had all the latest drivers, there where no relevant patches and the support articles where all irrelevant. It was time to bite the bullet and launch an online help request from HP. I say bite the bullet because, in previous experience, you get someone with a script in an offshore call center treating you like you’re a 500 year old invalid who has never touched a computer before, when all you really want is to talk to a like-minded techie who can point you in the right direction of the solution. The “chat” takes place online in a chatroom/IM style way. I’m posting the transcript below with my comments as it was possibly the most frustrating time spent