Note that much of this page discusses the 63xx series and its ADF and other accessories, some of which applies to the 5200C and 62xx series.

I corrected the long section "Tips for the HP scanning software provided with the 8250C.:" by revealing the model number.

The model 8250C has a serious limitation in repair ability - getting the ADF apart to get a bit of paper out is near impossible.

HP now label scanners with the model number, making it easier to find support. (What a concept! And it is possible to make that concept the p/n just by adding a dash number.

Regarding the bed size, most scanners that have a letter-size bed are long enough for European A4 paper, which is a bit longer and a bit narrower than the 8.5x11 inch paper standard in Canada and the US.

Quick Addition:
I've observed condensation on the glass of the 6350C scanner.
That won't help scan quality!
Just when you thought I understood everything, reality arose. ;-)

Much information herein is now only of historical value, very few people will have the computer o/s and even hardware interface to run HP's older scanners, and for photographic work other than Internet will want higer resolution.


Tips (general)


Interfaces (drivers)


Automatic Document Feeder

HP Model Summary



Same Old


- Observe all precautions on paper condition and type for ADF use as covered in following sections. (Summmary is no jagged edges or rough punch holes, no binding junk on edge, feed end straight (especially on top and bottom pages), and not too thin or thick (especially if glossy).

- For scanning black & white material containing photos using Precisionscan Pro software you should learn about histograms, as you may need to adjust Highlights in Exposure Adjustment to get a reasonably white background. If the histogram has a strong peak toward the right end try setting Highlights just to the left of the peak. Be careful that text blackness is not compromised too much by that adjustment.

- Similar techniques are available for colour adjustment but take more learning to use well. See References on the main scanner page of this web site.

- Keep in mind that the scanner will see it as it sees it, not as your eye sees the colour and ink density. (For black & white output, it seems that HP scanners/software are quite sensitive to gray, green and blue and under-sensitive to yellow, orange and red.)

- Consider scanning a bit lighter than default brightness to eliminate paper edges and background specks in the image.


You may be able to use later software with earlier scanners (especially if the scanner has interface formats and accessories still covered in the later software - some software includes information files for earlier scanners (probably PrecisionscanPro 2.0x has information for 62xx and 5200 scanners as well as the 63xx it ships with, but later versions may not handle earlier scanners). An HP bulletin for the 5200C scanner advises that HP has a new program to move up to more advanced software for a modest charge. However, I cannot find that on their website. (Pro 2.0xsoftware for the 63xx series does have information within it for several scanner models, and does work with the 5200C. However, the Pro 2.52 software download for the 5370C is half the size of the 2.03 download for the 63xx series.)
Precisionscan Pro 2.01 does not work with the earlier 5100C - gaps occur in the image. (There is a difference in bits of colour between the 5100C and later scanners, perhaps that is the cause.)
Note however that HP has not updated SW for older models to accomodate later o/s, for example not for Windows Vista for the 6350C. But Windows 7 has improved compatibility modes that may help.

PrecisionScan Pro
One installation trap is HP's practice of requiring that the software be installed with the scanner NOT connected. You then shut the computer down, connect the scanner and boot up. (Of course using the good practice of shutting power off to both devices before connecting or disconnecting.)

There may be discrepancies between HP's copy software and Precisionscan/Pro in how they cover the width of the glass. It appears that the copy software images the entire glass area which is approximately 9 inches wide, whereas Precisionscan/Pro does not accept a dimensions definition wider than 8.5 inches. (That seems to be the case even without the ADF installed - Precisionscan/Pro seems to cover only A4, letter and legal sizes).
However, the copy software seems to shrink equally from all sides (whereas some copying machines require corner placement and shrink from the two opposite sides - the scanner has molded instructions to place at the right aft corner, the ADF at the left aft corner (a different side is placed down in the two cases, and the ADF input tray is not aligned to either side of the glass) while the scan software shrinks or expands from the corner.

It appears as though the 5200C and 6350C running with Precisionscan Pro 2.0x and Acrobat 4.05 (Windows 98SE) or 7 (Windows XP) hangs up on occasion, needing power shut off and restarted. You may encounter instances of not scanning as commanded, but Precisionscan Pro is open underneath Acrobat - after closing it you may find the scanner selected is None with no other choice. Closing and restarting everything may result in None shown but a choice of an actual scanner in the pull-down menu. It may be a USB shortcoming, in HP's hardware or software and/or the computer's hardware or software. My unchecked opinion from extensive experience with limited combinations is that the 5200C is less sensitive (different USB hardware) and Windows 98SE less sensitive.

I thought I had experienced that the installation of HP's Precisionscan Pro software fixes it to the ADF or not, so if you remove the ADF for easier handling of single-piece scanning (as the ADF is bulky, heavy and not white), it will not recognize the scanner until you reinstall the software. However, with Precision scan Pro 2.03 software I successfully disconnected the ADf, connected the XPA and enabled it via the selection under Tools, used it, then disconnected it and used the bed to scan, then reinstalled the ADF and used it. That is as it should be.

And reinstallation usually eliminates your custom settings - I have not found the file containing them to save and copy to the new installation.

I have crude notes on installation problems with Precisionscan Pro 2.xx, especially regarding USB problems.

Tips for the HP scanning software provided with the 8250C.:
- Begin installation with scanner NOT connected, installation routine will prompt you to connect it at appropriate time.
- It does not work well with Acrobat 7 (Microsoft WIA interface seems better than TWAIN to pull from Acrobat - fewer defects and convenient image settings), but can produce PDF output files directly.
- The extensive on-scanner controls could conflict with software, for example if trying to scan a slide with the on-scanner control set to B&W.
- Setting up standard image formats, called profiles in this software, is more awkward than with Precisionscan Pro.
- Selecting an area of a Preview is awkward because the software does not display the item in large scale thus moving the selection cursor precisely is difficult. (But check the scaling option, which defaults to 300% yet display is closer to 100%.) It does auto-select one image in a set of transparencies, when you accept that it separates each image area in the strip of slides or negative frames into a separate file - but that does not occur at higher resolutions. !.
- The software is flakey in whether or not it makes cross-hairs available. Two suggestions:
> Sometimes cross-hairs are only available at the bottom right corner of the actual area you want. You can start from there and go all the way to top left.
> You can use the arrow corners of the scan to collapse to the actual area you want.
The software is flakey as to what it selects as probable image, thus determining what options to give you. In one case the actual image was a small photo positionned top left but the software outlined a tall rectangle positionned well away from the left edge. (Also refer to following re transparencies.)
- It seems to have a memory limit when scanning a negative at high resolution, not being able to do the scan, complaining about file size and sometimes hanging (my computer has 1GB of RAM and 1.7GHz CPU, the target area is small - what is the software doing?!). See VueScan on my main scanner page for better software.
- Scan profiles are tricky. You scan a preview, adjust settings, then SaveAs, then check settings in UseProfile|ViewProfile view. (Note that BW threshold does not equate to PrecisionScan Pro 2.xx > here normal exposure is about 180 rather than 110, though I guess that may vary with the lamp installed and its age. Why can't HP provide simple direct editing capability?
- Does offer alternative software for those wanting only TWAIN capability to pull directly into other applications (probably just the TWAIN drivers, given the small file size. (Well, 12MB is "small" these days, especially compared to the 200+ MB size of the full HP "Photo and Image Director" scanning application!)) - The full software also provides a Windows WIA interface, which is handy for a few quick scans into Acrobat, as well as TWAIN interface (which is defective as implemented by HP/Adobe).
- The software includes a copy function resembling the one with Precisionscan Pro (which is a simple capable interface that worked better than the main software). I have not yet tried printing to PDF, which might be simpler and faster than using the scanning software (in Windows, printer choices include some electronic destinations such as a .pdf format file if Acrobat is installed) - may not work because default size for scanning is legal length and the copy function cannot crop the image, only reduce or enlarge.
The manual is inadequate.
- It can only select to 1200dpi but the 8250C is supposed to have much higher resolution. (VueScan from does select 2400dpi and doesn't choke on it. seems to work with bed, ADF (though multi-page is TBD), and transparencies
It seems that a major part of the problem is in the TWAIN driver and/or firmware, perhaps made worse by marginal USB characteristics of HP scanners and some computers. Given the quantity of defects in HP's software and the fundamental nature of some of them I suggest using VueScan with HP's TWAIN-only driver software. You'll still be affected by HP's driver/firmware and USB problems, but the image application software will work better. Overall, I estimate that someone with knowledge of the problems and recovery from them will be only half as productive as they'd be with a better scanner. (For someone not able to cope, or trying to do high resolution colour work with HP's application software, productivity will be zero, or worse due frustration.)

From comments under Examples on my main scanner page you can see that some of HP's primary software lacks needed features and does not have adequate user interface. However HP's copy utility works well and has features not in the primary scanning software. Perhaps it was designed on the other side of a mountain range or ocean from the primary software. :-)


There are three types of interfaces commonly installed under Windows for application software to communicate with the scanner:
- ISIS (older)
- TWAIN (industry standard)
- WIA (Microsoft Windows feature)

Limitations include:
- what the scanner manufacturer provides
- what features the application supports. (The application must be able to change the image acquisition settings to what you want. For example, paper size (though in that simple case if the scan is larger than the paper you may be able to crop afterward). Acrobat seems to lack capability with HP's TWAIN interface.)
- defects in the scanner manufacturer's drivers.

While the glass on HP scanners I've tried is noticeably wider than 8.5 inches, neither HP software nor VueScan produce output covering the extra width. That's a disappointment as sometimes an original is a bit wider and you want to reduce, which most software supports in general. The short-bed scanners do go enough beyond 11 inches long to cover the A4 paper popular in Europe which is longer but narrower. Larger HP scanners have a long bed accommodating at least 14 inches length, which can also be accommodated through the ADF on short-beds. (My experience is with short-bed models 5100C and 5200C, and with long-bed models 62xx series and 82xx series. (See elsewhere herein for similar models.)

For transparencies, which must be backlit to scan well, size varies as described in that section below, usually far smaller than bed size as most photographic work is.


The ADF used on the 63xx and earlier models (except the 6100 which uses a different design) is a Rube Goldberg affair that does not handle paper well. To cope you need to:
- forget wanting to scan glossy paper (but you can scan flimsy non-glossy - with care - and fancy rough-surface paper. (I suspect the combination of friction and stiffness is critical - you'll encounter some paper that just won't feed though it looks normal, even looking identical to other pages of the document, in some cases lacking stiffness (but too stiff won't feed either).
- no tears or folds at top edge, no torn binder holes, edge square
- no thick edge from the binding material of a pad of paper
- ensure pages can't stick together, as may occur if poorly punched or previously bound. You may need to separate each page then re-pile, or even reverse alternate pages and rotate them to normal in the electronic files once scanned.
- ensure paper stack is loose but not sloppy fit in tray and completely inserted (don't maximize stack; watch out for lever not releasing something; if it seems tight investigate - cycling the lever may help); consider leaving a bit of space between left edge of paper and guide to help if paper skews a bit (say 1/16 inch or half a centimetre).
- align the top & left edges of pages in the stack
- pay particular attention to the top and bottom pages in the stack, as they jam more often. (The top page tends to catch if it is not flat, the bottom page may catch due creasing by roller pressure (my theory anyway :-).)
- If ADF stops during paper feed without obvious jam conditions carefully look for bits of paper or adhesive in the path visible by lifting the high part that has the HP logo on it then the upper tray. Run your fingers over surfaces in the feed path, including the fingers on the underside of the top part. Turn moving parts (the large gear on the right will turn the smaller gears in that piece). If trouble persists or is wierd, shut down software and computer - including power to scanner - and restart.
- capacity will be less than the specification (with thin paper the limit is not feeding straight in the output tray thus bunching up and affecting feed of the next sheets)
- Watch for it feeding two sheets at once. When doing double-sided into Acrobat you'll see an anomaly of appearing finished but there is still a sheet in the input tray, or instead of appearing finished it will ask for sheet 1 or the back of sheet 1. (With Adobe Acrobat/ PrecisionscanPro those conditions may hang or crash the software, or make the scanner unavailable. Check if Precisionscan Pro is still open, check if scanner still in menu list, close the software, or restart the computer (after a few cases that may be needed). If doing single sided you'll get no clue - and with double sided there is risk of two sides not fed thus no clue.
However, aside from counting sheets and images you can minimize risk by checking paper condition as covered elsewhere in this section.
- when using the ADF and a pre-determined page size in Precisionscan Pro the ADF on the 63xxC keeps trying to feed paper after it has gone through if the sheet is a half inch shorter than the definition (but works fine if the paper is a few inches shorter!). That does not occur if the same ADF is put on a 5200C using the same software (it seems to be a clever-by-half feature added to the software and only enabled when certain scanners are connected to it).

(My overall comment is that given the many copiers that handle paper quite well, why did HP produce such an inadequate design?)

- it is much noisier using the ADF than without (almost a squeal). Live with it, put a box over it, or build a computer desk into a closet that has a real door made to be an outside door in Winnipeg. :-)

- the background with ADF installed is not white, whether scanning on the bed or through the ADF. On the bed you can put a piece of white poster board over the material on the bed. (I have not yet tried to attach white cardboard to the underside of the ADF.) Thus through the ADF you are out of luck unless the material can be scanned lighter than normal to fade the background. (I have not examined the ADF to see if it is feasible to put glossy white tape opposite the window (paper might snag it).)

- in some cases the left margin through the ADF is cropped (may vary with specific model and vintage of scanner and ADF).

-in the ADF the paper passes across a clear plastic window and scratches it. The replacement is about C$10. from HP but I am concerned they may stop selling it, so I am trying to salvage old ones. I've tried Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound as recomended by some acrylic fabricators, but it is too harsh (the seller told me that Polishing Compound is coarser so that is not an option). Novus No. 2 fine scratch remover works better for me, and another user recommends it. Gently wash the window first to eliminate dust particles that could scratch, and use a soft absorbent cloth not a paper product.

The ADF on the 74xx series has a few changes from the old design:
- no large diameter rubber roller on far left (perhaps to reduce paper skewing; pressure from that roller on the older ADF is high; however if centered rollers are not spaced widely apart skew will still happen to some degree - see my notes on the ADF for the 8250C)
- no paper presence manual lever (I don't know how it works)
- styling which makes harder to open the top cover to clear jam - may have white bottom instead of gray so that when scanning from the bed the area outside the object is less gray
- output tray appears higher, which could help avoid the bunching up problem that can limit capacity (input tray does not seem to have much more if any capacity).

Newer models have sideways orientation of the ADF. There appear to be two versions:
- one still having the plastic window in the ADF, but looks generally like the later one described following herein. Used on 7650C.
- the one on the 8250C has a glass window in the bed. Visually, the main housing is further to the left on the scanner than the earlier sideways model. It is a completely different design than the one on the 62xx, 63xx, and 74xx models. It is much simpler. Quite fast (15 and 25 ppm versions), quiet. The input tray is light construction and cantilevered so will get damaged. Hint: the obscurely labelled slide switch should be to the left for duplex scanning (the left icon is somewhat fuller). Do keep the paper guides adjusted, and recognize that bent or jagged-edge paper catching other sheets may result in pileup in output tray which may create a jam as the next sheet will not exit the feeder mechanism. (As well I often see paper failing to fully exit - that may be a firmware/software problem, as normally the paper stops moving while software processes then is ejected.) Note there is a roller+pad kit for this ADF, from HP's web site. Paper does tend to skew, as with one center roller there is little to force it straight (2 rollers would be better for paper close to normal sizes - with the focus on skew that HP should have had from the 63xx experience why did they get it wrong here? didn't they test it?), though you should adjust the paper guides. One handy feature is it auto-detects presence of material, so you never trip over forgetting to move the lever or vice versa if needing to switch between ADF and bed.
(I presume the 8350C uses the same design as the 8250C, judging from photographs.)

Prior to trying the new design on the 8250C, my advice was that if you have much work to put through an ADF you should consider a more costly unit of a different brand. Initial experience with the 8250C is positive, but HP's software is worse than earlier versions - if your originals are simple you may be able to use the basic TWAIN interface that HP now provide as an alternative to their full scanning software.


HP Scanner Features

Here I list models in 5xxx and later series, especially those capable of automated sheet feeding or backlighting transparencies.
In addition to these notes, I have a list of model and part numbers as well as descriptions of various ADF models. (It's rough but no-charge. :-)

A general caution is that HP scanners are limited to originals of 8.5" width, which can be limiting. (Many models handle up to 14" long, facilitating modest reduction of long originals. The ADF may default to 14" even on a scanner whose bed is shorter.)

(In general for the more capable models with options like ADF:
- the yy00C has a plain lid (perhaps with transparency backlight function)
- the yy50C has ADF
- the yy70C has transparency adapter
- the yy90C has ADF plus a SCSI interface card in the box (larger middle-vintage models like the 62xx, 63xx series and some old models have SCSI interface, plus USB on some, later models like the 82xx series only USB, smaller middle vintage models usually have parallel interface and perhaps USB.
Unfortunately only newer HP scanners have the marketing model number on the scanner, most have only the part number (so you have to search HP's web site to find documents that will tell you the model number which much support information is keyed to).
Software and lesser accessories may vary with bundle (identified by marketing model number suffixes like "csi"), bundles may vary with country of primary market, and models with more accessories/features probably have better imaging software in the box).

- 5P is immediate predecessor of 5100C, same features but SCSI interface.

- The 44xxC has a backlit transparency adapter and ADF, different from most of the 5xxx series but looking like the 54xx. HP Image Zone software version 4.x.

- 5xxxC series are typically short bed, parallel interface plus USB on most, can use an ADF, have one or more buttons on front.
> 5100C is 30-bit, 300dpi, fast-on Xenon lamp, SCSI to parallel converter internal, firmware does not support Precisionscan Pro software thus not ADF.
> 5200C is 36-bit, 600 dpi, USB interface addition to parallel, can use the ADF from the 62xx/63xx series
> 5300C is 36-bit, 1200 dpi, USB interface addition to parallel. Version 3 of Precisionscan software (Windows) or version 1 of PrecisionscanPro (Mac). (5370C may come with Pro version of Precisionscan Pro & supports backlit transparency adapter. The 53xx series is later vintage than 62xx & 63xx, but may be able to use the same ADF.
> 54xxC is related to the 44xx series not the 53xx (uses same backlit transparency adapter, and uses different ADF than 5200, 62xx, 63xx and 74xx). End-controls layout. The 54xxC has Precisionscan Pro version 3.xx.
> The 5500C has an ADF for photos, with air motion used to reduce risk of scratching the photo. (End-control layout.)
> The 5590C has a side-control layout looking much like the 8250C, but longer ADF top housing and a separate TMA of the XPA layout I describe later as used with the 44xx and 54xx series rather than the integrated TMA the 8250C uses. HP Photo Imaging Software and a separate TWAIN driver file are available.

- The 6xxx series typically have long bed and SCSI interface plus USB on most.
> The 6100 is an old design, closer to Scanjet 3 or 4 series vintage, not USB. Its ADF is side-feed, 14 inch wide paper capability to match the bed, of different roller design than the later front-feed ADF. (I do not know if its software can handle 11x17 inch paper, it does have the width but I don't know if it chops off.) The same ADF may be used on some earlier scanners, while other earlier scanners have yet another design - a small simple front-feed one ("earlier" models are II, 2, 3 or 4 series, some handling legal paper some only A4/letter size).
> The 62xx and 63xx scanners have USB basic interface plus SCSI, with Pro Version of Precisionscan software. 62xx is 600 dpi, 63xx is 1200 dpi.
They may have new image processing hardware compared to the 5200C. Different sub-models have different accessories including SCSI interface kit, ADF, and transparency adapter (see later section for description of two very different types of adapter). They and scanners of same or later vintage seem to have a less robust USB interface thus some risk of occasional problems with computers whose USB interface is also not of the design quality it should be.

- The 74xx series has long bed, larger capacity ADF, 2400 dpi, and other features beyond the 63xx series it seems derived from. The ADF seems to have a few improvements to the same poor design, such as eliminating a feed roller on the left (the older ones tend to skew paper due uneven feed - perhaps that will help a bit). Apparently money was available to pay for new molds but not for fundamental improvements. Probably uses Precisionscan Pro version 3.xx software.

- The 7650C has a side-control layout looking much like the 8250C but with longer ADF housing and still with plastic window, appearing much like the 5590C. Both TWAIN and "HP Image Zone" software are available.

The 7800 and N6010 are ADF-only scanners (plus a business-card slot), relatively compact with end of paper facing user, relatively low resolution, with extra software to improve OCR, and with ISIS and TWAIN drivers. Appear to be for volume scanning and OCR of documents at modest resolution.

- The 82xx series is a new design, which sits sideways compared to the 5xxx, 6xxx, and 7xxx models (user faces long edge which has the controls). See information below on its ADF and built-in transparency function. It is much bulkier than many recent models from HP, but is high performance.
Comes with software of a different name than the 63xx series, looking different but clearly based on it with the same defects. Significant improvements in utility such as ability to save current settings as default for a button on the scanner and ability to push successive scans into the same document (since parsing in Acrobat is much faster than re-selecting image parameters). But has some of the same defects & shortcomings as earlier Precisionscan Pro plus more of its own. In general it requires too many steps & different windows to do simple things. It chokes on high resolution colour and cannot use the full resolution of the scanner, Hamrick's VueScan software does better.
See Software above for more details.
It is quiet while actually scanning, but noisy as the scanner head returns to rest position (a buzz sound, more tolerable than the squeal of the 6350C's ADF).
The ADF has a tendency to not discharge the paper fully, which is a jam - I don't know if that is related to slippage in feeding or is a firmware/software problem (I've had it occur with both HP and Hamrick software, which AFAIK use the same basic HP driver). Sometimes the feed roller stays in the down position - pushing the paper under it seems to work.
I've seen some of the same behaviours involving the 8250's ADF with VueScan as I did with the 6250C and HP PrecisionScan Pro 2.03, I suspect the TWAIN driver and/or scanner firmware is defective, probably produced by the same people.
Sometimes the exposure does not change when commanded by VueScan, cycling scanner power clears the problem (using driver-only HP software or Windows drivers). Jams are bad if software does not save the already-scanned images, as VueScan does not.
It also comes with basic photo editing software from HP, apparently with the notion that you'll buy upgrades which is unlikely due effort needed to purchase (so basic it cannot even change resolution of an image file). Given the deteriorting quality of HP software development I suggest looking for a good alternative, but not Photoshop Elements which I found very clunky and lacking capability. (I use VuePrint from http:/, which is more reliable but also has a learning curve.)

But "good news!", someone smartened up - after years of producing ADFs with gray underside rather than the white of the normal lid, the 8250C's ADF has a white panel. Finally you can avoid using a white piece of cardboard if scanning objects smaller than the glass area - if you buy the new scanner, of course (hey, it is 4800 dpi optical which you really need for photos, right?). ;-). (Bad news is that with the rigid white sheet covering the heavy lid it does not push creased paper down onto the glass because the sheet does not fit down into the recess of the glass area, whereas the plain lid on 6xxx series has foam behind a slightly flexible white sheet.)

As well, the 8250C has a separate glass window in the bed, for the ADF function, so the white background over the bed is uninterrupted.

Good news is that the model number is on the scanner, reducing past confusion (HP used marketing model such as 6250C but the different number series Cxxxx were marked on the scanners (except 6200C would be on the plain lid - but you don't get that with the models that include ADF). The 8200C has a lid with TMA function in it, the 8250C has ADF with TMA function, and the 8290C has ADF with TMA plus a SCSI card to put in the computer.

- The 83xx looks different than the 82xx, more boxy and slightly larger, with similar features and general layout. I have not yet seen it in person.

- and innovative newer designs such as tilted-up and glass-cover concepts that may better suit some users. (A glass cover would sure help check that flimsy originals stay straight, as closing the cover often skews them.)


- Automatic Document Feeder
> The C5195 should fit all 51xxx, 52xxx and 53xxx and all 6xxx scanners except the 6100C. (I am not completely sure if the A and B suffix denotes only color of the plastic and shorter lever or also internal changes. This ADF handles legal-length paper even though the base scanners do not and its bottom is sized to them - its image is always legal length even with letter paper (Pro software has a work-around). Rated at 25 pages, capacity will be less with fancy papers.
When used with the 5200C and earlier scanners it does not support multiple-page TIF files in Kodak Imaging (Windows 9x) nor double-sided merging into Adobe Acrobat 4.05 - those are supported by the HP scanning software provided with later/fancier models, which also works with the 5200.
> The 5590C's ADF uses only center rollers (two in tandem, appears to be the same inadequate design as the 8250C uses). Its scan window in the bed is in the normal bed area and the window for the ADF is a piece of clear plastic sheet thus will get scratched but perhaps not as easily as the design used on the 6350, with a white piece of plastic behind it to almost match the white of the underside (i.e. the paper feeds between the clear and white pieces of plastic).
> The 8250C and some multi-purpose printers feed sideways to the user (but short edge of paper), use only center rollers, two in tandem. Seems much simpler, works reasonably well for me though skews paper sometimes (keep the paper guides adjusted) - until something goes wrong. Then you need a technician to fix it. Even removing bits of torn paper is more difficult than with the C5195, because you cannot open it up - you have to remove the feeder assembly from the scanner lid, but cannot see all the possible areas where paper chunks could hide, and you will have difficulty reinstalling it (the three tabs must go under the gray plastic at the bottom, also be careful not to disturb the Rube Goldgerg paper stop mechanism at the top). At the price of technician time these days this is almost a throw-away scanner - a several hundred dollar throw-away!
Its design seems to depend on the adjustable paper guides to correct some skew but that only reduces probability of jamming - the image will have significant skew. I'd prefer two rollers each about 2 inches from center (which are used at the output, though often the sheet does not feed fully free thus double-sided is not practical). Note there is a roller + pad replacement kit, but HP do not provide detail of whether it is a wear replacement part or an improved part - perhaps the latter as it is highlighted not just in detail parts listing, but purchasing it would be throwing good money on a bad scanner design.)
Its paper window is different, with a separate glass window on the bed.
Quoted speeds of 15 or 25 pages/minute, depending on version. (Supports USB2. The 8250C is fast - in contrast the 6250C is realistically only a few pages per minute even with a fast computer running Windows XP.)
The switch on the ADF is single-sided versus two-sided ("duplex", switch in the left position). On the one I have, duplex does not feed properly so is unuseable. (This ADF in general has a problem with not ejecting the paper from the last part of the mechanism - it might be caused by slippage in feeding the paper, I don't know, but it makes duplex unuseable.)
The paper input tray is at risk of damage - light and cantilevered, unlike earlier models. Capacity claimed to be 50 pages, as with earlier models that may be optimistic though the feed mechanism design was limiting on earlier models, and is prone to jams if paper being fed contacts sheets in the out tray or two sheets are fed at one. (It may be easier to remove a jam by pulling the jammed sheets backwards. If small bits of torn paper are unreachable you could risk running a new sheet of good paper through.) As well, I find the dual-sided mode to be prone to jams.
It is quiet, but see description of 8250C re the noise from the scanner head returning to rest position.
Overall, another HP design that falls short of user needs for reliable performance, looking like a bureaucracy designed it including running scared of previous designs and cheaping some aspects - they have great difficulty getting it all together.
> The 54xxC has a different ADF than the 6350C & 7450C, but I don't have information on it.
> The 7800 and N6010 have a fully integrated ADF, no ability to scan otherwise except a business card slot which I have not seen up close.

- Slide/Transparency Adapters
I've seen four ways of handling transparencies for HP scanners:
> flat holders, using scanner's light reflected off the transparency.
> triangular box, to backlight the slide using scanner's light reflected in the box (AFAIK the front lighting of the slide is not turned off - one user known to me reports poor results; came with 6350C).
> backlit using power from an extra connection to the scanner (referred to as the "XPA" adapter).
> backlit design built into the lid (TMA)
Backlighting is the only method that will work reasonably well, which is of course how transparencies are intended to be used, the others will suffer from reflections off the surface of the slide or weak performance.

I understand there are two versions of what HP call the "XPA": - C7671B, supported by the 53xx, 62xx, 63xx and 74xx scanners. DIN style round connector. It is square and much larger than needed for standard slides, but not large enough to cover all images on many 35mm negative strips in one pass (masks are provided to adapt to different media, one or two negative strips and one to four slides, with a large mask covering the rest of the bed though it appears to scan to the XPA size when the XPA is enabled).
It is a fiddling bother of masks and putting the XPA unit in place on top of the media, in contrast to the newer 8250C design described later herein. Precision scan Pro 2.03 software has a selection under Tools to use the XPA when connected, which facilitates using it and the lid alternately without reinstalling the software, but only scans the transparency as-is (no making a positive image from a colour negative - though oddly it has an Invert option for B&W/Grayscale).
- C9861A, supported by the 44xx and 54xx scanners. D-sub 9 contact connector. A long unit that Sits on the glass with a central spine and thin wings.
(There may be a third version for the 55xx scanners, perhaps using a small connector but looking like the C9861A.)
- the 82xxC scanner has a backlit transparency function, called TMA, built into the underside of the lid or ADF, with a white cover snapped in place for normal scanning from the bed. It handles slides or 35mm film only, which slide into grooves, and has pieces of plastic that slide in or out to change format and fill the gap left by short film strips or fewer than three slides. The backlight has a separate window for the scanner to calibrate to the back lighting. Much easier to use, with much better software capability, than the XPA accessory and Precisionscan Pro 2.0x software of the 63xxC scanners. However, you'll want better software such as VueScan because HP's software does not use the full resolution of the scanner.

An off-the-wall thought for large transparencies:
One HP model has a clear lid to verify placement of the original. Could a slim backlight unit, such as sold for photographic negative viewing, be placed on that clear lid? (Most desirably somehow turning the internal light off.)
Keep in mind that the transparency adapters are manual methods, whereas the paper sheet feeder, the multiple-photo feeder of the 5500C, and batch transparency feeders as on the Nikon 9000, are automated thus much faster.

Note that film negatives require image inversion and colour correction, which some software provides (early experience is that the 8250C's software inverts the image to positive automatically, so your file is the image you really want, whereas that for the 6350C cannot). (Some software such as VueScan also has settings to compensate for fading typical of specific film types, and corrections for different lighting.)

- Power Cord
The AC power cord used with 5100, 5200, 62xx and 63xx scanners has a C7 end configuration, an IEC designation - I call it "figure 8" (oval shape, notched sides, 2-pin).
Later models often use a power brick, unfortunately as that can get lost.


The HP5100, 5200 and 63xx series can be opened fairly easily to clean the underside of the bed glass. (62xx may resemble one of those models.) Later models need a small Torx screw driver whereas earlier use Phillips. On the 63xx series two of the screws are hidden under cosmetic oval covers that can be carefully removed by putting a small nail or large paper clip into the little hole in the cover. (If you are not careful enough the retaining tabs may be damaged. I suggest tipping your chosen removal tool toward the further away end of the cover to release the closer end then moving the cover toward that end to release the other tab, to minimize bending of the tab. Of course loss of the tab is a minor loss as the cover is a cosmetic piece.) First, though, clean the top side of the glass - you may fool yourself as to where the hazy looking dirt is.
The basic structure of the 82xx series can also be opened but it appears to be a more time-consuming task, however for most people the ADF is non-repairable given the cost of technician time and the amount of effort required.

The narrow plastic window in HP's ADF used on the 62xx, 63xx, and some 52xx models will need replacement due abrasion by paper, or polishing as detailed in the ADF section of this page. Some other models also use plastic windows in the ADF, whereas later models I've seen use a separate piece of glass in the bed off of the end of the main glass.


A review of the HP 5550C scanner, which has an innovative air-protection ADF for photos as well as a normal bed, identifies problems much like those I detail on much earlier models:
- underside of lid is not white, so every photo scan must be cropped (apparently even those made from the ADF which is much smaller than the bed).
- awkward software functions (the reviewer says it "violates a number of standard software conventions").
- noisy
The Computer Paper 2003,

Apparently HP do not learn.
Ms. Fiorina or her latest successor is welcome to call me to obtain consulting advice, for a fee. :-)

(But I'll give her a clue. Consider the amazing revelation of Mike McAvoy, HP Canada: "Our research shows that people get frustrated when they don't get clear knowledgeable answers." (Quoted in an article by Steve Makris of CanWest News Service as printed in the Times Colonist of January 23, 2004, in the context of digital cameras. "research" is needed to learn that? I'm reminded of the point made by the author of the famous management book "The Goal": "It isn't about manufacturing, it's about common sense." :-0)

Well, perhaps they learn slowly.
The new scanner with controls on a long side, ADF feeds from the end, has a single roller in the centre with adjustable guides to facilitate scanning small pieces of paper. (That may have been why the old design had a roller on the left.) As well, it has an attempt at providing a white background when the scanner lid is in place (the white background is behind a glossy clear sheet which will reflect some light).
And some newer scanner models are innovative - for example, one that stands on edge at an angle and has a clear lid. May or may not be practical but it is thinking out of the box. (Both it and the side-controlled model will take up less space on the desk and be easier to reach.)

Copyright Keith Sketchley, page version 2012.04.26

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