How to Repair a Flatbed Scanner

by Felicia Blue

Flatbed scanners are lifesavers to many businesses and individuals. They not only enable you to scan documents and fax them, but you can also scan photos and share them with family and friends. The great thing about scanners is that they rarely malfunction and don't need much maintenance.

When scanners cause problems, it's usually because of a bad cable or the scanner's software. Therefore, when you're experiencing problems with the scanner, determine if it's the hardware. If not, find out if it's the software or your computer system.

Verify the scanner's power and cable connections. Make sure the scanner's power cord is plugged in. Verify that the USB cable is securely connected to the computer and scanner. Your power light should be on.

Perform a self-test on your scanner. Check your scanner manufacturer's manual to see if your scanner has a self-test mode. If so, run it. Find out if the scanner came with diagnostic utilities software. Run this software if you have it.

Check for software updates. Visit your scanner manufacturer's website to see if it has a new patch or updated device driver. Download the new version and follow the manufacturer's instructions for installing the new update.

Verify your scanner is not consuming all of your resources. Exit out of all your applications while you're scanning documents or photos. If your system continues to act sluggish, consider installing additional RAM (random access memory)in your computer. Check to make sure that you have a lot of hard drive space.

Close your antivirus application. Exit out of your antivirus application to see if your system operates faster. If your PC runs smoother, you must make sure your antivirus software is compatible with your scanner software. Visit your anitvirus software company's website to see if you can download a patch or device driver to resolve this problem.


  • close Keep your scanner clean and free from dust. Clean the scanner's glass bed with a soft cloth and glass cleaner.

Items you will need

About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Felicia Blue has been writing articles since 1992. Her articles have been featured in the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper, “Crain’s Cleveland Business” magazine and “Destiny” magazine. She has also written for IBM, Sun Microsystems and HP. Blue holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from University of California, Los Angeles.

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