5 Questions to Ask if Your Scanner or Microfilm Machine is Broken

Are there any IT Crowd fans out there? Anyone who works with computers for a living will definitely appreciate the show’s ultra-nerdy tech humor! The two main characters work as IT employees in the basement of a corporate business, and as a running joke throughout the series, the first thing they always ask customers is, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

I immediately thought of the show  while talking with one of our technicians here at Imaging Systems this afternoon. I asked him what would be the first thing somebody should do if their computer or office machine isn’t working properly. He replied, very assuredly, “They should try turning it off and on again.” Luckily he’s also a fan of the show, so when I started laughing there wasn’t any awkward what’s-wrong-with-you silence on his part.

But seriously, how often has simply turning something on and off again fixed a technical issue? I’ll raise my hand without shame — I was an English major in college, so without a doubt I belong to the percentage of customers that IT people make witty jokes about over beers at the local pub. You know who you are!  For those of you having problems with your at home or office scanners/microfilm machines,  who are also like me and electronics continue to baffle them, fear no more! The Imaging System technicians have combined their knowledgeable brains and created some handy dandy questions to ask yourselves before kicking the machine square in the caboose:

    Scanner Machine:

  1. Have you unplugged the scanner yet and plugged it back in? Try this: unplug the machine, count to 15, and then plug it back in.
  2. Does the scanner offer an error message? If so, try searching for the error message online — more often than not there will be a public forum with answers on how to fix that particular error.
  3.  Restart the computer your scanner is hooked up to. Yes, turning it off and on again (had to throw that in there).
  4. Are the scanned images cloudy or do you see lines running up and down the paper? This may mean the scanner glass needs to be cleaned. Our technicians recommend using alcohol on cotton balls to clean the glass.
  5. Does the printer that your scanner uses spit out paper or constantly jam? Either of these signs might indicate that the printer rollers need to be taken out and cleaned thoroughly.

     Microfilm Machine:

  1.  Same as above, have you unplugged the machine and plugged it back in? Try this: unplug the machine, count to 15, and then plug it back in.
  2. Are the microfilm bulb(s) plugged/twisted in all the way? Sometimes they can become loose!
  3. Is the microfilm lens seated properly? Similar to the lamps, lenses can easily become loose or tilted.
  4. Do the images look cloudy? Do you see lines or fuzzy dots? These may be indications that the microfilm mirrors need to be cleaned. Make sure to also check that the lens is in focus.
  5. Do the images look too dark? You may need to replace the bulbs.

Hope these questions help to bring your machine back to working shape! For all other questions please feel free to contact our tech support team: 1-800-830-9934

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