Scanner drivers are software programs that tell computers how to run and communicate with a scanner. Installing scanner drivers is an essential step in setting up a working scanner. A scanner is a device used to create a computer image file from a flat source like a piece of paper or photo. Often, popular models of scanners have drivers pre-loaded on some common operating systems. Scanner drivers that are not pre-installed can be installed using the compact disc-read only memory (CD-ROM) driver disk that comes included with a scanner driver purchase package.
A scanner is a device that records an image from paper to a computer file. Common types of scanners include feed scanners, handheld scanners, flatbed scanners, and all-in-one printer-scanner devices. Scanners are often connected to computers via universal serial bus (USB) ports.
If a scanner driver disk is lost or becomes damaged, most scanner manufacturers offer downloadable driver packages online. The manufacturer's website also offers downloadable scanner driver updates, if they are available. Sometimes, when scanner models become exceptionally outdated, a scanner manufacturer may no longer put the software online for download. In these cases, the scanner user will need to contact the scanner manufacturer directly to get the correct scanner drivers for his older scanner.
Each type and model of scanner requires its own driver software to run. Manufacturers often create models with similar model names that require different driver software to run, so a computer user must be careful to get the software driver for his exact model of scanner. Often, if a user cannot get a downloaded scanner driver to run, it is because he has downloaded the scanner driver from an incorrect but misleadingly similar model number
Flatbed scanners and all-in-one scanner-printer devices both use a horizontal glass surface under a hinged cover. A user places the paper against the glass surface, where its image is scanned and fed to the computer. Handheld scanners are more portable than flatbed scanners but often produce a lower-quality image more prone to warping and errors. With a handheld scanner, a user scans the image by slowly dragging the scanner over the desired area.
Feed scanners are a high-speed way of scanning many pages at once. A user operating a feed scanner places a stack of pages in a loading bin or slot called a hopper, from where they are automatically pulled and scanned by the feed scanner. This type of scanner is most often seen in office settings where a large amount of paperwork must be processed into computer files. Feed scanners require scanner drivers or image software capable of handling multiple pages scanned in rapid sequence.