It’s not just the software that stops working! – Windows & IEEE1394 (Firewire)
Most individuals and organizations are now running a Windows 10 based operating system on their workstations and the first release of Windows 11 is due next month – although I have previously written about the risks of early adoption. There are some though who have still failed to make the leap from Windows 7 or even (hush now) XP! (Check out the stats from March this year).
Almost without exception, the software products PacSol supply and support to service the document / content / business process needs of our clients are fully compliant and functional on Windows 10 – potentially after an update to the latest version – nevertheless fully supported. For the trusty scanner that has been supplying crisp and legible images for the last n years, Windows 10 could be a step too far…
Officially Windows 10 no longer supports IEEE 1394 devices, in fact they have been deprecating support since Windows 8.1 for the connection protocol. The IEEE1394 protocol (or Firewire) appeared around the same time as the first USB connectors but Firewire was substantially faster than USB 1.0 and even the later USB 2.0, however, with the ratification of the USB 3.0 format in 2008 and its far lower cost to implement with faster / greater data transfer rate, Firewire’s fate was effectively sealed.
In reality this means there are many older scanners running today attached to Windows 7 workstations via the IEEE 1394 connector that are simply no longer supported natively in the newer Windows versions or even supported by manufacturers on these later versions. Of course there is a workaround (there usually is) where users have installed the legacy drivers on the newer operating systems but this configuration is simply not supported with applications such as Kofax’s Virtual Rescan. Unfortunately, if your current scanner is using IEEE1394 to connect, it will simply need replacing when moving to Windows 10 or beyond.
But it is not all doom and gloom, modern scanners are more affordable than ever thanks mainly to improved (reduced) manufacturing costs and even the basic models these days boast very impressive specifications for even the most modest of scanning tasks.
If you are working towards upgrading your scanning workstation(s) to Windows 10 and either know your scanner is using IEEE1934 (Firewire) or are unsure, please get in contact with PacSol support who will be able to verify the scanner type then suggest (and quote) for a suitable replacement. Of course, most new scanners are backwards compatible so why wait? Make use of a newer scanner’s faster processing, clearer imaging and improved reliability now – at least you’ll have one less item to consider when you switch to Windows 10.
Toby Gilbertson, Customer Services Manager. September 2021.
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