IT’S GEEK FOR ME: Scanner error annoys

Question: When I scan a document, I cannot have it sent to a file on my desktop computer’s hard drive (I indicate a preferred destination). I get a message saying “Epson PDF Plug-in Unable to write to file”. But I can send it to my external hard drive and then copy the file from the external hard drive to the internal drive on my desktop.

It is a nuisance that I would like to resolve. On the plus side, I end up having a backup file of whatever I have scanned.

I look forward to your column every Saturday and appreciate your thoughtful responses to the queries submitted.

Doug B.

Niceville, Florida

Reply: Thanks for the kind words, Doug. I have to tell you that I almost skipped your question in my queue, as I have no direct experience with Epson scanners. Reading my answer, I think you will also find that there were a few key pieces of information missing from your question and these are part of the solution I suggested. Finally, before I address your issue, I would like to congratulate you on being the record holder for the longest and most detailed entry I have ever received in response to the “Describe your computer” portion of the form. of contact. I’m assuming software provided you with at least some of that. It was much more comprehensive than I needed, but I’d rather have too much information than not enough.

For readers who haven’t used document scanners, what Doug has is a device that takes an image of a document, much like a copier. However, instead of printing a copy directly, he sends the scan to his computer. These devices can be connected either directly to the computer (for example via USB) or connected to the home network on which the computer resides. The file is supposed to be saved locally on the computer’s hard drive, but Doug receives a message that for some reason the software that drives the scanner is unable to save.

So in my attempt to formulate an answer for you, Doug, I naturally turned to this omniscient police of all human knowledge commonly referred to as Google. Longtime readers of the column know that I’m the only holder of Geekudon’s coveted black belt in the dark art of Google-Fu, so that’s kind of my bag.

Now, you mentioned that you “specify a preferred destination” for the Epson software to save the scans. I interpret this to mean that you have specified a folder on your PC other than “My Scans”, which would be the default location for Windows. One thing that might cause the error you receive is if this folder does not exist. So make sure that the folder path you gave Epson exists, keeping in mind that the folder names may be very similar.

Assuming the path is valid and exists as specified, the next things to check are the files that already exist in this folder. The Epson software sets a default file name pattern for naming scan files. He uses this pattern to create unique names by appending a number to them. A common pattern can be “Scan” which gives file names such as “Scan001” (plus an extension such as .pdf or .jpg). Filenames in Windows must be unique, so for each new file created, the number added is incremented by 1. Using this scheme, you do not need to specify a unique filename for each scan – one is created for you.

What I learned from my google search is that when the maximum added number that the Epson software can use is 999. When the number reaches 1000, the software fails to save the file. The result is the error message you get. Reset the number to 001 or change the base file name, and you should be ready for another 1,000 scans.

I bet the above is the solution to your problem, but in case it doesn’t, other possible solutions I’ve read include making sure your driver software is up to the latest. version, as vendors often correct such deficiencies after material is released. Another user said the issue was caused by their antivirus software. His problem started when he upgraded to the free version of PC Tools Antivirus. He found that temporarily shutting down the anti-virus software while scanning allowed the scan to complete successfully. Hopefully, you too will do well with these possible fixes. Good luck.

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