How to Set Up a Scanner in Windows Vista

To set up a new scanner in Windows Vista, just plug it in and turn it on. Windows Vista almost always recognizes and greets them by name. But if Vista doesn’t recognize your particular scanner model, you can use the handy Add Device tool to install your new scanner. With your scanner plugged into the computer and turned on, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button, choose Control Panel, and click Hardware and Sound.

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    The Control Panel’s Hardware and Sound area lists items tethered to most PCs: the mouse, keyboard, scanner, digital camera, and so on.

  2. Click the Scanners and Cameras icon.

    The Scanners and Cameras window appears, listing all the scanners and cameras that Vista currently recognizes on your system.

  3. Click the Add Device button and click Next.

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    Windows brings up its Scanner and Camera Installation wizard.

  4. Choose the manufacturer and model and click Next.

    If you have the installation disk for your scanner, you can just click the Have Disk button to bypass selecting the device on the list.

  5. Type a name for your scanner or camera, click Next, and click Finish.

    If you’ve turned on your camera or scanner and plugged in its cable correctly, Windows should recognize it and place an icon for it in both your Computer area and your Control Panel’s Scanners and Cameras area.

Unfortunately, the installation of older cameras and scanners doesn’t always work this easily. If Windows still doesn’t accept your gear, you can still use the scanner’s bundled software. The scanner should still work — you just won’t be able to use Windows Vista’s built-in software tools to grab its images.

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