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by Ray DeCosta

Q. I have an old scanner which I don't use much but occasionally it's a must-have item. I really don't want to buy a new one but I'm afraid it won't work on Windows 10. What can I do?

A. Scanners seem to be the most difficult hardware to get working properly on a new Operating System. The manufacturers want you to buy new equipment so they do not rush to revise their drivers which basically connect your hardware to your computer's software.

While "new" drivers are sometimes available on third-party sites, many of them are buggy and often contain malware which will infect your computer. You are advised to NOT use third-party sites unless you're willing to take a very big chance.

If you currently have Windows 7 or 8.1 on your computer and you haven't been told by the Windows Compatibility Checker that there's a problem with your scanner, the chances are excellent that it will work as expected in Windows 10. If it doesn't pass the compatibility check, you should try the method discussed below for older computers.

Go to the manufacture's website and download the scanner's driver for the most recent Operating System available (XP, Vista, Windows 7, etc.) and install it on your Windows 7 or 8.1 computer. Then find the executable file for your scanner's program. This will likely be in the scanner's folder in the Program Files (x86) folder and will have an EXE extension. Right-click on the EXE file and go to Properties and then the Compatibility tab. Check the box at "Run this program in compatibility mode" and select the Operating System for the driver that you have downloaded. Then run the scanner's program and see what happens. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Published: Courier 8/15/15 - Page 7A