Epson Perfection 1650 scanner and Windows XP Limited User account

“We tried scanning and all that happened was the lamp moved back and forth…. Nothing else happened.” That was the description I had and the request to see why the scanner was broken. It hadn’t been long since the Epson scanner had been hooked up to a new XP Pro system. The machine sees quite a bit of public use so we had thought it would be best to divide accounts into Visitor which is an unpriviliged user and another account for the ability to work with software that was not as cooperative in an unpriviliged account.

Of course when I got there I wasn’t really thinking about priviliged and non-priviliged accounts because there have been some fun incidents with the scanner before. One morning every available cable had been unplugged, even the one connecting the lamp in the hood from the rest of the scanner. Why? Who knows… like I said it does get some public use. It seemed to have been a pretty good scanner though. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Epson. They have seemed to have good products and they were widely supported on linux, maybe that’s why.

So, I arrived at the machine, it was already on and I tested scanning. The Epson Smart Panel came up and I tried scanning to file. The head churned it claimed to go through the motions, but then I was staring at the smart panel screen again. Hmm… shouldn’t something else pop up here? I hunted through a few folders in case it scanned to a file without telling me where… Ok – maybe I’ll try manual scanning (it had been on automatic…) So, I cancel the automatic scan after clicking scan to file in the Epson Smart Panel. I get the usual scanner controls (Epson Twain 5 driver) and try a preview, which moves the scanner head around, but doesn’t paint anything on the screen.

At this point I have the a-ha moment. Who am I logged in as? I look, visitor… ok – I switch to a priviliged user (administrator group) then start the epson smart panel. Everything works normally, scan to file works automatically and takes me to the “verify assistant” which gives the option to scan more or to use what I’ve got… then I can save it.

Ok – so how do I get it to work for the “limited user”. All I know at this point is I DON’T want EVERYONE on this machine to have administrator level access…..

I started with a bit of searching online. It seems this is a common problem with the Epson Perfection 1650, because almost EVERYTHING I find on an epson smart panel limited user kind of search talks about the Epson Perfection 1650. I find some software updates from the software company that makes smart panel for Epson, but nothing appears available for the 1650. We’re already running the latest driver.

So, I find some other suggestions – you need to give the limited user “full control” over the folder for the scanner in c:\windows\twain_5 ….. ok – so I browse there and see a folder named epfB5, right click properties, sharing tab… all grayed out. Hmm… I need to disable simple file sharing. Tools – Folder options – view and then scroll to the bottom of the list and uncheck “use simple file sharing”. Ok – now I can get to the security tab of the epfB5 folder and I add the user visitor to the list in the top half of the screen and then, allow full control.

I did try just write access at first and that didn’t seem to solve the issue, previews worked, but full scanning didn’t seem to. However, even with Full control things didn’t work entirely, starting the smart panel worked as before, the automatic process (and manual) just left you stranded back at the smart panel screen.

Until I found someone detail that the Epson folder in Program Files ALSO needed to be allowed full control over by the user of the scanner…. so… once again, c:\program files\epson right click, properties – security tab, add visitor to the list at the top and then allow full control in the bottom half of the window. Click ok and log out and back in again.

Now the Epson smart panel all works, scanning works the same for the visitor user as well as the priviliged users on the machine. The BIG problem is that the visitor now has full control over a couple of folders that I would rather NOT have had to grant, but it’s better than full control on c:\ …..

So, it looks as though the Epson 1650 software is not made in a way as to be 100% compatible with Windows XP or at least with the concept of limited users. The above may not be the most elegant fix either. I did find another suggestion for this limited user problem. That is to use a different driver than the twain… Given that Epson smart panel is the way people were trained to use and explain the use of this scanner though, that wasn’t an appealing option.

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