As a follow up to my recent post on the World’s Most Awesome Automated Filing System, I intended to write a post on how to get your Windows-only ScanSnap Scanner working on your Mac. This would have been important to those of you who switched from Windows to Mac, and wanted to use your old scanners. Until recently, Fujitsu, the maker of the ScanSnap, created an artificial distinction between their Mac and Windows scanners. The hardware was identical, which should have meant that as long as you had the correct driver for your system, either scanner should have worked on your machine. Unfortunately, Fujitsu built a check into their drivers, so that a Mac would see that you had the Windows-branded version of the ScanSnap, and not be able to use the scanner. This was an incompatibly cooked up out of thin air by Fujitsu. As much as I’m a huge fan of the ScanSnap line, this had the stench of an attempt to create more sales. Fortunately, those days appear to be over.
To get my Windows-branded ScanSnap working on my Mac, I’m using a workaround posted by the Tech Envy blog. It involved hacking the Mac drivers to remove the part that checks to see if you’re running the Mac or Windows version of the hardware. Commenters to that same post, starting in late April, are reporting that this hack is no longer necessary, and that the new drivers no longer create this artificial distinction. In other words, the Windows-branded version of the scanner now works on a Mac, using Fujitisu’s Mac driver.
I’m a coward, and not willing to mess with my perfectly working setup to see if the stock drivers work. If you have a Windows-branded ScanSnap sitting around, though, and hadn’t hooked it up to your Mac because it wouldn’t work, you might want to download the new drivers and give it a try. Since the Tech Envy blog contains only two comments verifying that the new drivers work, I’d love to hear from some of you if you have similar luck. If you do try it out, report back in the comments and let us know how it works.