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Feigning normality since 1973

Installing a scanner on XP: The Saga

Filed in: Computers.

XP is supposed to make working with devices easy, right? Right?

I have an HP Scanjet 5100c which I used successfully on my old PC for ages, first under Windows 98 and then under Windows XP. Recently I bought a new PC and tonight I needed to scan something, so I dug out the HP install disk and had at it.

Problem 1: Once I'd installed the software and plugged the scanner in, Windows XP would get as far as detecting new hardware and promptly reset. This has happened to me once before with WinFast TV2000 XP WDM Crossbar. In this case the problem was sharshtl.sys (Shuttle printer sharer). I fixed it by unplugging the scanner and then renaming sharshtl.sys so Windows couldn't load it.

Problem 2: Once that was done, XP booted up fine and the scanner was there (twice, actually). Unfortunately when I tried to scan with it, HP PrecisionScan would report that the scanner was not responding... and then the scanner would scan anyway (but the data wouldn't reach the PC).

I'm still not sure whether this is fixed or not. After a few reboots and messing about, the parallel port test is claiming "Scanner not responding", but PrecisionScan went ahead and scanned properly anyway.


Oh, and I downloaded an updated driver from HP's web site. When I try to run it, I get an error stating "The file could not be located", and the program quits. Real good, HP.

Posted February 2, 2007 8:26 PM


Could be worse. Could be non-"Windows XP Logo" compliant! Had that problem when re-installing my webcam...

Posted by: Thad Ritchards | February 2, 2007 9:25 PM

I sympathise entirely! I'm on to my third scanner (the latest an HP multifunction); both times I've had to purchase a new scanner due to a Windows upgrade not recognising the scanner, and upgrade drivers/patches not fixing the problem. Moral of the story - don't upgrade Windows. For this reason I've no desire to switch from XP to Vista anytime soon.

Posted by: Paul Scoones | February 5, 2007 9:49 AM

Am trying to install HP C5 190A Scanner on XP. It did not work and now I am at the point of looking for other experiences. The above comments are not too encouraging to say the least.
I did try to install with reference on installing older systems (Win 98 SE and ME) but that did not work. System went into continuous loop and forced me to shut down. Will report later if I have any success.

Posted by: Richard E. Driscoll, Sr. | September 26, 2007 5:13 AM

Richard: I found that the scanner was making my system unstable. In the end, I had to uninstall it just to stop the PC from occasionally throwing a wobbly.

I'm not sure what the next step is. Probably "buy a non-HP scanner".

Posted by: Alden | September 26, 2007 8:02 AM

I have a ScanJet 5200c. Previously ran on WindowsME. Just bought a XP Pro, version 2002, XP-64 bit. (I didn't want to upgrade to Vista so found a new machine with XP). I can install the scanning software, then I connect the scanner to the computer, reboot and it goes into a continuous rebooting cycle. I had to unplug the scanner to get it to stop.

I searched for the "sharshtl.sys" file that was mentioned and could not find it on my computer

Posted by: Lee | June 14, 2008 5:09 AM

I never did get the thing to work reliably and ended up disconnecting it permanently and uninstalling the drivers to stop XP from becoming unstable all the time.

Posted by: Alden | June 14, 2008 11:00 AM

Way too late, but this is the first listing for sharshtl.sys (listed as crash cause). Removing windows/system32/drivers/epstwnt.mpd seems to solve the issue without needing to touch sharshtl.sys.

Of course, SCSI controller now gives the error:

Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)

instead of one about not being able to load a second driver. It doesn't seem to have any adverse effects, although I do not have a printer installed to test it further.

If you don't remove any files, you can plug the scanner in after XP starts.

I ran into this problem again after accidentally installing the disc drivers and Windows being unable to uninstall it properly. I'm pretty sure it worked before on just the standard XP drivers.

Posted by: Malignant Manor | January 26, 2010 5:21 PM

I found that you can change start type in the registry.

Change key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/CurrentControlSet/Services/sharshtl/start from 2 to 4.
This disables the problematic driver without deleting any files.

Posted by: E C | January 19, 2012 6:48 AM

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