Making the Scanner Scan

“I put my document on the feeder, but it doesn’t scan…”

Of the four most popular kinds of scan functions, the most common is called “SMB”. SMB stands for “Server Message Block’” and it basically means that you are “pushing” or sending scanned images of pages to a directory, or “folder” on a computer: your desktop PC, your network’s file server, or a computer in a remote location. Whichever it is, that computer must have “issued” a form of “permission” that allows you to send a document into its file system. There are a handful of key conditions that must be met or your copier/scanner will beep at you with an error message.

In the case of most copiers there are good on-board web-pages that allow you to log-in to the copier so that these conditions, or parameters may be “set.” Usually you can log-in to the copier with the copier’s own “IP address.” This page will show you how to locate your copier’s IP address.

In SMB scanning, the computer-destination you are going to scan TO is always referred-to as the “server,” even if it’s your own desktop or laptop.

Well, here you are, then, at the place where you can enter these key parameters that will complete the scanning “circuit” to the folder where you are going to send your scanned images. Here is the “SMB” entry screen for a Kyocera-Copystar scan setup – we love these machines.

You’ll be entering the following:

  1. User name. This might be your name or it could be a name like “Scanner” or “Sender” if everyone scans to a single folder. It is simply the identity that appears at the copier screen in “Send” or “Scan” or “Store” mode.
  2. “Server” name. If you are scanning to your own PC, it is the “server.” For this you need the NETWORK NAME of your computer – Hint: On your copier “Server” name might be called “Host Name.” If you don’t know it (smart IT people often label PC’s with the exact name), you can find it by clicking here. SOMETIMES you won’t be able to connect with the computer NAME, and you’ll need to use the computer’s IP address. “Oh, no!” you’re worrying. Well don’t worry, just click here. Either way, enter the NAME or the IP ADDRESS in the field for “Server Name” (Host Name).

Then comes a mysterious field (may not be this exact order, but all of these parameters are needed) called “PORT,” or, “Port Number.” Now, however, it’s a 3 or 4-digit number. The default is often “139.” Sometimes we have to use “445” because “139” is used by another program. In theory, there are thousands of possible “port” numbers. You’ll really need “IT” if one of these doesn’t work for you; he, she or they will know if there’s a good reason it doesn’t, and they can provide you with one or more to try. In any case, the port number is a key “permission” to communicate with the PC or server.

Now you must provide a “PATH” to the exact folder or directory where you want your “scan” to wind up. That is, you must have a shared folder on your PC or on the network server, that has been “shared” as part of its set-up. Sometimes there is a “shared” directory or “Drive” on the Server with several sub-folders for multiple users or purposes. If set up by your IT person correctly, every folder created inside that directory “inherits” the “shared” quality and may be used as a location for receiving scanned images.

The “path statement,” however, varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. If you have created a shared folder called “Scans” on your “C:” drive on your own PC, the path statement is simply Scans (on a Kyocera or Copystar). On some makes of copiers it may be necessary to have a “\” back-slash mark in front of Scans, so, “\scans.”

Where it can get complicated, and where you’ll want some assistance, is for folders on the network server or on a remote Server or PC. In the image at right you can see a “directory tree” on a server which is NOT the user’s own PC. The “PATH” statement now has multiple “steps” to the highlighted folder.

First, a NOTE: You can see at the top of the screen that this remote directory is called “Z:” and your remote shared directory may also have a single-letter “name.”

YOU CAN’T USE THIS “DRIVE” LETTER in your “path statement.” That letter is known only on your own PC and the copier/scanner won’t be able to “find” it when it tries to follow a path to the Scans folder. You must use detailed naming of the “steps” to your remote Scans location (folder).

In the example shown in the image, above, the true “path” reads as follows:

common\scans. But this is true only because in the “Server” or “Host” name field we entered the Network Name of the server, “COPILABS-FS02.”

The Server or Host name is part of the “path” to your destination folder for scanned images. In some networks you may have to use “UNC” naming of the “host” computer, in which case it would be \\COPILABS-FS02. In any event, once you are “in” the destination computer, the rest of the path statement is fairly simple.

The most common error message when scanning fails is “destination”. Beeeep.

There are two more critical keys to reaching your destination folder: a Login Name and Password for the computer, itself.

If you are scanning to your own workstation, then it’s the log-in you use every morning, including both user name and password. When your IT policy causes your password to change, your ability to scan will suddenly cease. You must then open up the built-in web-page of the copier/scanner and replace the password with your new one. Don’t worry; no one else can see it.

If you are scanning to the company “server,” you will need “IT” to type in the user name and password to the server – they usually don’t like to share this information.

Would you like some help? Call our service number: 978-794-1413, ext. 202 and say so; leave your machine ID number if leaving a voice-mail. Thanks!

Let Copier-Scanning Pay Off

“My copier is my scanner…”

“Everybody scans documents,” is a fairly safe statement. Almost everybody dreams of “going paperless” because it might save (pick some): The Planet, a Tree, a Whale, a Polar Bear. And any of these is a good thing. It might save mistakes and losses of information – and that’s important, too. It could save a life, keep someone out of jail, or find a missing person – more good things.

How we manage and rely on “scanned documents,” however, is VITAL to the success of the organization, or of the person, or of the DATA itself. The right DATA, at the right TIME, can be quickly converted to INFORMATION that REAL PEOPLE can make decisions with. It could make a sale and preserve a multi-year relationship; it could save people from making mistakes by shipping the wrong product, filing the wrong legal form, or prescribing the wrong medication.

Scanning bridges two ‘worlds’ of information: Paper and Digital. For all of our reliance on computers, we have also learned to be skeptical of what is happening to our information when it is reduced to magnetic bubbles in a black box or, worse, in the “Cloud.”

The explosion in “Security” services, softwares, consultants and devices, and the corresponding inventiveness of hackers and identity and other data thieves (including official “government / military” hackers) should have everyone with a computer or “smart” phone on permanent edge. With billions of transactions taking place every day, from Starbucks and McDonalds to Wall Street and International Banking, we are all both more dependent upon and more nervous about “electronic” data than ever before.

The ease of scanning has encouraged many, if not most of us to convert utterly stable PAPER data storage, into somewhat worrisome DIGITAL data storage. It is worth some planning, consideration and RE-consideration of what we are scanning and how to keep it as safe as paper has been for thousands of years.

FEAR NOT! We can help make scanning work for you and actually serve your most important purposes – even for quite small offices and operations. Here are the big issues:

  1. Volume of pages in paper format that you’d like to access on-screen.
  2. Daily volume of “new” scannings.
  3. Are you ‘archiving’ or creating ‘live,’ rapid-service/customer-service documents?
  4. Is access restricted within your organization?
  5. Are there legal requirements?
  6. Are you scanning for YOUR convenience, or is the Government making you do it?
  7. Do you need to access files from remote locations?
  8. Do you hope to resolve “filing” problems that papers make worse?
  9. Do you already have large numbers of digital files that are becoming hard to find?

These and many other questions are readily addressable. Copilabs has a long and glorious history of keeping copiers and printers CREATING paper documents. Now we work just as hard to help you transform them into electronic documents… without making them a new, costly problem.

Check out our pages on setting up scanning on copiers, and helpful hints for usage.