Fintan,
This is what I can tell you now after confirming:

Can you say how many USB ports on your PC?

2 USB ports...I've tried it in both

What version of windows?

Win 2k (windows 2000)

So far, this is what I can add to the list of what we've already done:

We've loaded the drivers on an XP computer and installed the scanner...still won't intialize. We've tried both USB ports...they are both USB 1 not USB 2. USB 2 is better, newer faster. We've tried a new USB 2 cable. I've made sure the lock is not engaged. We''ve uninstalled and then re-installed the software. We've gently shaken it. We've look all over for a forum that addresses the failure to initialize. We've gone to the scanner properties through the control panel and made sure that the right selections are made (and not made). Under control panel...the test communication button on scanners doesn't show available.

Does this do anything? Thanks again for taking time to help me out here!

Dorothy--