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Martin B

Using more than one scanner with Silverfast 8-Installation Workflow

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Want to share my experience here to install two scanner related Silverfast 8 software packages on the same PC which allows to work with two scanners. I am currently using the Plustek 8200i scanner with Silverfast 8 Ai Suite and the Epson V850 with Silverfast 8 SE Suite. The start page of the software has a dropdown menu to select from multiple installed programs/scanners, but it is not straight forward to get there, and the current manual has nothing in there how to correctly install two or more Silverfast 8 versions for different scanners:

1. Do not install Silverfast 8 from the CD - the versions are not the most actual ones, and you can only run Silverfast 8 for two (or more) scanners with exactly the same updated version. Do not try to install from the CD and do not use the update function within the program at this point - it won't work correctly and will only lead to hiccups with the other version.
Also, you need to install both Silverfast 8 versions into the same hard drive directory to make them work in parallel.

2. Download the most actual versions directly form the Silverfast home page. To do this, registration of the software is a requirement. After registration, you need to enter the provided serial number which came with the original CD of the program - do not lose this number! This allows you to get on the Silverfast website with downloadable software versions for the specific program version (for example SE Pro) which was purchased most likely in combination with the scanner. Download the latest version into a directory to install from on the hard drive. Repeat the whole process for the Silverfast version of the second scanner - register it also, enter its serial #, and download again the latest version - it must be the same version code as the first one! - of this specific Silverfast 8 version.

3. Choose any of the two (or several) downloaded Silverfast 8 programs to be installed in a provided directory. After installation, select the other version to have it installed into the same directory as the earlier installed version. Then start the program with the provided Silverfast 8 desktop link - it will open the start page (assuming the scanner(s) are turned on) and have both scanners in the drop-down list to select from. After selection, the specific version of Silverfast 8 fitting to one of the scanners will start.

4. Updates in the future. I didn't experience this myself yet, but I asked this question to the support team of Silverfast. Supposedly you can run from now on the internal update function which will now automatically recognize that two (or more) Silverfast versions were installed in the same directory. I was told that there is no need to download the latest upgraded version again directly from the homepage.

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Yes, I am well aware of Vuescan - but my post is about SilverFast 8, and this is often the scanner software which comes for free when buying a scanner. Vuescan needs to be purchased in addition. I have no experience with Vuescan since I got used to SilverFast 8 which works well for me. 

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Update: I just installed the most recent SilverFast 8 Update and had only to run the update once. It was then automatically applied to the second scanner (even if the versions Ai and SE are different ones, but they use the same update). Best to simply run the update from the start menu of the program within the Service Dialog menu and clicking on updates. 

Simple advice for SilverFast 8 users if the program starts but then automatically shuts down without error message: I ran into this trouble yesterday when I wanted to use a scanner which I didn't use for a while with one of the installed SilverFast 8 versions. I downloaded the latest updates as I described above which didn't solve the issue either - the solution instead is simple: just have the installed program reset. SilverFast 8 started then absolutely fine; I just had to enter all my scan parameters (directory for files, resolution, menus to use etc) again which was saved for the next start of the software. If you have two scanners running with two separate SilverFast 8 versions like I do, the other scan program version will be also reset automatically which seems unavoidable (but it's no biggie).

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