Computers do the strangest things... I was working this morning and scanning some documents when I decided to make some adjustments to the scan settings: I just upped the resolution from 200 DPI to 240 DPI to get a little more clarity. Shouldn't be a problem, right? Wrong. After that, my scanning application (PaperPort V10) stopped working and just complained with an "Unable to communicate with the device" error message.
I ran thru the tests and it worked just fine, but whenever I tried to make a scan for real, it failed. There were a couple of settings that I was able to get working, but the original setting failed and most every other option just stopped working.
A reboot didn't help (the Windows sometimes miracle cure); stopping/restarting the scanner didn't help. I was about ready to uninstall/reinstall the FAX/Printer driver when I looked at the scan driver options: there were two. One was for a TWAIN driver and one was for a WIA (Windows Image Acquisition) driver. When I switched to the WIA driver, everything was back to normal.
Total loss of productivity: roughly 30 minutes trouble-shooting... and it really isn't "fixed". I just lucked into a work-around.
We'll see what happens next, as I don't trust lucky fixes. At least Windows provided the solution in this case.