HP ScanJet Pro 3500 f1: Broken on macOS High Sierra

Submitted by mathew on Wed, 15/11/2017 - 11:39

I know. What a weird thing to add to the Easy Books blog, it's an app all about bookkeeping after all, not scanning.

I've been using a scanner now for over 5 years to keep business records digitally. I just improved Easy Books, giving it the ability to store scanned information with the transaction it refers to. Until recently I was using a Canon P-215 portable document scanner, which was excellent, although a little slow.

I bought a faster scanner from HP in July this year. The ScanJet Pro 3500 f1, to give it its full title. It doesn't need any extra software from HP. It's already built into macOS, so I can use Apple's Image Capture. But I've been using Felix Rotthowe's PDF Scanner app. It builds on Apple's system frameworks for scanning and it remembers the settings I last used which is worth the money on its own.

I was really pleased with it for three months. That was until I updated my Mac to macOS High Sierra (10.13). Since then, scanning from the document feeder produces broken scans - see below.

Image Capture shows truncated scan from HP ScanJet Pro 3500 f1 on macOS High Sierra

This happens on about 90% of pages scanned. The cut-off point is always exactly the same. The bottom two thirds of each page is blank. On the other 10% pages (seemingly selected at random) the page is fully scanned. Using the flatbed scanner I haven't seen a problem. But what I wanted was to be able to load a stack of paper, press go and leave it to get on with it.

I've re-formatted the Mac with a clean install of High Sierra to check it wasn't an interaction with other software on the machine. I've also re-installed the previous OS and checked the scanner worked properly on that. I have two machines with High Sierra and one with Sierra. It's only an issue on the High Sierra machines.

HP support would not accept the scanner as a return item because I'd owned it for over two months and their return policy runs to 30 days. Fair enough, it seems to be an Apple bug. Or possibly its an HP driver that Apple ship with the OS, I don't know.

I've filed a radar with Apple, which has been marked as a duplicate. So I'm not the first, but the response from Apple wasn't great. All I know is the original bug report 'is still under investigation' and 'it has not been determined how or when the issue will be resolved.'

I'm disappointed. The scanner is still a current model. Surely the HP developers who work on Apple platforms know the yearly cycles. It's no surprise when every June, Apple have a massive conference and announce updates to the OS. And it's no surprise when in October the update reaches the public. That gives a good four months to run the beta, spot problems and get the fixes ready. So I've got to place some blame firmly at HP's door.

Someone phoned me from HP Support today, asking whether I'd found any workarounds. Apparently there are lots of other people now having the same problem. Presumably as more people 'upgrade' to High Sierra they're getting more reports of faults.

Here's hoping this gets fixed. It really shouldn't take this long.

Have you come across the same problem? Send me a message on Twitter and let me know.