I am a big fan of virtualization. Desktop virtualization should close the gap and allow legacy applications and devices to work. However, I was a bit surprised when I ran into some issues with scanners. In the line of technical support, it is my duty to empower the user by showing and teaching them how to use software and hardware. If a user comes to me saying that they have Windows XP, I’ll use Windows XP. If they have Vista, I’ll use Vista. We all know how things can be difficult enough with so many various versions floating around. On my work computer, I use Windows 7 Professional and because I have access to Virtual XP mode, that’s what I use when explaining things to XP users.
We went to test an HP ScanJet G4050 (which works great in Windows 7) on the Virtual XP and after installation of all the drivers and attaching the USB directly to the virtual machine, the unit would not scan. This to me was a major disappointment. After dragging the unit to an actual Windows XP workstation and installing the software and drivers from the disc, it worked fine. What this showed me was that virtual environments do have differences between physical boxes and thus cannot be used exclusively for troubleshooting / demonstration methods.
The same result occurred when I used my NeatReceipts scanner which did not have 64-bit drivers (unless I upgrade to NeatWorks 4). Because of the lack of 64-bit drivers, I though I would use the 32-bit Virtual XP mode. During scanning it just stalls after scanning about 20% of the document. So much for that idea.
So far, 2 out of 2 scanners that I have tried with Virtual XP mode have failed. Is this the trend or am I missing something? Do you have a scanner success or failure story with Virtual XP Mode? Let us know!