After my last trip, I turned on my film scanner and inserted
a negative strip. After many years as a photographer, I can
"read" negatives and tell if they are properly exposed;
these were. However, they all appeared to be washed out when
scanned. Unfortunately, I was using a new film since the film
I really liked had been discontinued and my hoard of it had
been used up. Since Polaroid who produced my film scanner
had new software on the net for my scanner, I downloaded it.
They did not have the profile for this film and I really preferred
the older software. So I went back to it. Now my scans were
inconsistent. The same negative could either have a greenish
or magenta cast to it upon different scans. Thus, I knew something
was wrong, especially since these colors are opposites.
I, now, knew I had a problem. I guessed it was a conflict
somewhere. I, first, went to the control panel and removed
the new software which was Polaroid's Polacolor. As most of
you know, not every program is fully deleted from the system.
Often, or most of the time, remnants remain in the registry.
The registry is a tricky business. One incorrect delete can
cause problems. Here are a few ways with Windows 98 (I know
it is already antiquated, but I still prefer it) to possibly
correct the problem.
The first way is to make sure that the program has been
deleted as fully as possible from the system. Remove it from
the system by going to control panel, remove..... Then, delete
any remains left that you can find. Sometimes the basic folder
is not deleted. Also after deletion, Windows, does state that
the program was not fully deleted and tells where"some"
of the remnants can be found, in details, after you
have removed it. However, that does not mean that remnants
do not remain in the registry and those can cause many problems.
Shut down the computer to restart in DOS. Once there, type
in scanreg. This will scan your registry. Even if it says
it is correct, choose to restore the registry of the day before
if you have just put on and taken off the new software, for
example. This might solve the problem. However, if you might
have added a few programs, you might not want to do this.
Another way is to go into the registry itself. I really
do not recommend this unless you understand how the registry
works. Periodically, I export my registry and date it. To
do this, I go to the start menu and access run.
I then type in regedit. Once in the registry, I go
to file and then export. I save the fileon a
zip drive and date it. I, then, can go back and restore it
should I have deleted something that further messed up my
In brief, what I ended up doing was removing Polacolor from
my system and my registry and also removing the original scanning
software from my system and registry and reinstalling a clean
version of the old software.
I was rewarded with being able to find a profile for scanning
in my negatives that was satisfactory and consistent.
Why I had a problem, initially, with very light scans, I
really don't know. All I can surmise is that something got
The next question is "how can that happen?" Unfortunately
with all versions of Windows to date, a new program can throw
in a dll file, for example, that kicks out an older version.
This older version might have been necessary for the older
software. Or I have seen two of the same version of dll files
residing in the same place and the program didn't know which
one to use.
If all of the above are confusing, do not worry. What I
am trying to show is that these things can happen and they
can be fixed.
I want to give an analogy. Many people resent having to
understand the computer in order to use it. I am of the old
school where the first camera I used was a Nikon F and then
the Nikon FTN. Since nothing was automatic, I had to learn
about F stop, film speed, etc. so that I could control how
my photographs looked. With an understanding of how the camera
parts worked together, I could control my shots. Now with
fully automatic cameras, most people do not even think of
learning these things. But these basics helped. I still use
manual cameras. I, personally, do not like automatics except
for certain purposes.
Unfortunately, when computers became household items, they
were advertised as "No Problem Machines." It is unfortunate,
but I believe true, that unless one has access to a good technician
who actually knows what he or she is doing, one should try
to learn how computers work.
The best way to do this is through asking questions. There
are many forums on the net. Not always will the answer be
correct, but one can get a consensus. The other way is to
read books. Get third party books on the Windows system in
your computer. When Windows 3.1 and then 95 first came on
the scene, I had at least four reference books on each as
well as multiple trouble shooting books. When I switched to
Windows NT for a period of time, I also purchased many books
to understand the operating system. When I returned to Windows
98, I was comfortable with only one.
I am not trying to scare anyone, but to have a computer
that works well, one has to understand it.