Network Scanjet 5 Upgrade Installer

I routinely receive requests for assistance with installation of my upgrade software for the Network Scanjet 5 scanner. I try to help when I can, but unfortunately, my time is limited and it's also a difficult job to talk someone though the install if they have little or none of the prerequisite experience. Some of the parts of the install, like patching the kernel if needed for NIC support, are particularly a problem for the inexperienced.

To try to help people get their scanners upgraded, I have created an installation CD that can be used to install all the needed software without the need for any particular knowledge other than general computer skills. I am making this disc available for download as an ISO image.

Implementation Details

The installer installs the following software:

Full source code is also installed for all software except FreeBSD. Source for the FreeBSD kernel is installed and is pre-patched for Olicom token-ring and ethernet NIC compatibility (OC-3118 and OC-2173 cards). Note that the OC-2173 card is the card supplied with 10Mb ethernet Scanjet 5 units. There is no support for the original 100Mb cards available.

All software is pre-compiled and pre-installed. The installed kernel, besides the Olicom cards, also supports NE2000 cards and clones, SMC and Western Digital cards, certain HP, DEC, and 3Com cards, and others. For an exhaustive list of supported cards, please refer to the FreeBSD 4.10 Hardware Notes for cards compatible with the "ed", "ep", and "ex" ethernet drivers.

The installation is designed to be robust against unexpected power-downs. This is accomplished through a read-only root partition containing all software and configuration and a /var partition to contain all run-time data that is rebuilt at each boot. Therefore, there is no need for a particular shutdown procedure, just flip the switch.


The installer disc is available for download as an ISO image file. Once downoaded, this may be burned to CD with any standard CD recording software (Nero, CD Creator, cdrecord, etc.).


The resulting installer CD is bootable and installs to the master hard drive on the primary ATA controller of the computer on which it is booted. Simply install the hard drive (at least 600MB) that you intend to use with the scanner in this position, boot from the CD, and follow the prompts.

Please make sure that the hard drive to be installed on is the only drive installed in the machine during the installation! Errors on either your or my part could result in any other drives being erased inadvertently, so please don't take the risk.

Note that the installation image is highly compressed using bzip2 compression and as such, the installation may take a significant amount of time on older hardware (up to 30 minutes or more), due to the CPU-intensive nature of the decompression. Have patience!

After installation, move the loaded hard drive into your scanner. Note that you will need to add more memory to the scanner as well. I recommend replacing the stock 2MB DIMM with a 32MB one. It may be possible to get a workable configuration with only 16MB, but the installation is really designed for a 32MB machine and will probably be noticably slower with anything less. Less than 16MB may not work at all -- I haven't tried it.

After installing the hard drive and memory upgrade, the scanner should boot and activate the display and keypad. At this point, type in "CONF" on the keypad and press the enter key. You will be prompted for a password, which is initially the digits corresponding to "SCANJET5" on the keypad. Once the password is entered, you will be able to enter the IP configuration.

Once the scanner is up on the network, you can use ssh to log into the scanner and complete the installation. The user id is "scanjet" and the password is "72265385" -- this is the same password as the front panel uses. Note that if you change the password for this account to anything that is not all digits, you will be unable to access the IP configuration through the front panel any longer!


You are going to be largely on your own to read the appropriate documentation to figure out how to configure your scanner. If you are not willing to invest some time to learn a little bit about Unix systems, you probably should not install this software, or you should pay someone for support.

That said, I have put together a quick tips page on getting started, which is especially targetted for users with little or no Unix experience. It's meant to be just enough to allow them to get their scanner running and encourage them to learn some more on their own.

One item to note is that the root partition is normally mounted read-only, making it impossible to update configuration files in /etc or elsewhere. Before making changes, remount the drive read-write by using the "mount -u -rw /" command. After changes are complete, you may remount as read-only with "mount -u -r /" or simply reboot the scanner with the "reboot" command (recommended).


The following are some possible avenues for support:

The author, David Madole, can be emailed at Please do not regard this as a general scanjet or unix helpdesk unless you are (or wish to be) a consulting client of mine. However, if you have a specific question or think you've found a bug, I'd love to hear from you.

Julian Stacey hosts a web page on Scanjet conversion with useful information. Julian also hosts a mailing list on Scanjet conversion -- subscription information is on his web page.

Much information on necessary topics, such as configuring printing and advanced network on FreeBSD can be found in the FreeBSD Handbook.

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David S. Madole
2004-10-16 0400 GMT