Bar code scanner problems in version 8.7 and earlier

by / Tuesday, 12 March 2013 / Published in Troubleshooting

This article contains troubleshooting tips for using the bar code scanner in Darkroom software 8.7 or earlier.

There are several things to check if the bar code reader is not working correctly with your Darkroom software. Below are five common things to look out for while troubleshooting.

What should I do if the bar code scanner does not beep when scanning the barcode?
If the bar code scanner does not beep when scanning a barcode there are two possible causes. The first cause is that the scanner itself is malfunctioning. If this is the case, contact your manufacturer for warranty information. The second cause is that the printed barcode did not print correctly, making it impossible for the scanner to read it. It is helpful to remember that the scanner cannot pick up bar codes from “custom-made” order forms that do not begin and end with “*”. Finally, most readers require the bar codes to be printed at a high resolution in order to be read. Make sure your receipt printer is not printing too low a resolution for the scanner to read.

Are you using a serial or USB barcode scanner?
If your answer to the above question is USB, the scanner will not work with your Darkroom software if you are using Darkroom Assembly 8.7or earlier. You will need to purchase either a USB to serial port adapter or purchase a Serial port bar code scanner or upgrade to Dakroom 8.8.

What if the scanner is reading the barcode but nothing happens in the software?
More often than not a problem like this is merely a communication problem between the barcode reader and the computer. First, you need to make sure the bar code reader is connected to the proper serial port. Your Darkroom software is set up to monitor COM1. Check the Device Manager to verify that a COM port is installed on the machine.

1. To access the Device Manager, right-click on “My Computer” and choose “Properties.”

2. Within Properties, click on the “Hardware” tab.

3. Once you are in the Hardware tab there should be a Device Manager button visible. Click it.

4. Within the window that pops up, click on the plus (+) sign next to “Ports”

5. Check to see if there is an option called “Communications Port (Com1).” If it is listed, you have this port.



If you have more than one Com port, the scanner may be connected to a com port other than Com1. Please try connecting your bar code scanner to a different serial port on your computer.
If for any reason you are unable to use Com1 for your bar code scanner. See the section on using a com port other than Com1. You can also check for other devices using the ports. A dial-up or direct cable connection will use at least one COM port, so it is possible that all of your available COM ports are taken. Reopen the Device Manager and expand the “Modems” item. If there are communication devices present, right-click to view their properties. You need to determine if they are using a port and if so, which port are they using. Only one free port is necessary for your serial bar code scanner to work. If all ports are being used, you must uninstall one of the existing communication items. This is the only way you will be able to use the scanner.

***IMPORTANT NOTICE*** This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. How to back up the Windows registry

1. To edit the windows registry click “Start” and select “Run”.

2. Type regedit.exe in the text box labeled “Open:” then click “Ok”.

3. Browse to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Software>Express Digital>Express Digital Darkroom Assembly Edition>8.0>StripeReader

4. Right Click on the folder named “StripeReader” and choose New√†String Value.

5. Name it “Port”

6. Double Click on the new String Value called Port and type the desired com port into the value data field. For example if you need to use Com2 then you would type Com2 into the value data field.

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