How to recalibrate HP scanner or fix it

I do not know if my HP Scanjet 3970 scanner is working properly or is just out of adjustment. I used to use it successfully but now my scans are dark and muddy, may have lines across them or when I scan negatives I only see a white, blank image.
How can I determine if my scanner is operating properly or if it needs adjustments, and how do I adjust it?
I do not leave it connected when not in use. I hook it up when I use it. Shouldn't all the settings therefore be reset?
I am operating with Ubuntu Linux and XSane.
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  1. Was it stored with the head locked ? Unless it's a driver problem (and I'm not familiar with Linux) my inclination would be to dump it. This was not a great scanner in 2003 according to reviews and my own experience of using HP scanners has not been great.

    I've tried Canon but go back to Epson for their software and, now ancient, models I have which just go on working
  2. That may be the best solution. But I just get tired of replacing stuff cause it turned out to be crap. Don't suppose you have a nice cheap large format neg scanner laying around?
  3. sofalinux said:
    Don't suppose you have a nice cheap large format neg scanner laying around?

    I'm in currently rain-sodden London and you're presumably in, at worst, humid Missouri -- I suspect a trip to your local computer dealer would be more cost effective.

    As one of your uses is for film, have a look at a dedicated film scanner. If you can find a SCSI card, used scanners seem cheap as most were bought by Apple people and the Macs no longer support SCSI. Partly because of that, the price of used top branded USB film scanners rocketed. Reasonable alternative is the Plustek USB models though I think they're only for 35mm.

    Otherwise, I have been able to use flatbeds for neg/slide scanning but it's a bit of a pain and the resolution is nothing like that of a dedicated unit.
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