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It's a Miracle: CanoScan 9000F Runs on Catalina Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

12 May 2022

We thought, after a upgrading our operating system to Mojave last year, we'd lost our Silverfast-9000F scanning solution. Canon's 9000F driver was not 64-bit so it wouldn't run on Catalina.

The usual solution for this sort of problem is to see if VueScan can run the scanner without the manufacturer's driver. And indeed it can. When we need a scan from the 9000f, we use VueScan. No problem.

But for the first time in many years we found ourselves unable to report on what LaserSoft was doing. And it has been doing a lot since we reviewed SilverFast 8.5 in, ahem, 2015.

Problem. SilverFast complained it could no longer find our scanner.

Like releasing SilverFast 9 and new IT8 targets. We'd wanted to review them but we couldn't revert to High Sierra to do it.

Jon Novosielski, who works for LaserSoft in Florida, came to the rescue. Despite what it says on the LaserSoft site, you can run a Canon scanner (and probably scanners from other manufacturers) without the manufacturer's driver.

Here's the text of the note SilverFast displays:

Important note: Installation of the manufacturer software

Please install the manufacturer's software included with your scanner before installing SilverFast. This is not necessary for scanners from Braun, Epson (under macOS), Microtek, Nikon, Pacific Image Electronics, Plustek (under macOS) and Reflecta. The manufacturer software from other manufacturers contains necessary drivers for your scanner. After the manufacturer software has been installed, please restart your system before connecting your scanner to the computer. The scanner drivers will then be available to your system.

You can add Canon to that list. The trick is to install a TWAIN driver*. Which, however, you get from Canon.


The phrase "never the twain shall meet" is from The Ballad of East and West, a poem by Rudyard Kipling. It aptly describes the state of affairs in the early days of of digital imaging when scanning something to disk was an adventure in proprietary protocols.

Once it became uppercased as an acronym (which it wasn't), it became known as Technology (or Toolkit) Without An Interesting Name.

It provided common protocols and an application programming kit for devices to talk to software to transmit image data.

If only we had a TWAIN driver for the CanoScan 9000F, maybe we could get it to run on Catalina.


Canon produced not only the original 9000F but also, a little later, the 9000F Mark II. It has continued to update drivers and software for the Mark II but not the original 9000F.

In fact, if you visit the 9000F support page, nothing appears under Drivers & Downloads.

"There is no driver for the OS Version you selected. The driver may be included in your OS or you may not need a driver," the page says for Catalina and Mojave. Only selecting High Sierra shows the TWAIN-compliant 9000F Scanner Driver Ver.16.1.0b (Mac).

We also found the 16.2-MB TWAIN driver for the 9000F listed separately on Canon's Indonesian support site.

That's the driver SilverFast needs to communicate with the 9000F under Catalina. Even if Canon isn't aware of it.


When the DMG* file had downloaded, we opened it to the installer package and ran that.

For the first time since we were running High Sierra, we were able to launch Image Capture and complete a scan to disk.

Image Capture. Communicating with the 9000F in Catalina.

But still SilverFast, which took ages to launch, complained about an "Unknown Device." It did, however, appear in the System Report under the USB section, which is the only trouble shooting advice SilverFast provided. If it shows up there, SilverFast should be able to communicate with the scanner.

Well, there was a trick to that.

Printers & Scanners. You have to add the 9000F before SilverFast can find it.

Even though the System Report recognized the scanner on the USB port and even though Image Capture could communicate with it, the 9000F was not listed among the devices in the Printers & Scanners System Preferences panel.

Once we added it there, SilverFast launched without delay and was able to communicate with the scanner. We complete a scan to disk without any issues.


We're happy to report that despite running Catalina on an unsupported MacBook Pro with a scanner that is not supported on Catalina, we are now able to scan from VueScan, Image Capture and SilverFast after installing the TWAIN driver from Canon.

SilverFast-CanoScan. Our first scan using SilverFast on Catalina with the CanoScan 9000F. A miracle.

We spent a morning working out the details so we thought we'd summarize the procedure here in case anyone else needs to know.

Canon, for example, comes to mind.

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