In the end, it will probably come out to be an interfacing with Win10 bottleneck.
My older scanner would scan straight through at 600 dpi using Win7. Going to Win10, I had to get both a driver and firmware update to get it to work, and even then, it would only work with admin privileges (very annoying to have to do this every time I open up the scanner software). It only affected that scanner. But it worked OK.
Sometime early last year, a Win10 update did something. I had to reinstall the drivers -- since then, that scanner will not scan straight through in color mode (even at 300dpi) without having to pause before finishing. And even when it finishes, the transfer time (using wired USB) will often slow to a crawl. I still haven't figured out what is suddenly slowing down the bus.
My newer Epson scanner, suddenly stopped working after a Win10 update late last year. Reinstalling drivers did not solve the problem. Waiting for, and installing, the next Win10 udpate did solve the problem.
Windows updates. You can't live with them, and you can't live without... actually, I could switch back to Apple now that more than half my coworkers are using Apple -- but I don't have the budget to be paying 3x the cost for equivalent computing power to do the switchback.
Ah, still remember connecting my Apple II+ to my black & white TV...
I tried all the previously mentioned fixes to no avail. The only other thing I could see in the scanning chain was the scanner control software. I dumped the stock app that came with the printer and installed Vue-Scan. I found a significant improvement in the banding. 600 dpi scans almost always come out fine, and 1200 dpi scans come out much better, most of the time winding up with only 2 bands (i.e. only one transition from a dark to a lighter background).
I think this problem is as resolved as it's going to get without a cpu upgrade. But I'd rather spend that money on stamps.
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