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Don’t Upgrade to macOS Sierra If You Have a Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanner

Posted by Jim Tanous on September 19, 2016
fujitsu scansnap sierra bug

This article has been updated, see the latest information at the end of the page.

macOS Sierra is set to launch this week but Mac users who rely on Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners are being warned to hold off on upgrading. Fujitsu has alerted users to a crucial bug with its products in Sierra which could erase the contents of past and future scanned PDFs.

ScanSnap users running the company’s ScanSnap Manager software in OS X El Capitan and earlier received a pop-up notice this week about the issue. The notice is dated September 14th but we only received our alert this morning, the 19th. Those without ScanSnap Manager installed can access the notice in its entirety via Fujitsu’s website.

fujitsu scansnap sierra warning

ScanSnap Bugs in macOS Sierra

The bugs currently affect all ScanSnap models and cause a number of unpleasant outcomes for those running macOS Sierra. To reiterate the most important issue, Fujitsu claims that some pages of PDF documents scanned with the ScanSnap Manager application may become “blank” when they are edited or formatted to be text-searchable, or just randomly. This could be a huge issue because it is not uncommon to scan a large number of files in a batch, destroy the originals, and then process the batch scan at the end.

In a related issue, Fujitsu reports that some pages may be outright deleted when using the software’s “Merge Pages” feature. Duplex scanning also apparently doesn’t capture the back side of scanned business cards for import into the CardMinder app.

Finally, even if your scanned pages aren’t deleted, they may end up taking much more space than expected. It seems that scans configured for black and white may still be encoded in color in Sierra, resulting in significant file size increases.

What’s the Prognosis?

The presence of these critical bugs just hours before Sierra’s launch is terrible news for many. Fujitsu’s ScanSnap line are some of the best Mac-compatible scanners on the market, and are key components of many Mac-based small businesses and homes, including us here at TekRevue (we use a Mac-based iX500). But with bugs as big as those reported, it’s simply not worth the risk to upgrade to Sierra for those who rely on these devices for day-to-day business.

For those users determined to upgrade, Fujitsu recommends first making backup copies of all PDFs scanned or edited by ScanSnap manager and then not running the ScanSnap manager at all in Sierra. A fix is undoubtedly on the way, but there’s no word yet on how long it will take. Fujitsu says only that it will provide a solution “as soon as possible.” Affected users should keep an eye on Fujitsu’s software page for updates.

Update – September 20, 2:30 AM EDT

Fujitsu has published a blog post with more information about the Sierra compatibility bug and more detailed recommendations for users.

If you are updating your Mac computer to macOS Sierra, FCPA strongly advises that you:

  1. Make read-only backup copies of your PDFs that were previously created with ScanSnap applications, and
  2. Do not use ScanSnap applications on macOS Sierra until a fix is made available

The company claims that the issue is related “to the PDF engine embedded in macOS,” and that it is working to provide a fix as quickly as possible. Fujitsu users should check the linked blog post for updates.

macOS Sierra is expected to be released Tuesday, September 20th.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Upgrade to macOS Sierra If You Have a Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanner”

mw77 says:
I lay the blame for this issue largely at the feet of Apple. Why must every new release of hardware or software by them be so riddled with problems. Things are so bad now it is common practice for me to always wait a good 6 weeks before I update any new OS or iOS release and over the past few years I am thankful that I have.
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Neil Kleeman says:
I can’t believe that this problem couldn’t have been found in earlier developer beta releases SINCE JUNE! Why did it take until 6 days before the release of Sierra for Fujitsu to find this problem. Hopefully, we’ll get weekly (if not daily) updates about the path-forward.
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Christine Barnes says:
What is frustrating is that problems were identified with the Beta release in June. I didn’t receive the Fujitsu notice until 21 September!
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Marksetgo says:
Agreed. They have had ages to work with the Beta releases. How can this happen?
Jim Barkley says:
Yikes! This looks concerning. I have Scansnap PDF’s scattered throughout many drives and many folders. I assumed that the PDF’s generated were in a standard format. I’ve also created PDF’s and given them to other people, including hundreds to a client.

If this fix is not just the app, but some kind of conversion process to update every PDF I’ve ever created with Scansnap, then this is a big deal. Can I not trust Scansnap files? Will this bug potentially render files I’ve given to others useless if they use Sierra in the future? The details on the Scansnap site are few and not reassuring. This could blow up my week.

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Fofer says:
Same fears here, Jim B. It’s the worst possible news to receive, one day before Sierra drops. I cannot BELIEVE how big of a problem this will be causing.

WTF, Fujitsu?!?!?

I actually think this will need to be fixed by Apple, with Fujitsu’s prodding and cooperation. Hopefully quickly, in the form of macOS 10.12.1.

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