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I'm sharing a scanner from a Mid 2007 iMac (10.6.8, USB scanner over wired ethernet). I've enabled sharing on the local admin account and it all works well on the other Macs that are using the scanner.

However, after logging out, the scanner stops being shared and immediately drops out of the list of "Shared devices" available on the other Macs (in Image Capture).

Logging back in to the account that set up scanner sharing reenables scanner sharing and it all works again. If I log into another account that hasn't previously set up scanner sharing, it's not enabled.

How can I get the scanner sharing service to run all the time for all users, even when no one is logged into the iMac?

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You might have to set up a default user that logs in automatically and shares the scanner after a reboot. You could have it password protected, non administrator, with a short timer on the screen saver to lock the screen after a power failure if you care about that sort of thing.

Snow Leopard just doesn't mount external drives or start the sharing software when a user is not logged in.

I have long kept around an old mac mini to serve up iTunes and a scanner for my network rather than mess with a "fake account" as I proposed.

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Sound like a good idea (with the Mini). I should think about that! – daviesgeek Sep 13 '11 at 17:21
@bmike Great suggestion however, this won't fit in with the way the machine is used (shared computer under MCX management). Thanks – macaco Sep 14 '11 at 8:15
Ugh - unless someone cracks the sharing nut with software, you'll have to change the management or get a scanner that sits on the network without a computer. Till then, sharing will involve manually logging into that mac each time or setting up the scanner for each account. – bmike Sep 14 '11 at 13:45

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