This sounds fairly typical of dust, grit or gunk on the scanner "lenz". Could also be that some of the components of the "lenz" have failed or been scratched.
If the unit is still under warranty return to the place of purchase for a replacement. If not and you are totaly bored you could disasemble and give the "lenz"strip (thing wich provides the bright light a bit of a clean with metholated spirits and a lint free cloth/tissue paper. However concidering how inexpensive scaners and multipas's are these days you may be well served just to replace the unit, I know for people from my generation this sort of sticks in our throats because we remember when cheep in the computer industry was measured in thousands of dollars, now it's not just plug and play but fail and throw.
Hmm spend a couple of frustrating hours on a dubious repair or spend one or two hours overtime enjoying myself and get a brand new beastie.
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I'd suggest you to migrate your my document folder to D: and keep of shortcut of that in c: migrating means transfering everything from my document to my document folder in D: and also move whatever music and picture files you are keeping in c to d. After doing this click on start button click search for files and folder and type *.tmp in file type and search C: select all the files found and press shift+del say yes (these are useless files which you shall delete. after doing this go to defragment your C: after defragmentation is complete open task manager and select explorer in processes right click on explorer select end process tree, wait for one minute. click on applications then click new task and type explorer and hit enter key on your key board. Now check your systems speed.
Scanning will work as separate plug in, when you request to acquire image from scanner from a standard image editor it will bring the task. Would you mind to provide your operating system and the programs that you are using for image editing so I can provide steps to scan.
Check the resolution of your scanned pictures. I don't know what program you use to view your scanned images, but although you see what looks like the proper image size to you may actually be a reduced size so that it fits on the screen. Check the percentage of view that should be indicated on your screen somewhere, It may say something like 10%. Since I don't know what software you are using to scan with, look in its help directory for instructions on how to adjust or reduce the resolution when you scan you images. Either that or once scanned open up your images with a image editing application and adjust the resolution there.