We haven't used our scan in 2 years. We connected it to the USB port and turn in on. It blinked slowly for a few second and very fast for a couple more. Then it stays on.
We followed the instructions in the troubleshooting section in the manuel. It seems we have a communication error or a scanner hardware malfunction. We should be "contacting a Nikon service representative"...
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If this is an elderly device there's a high likelihood that theres a hardware fault in the unit, did it ever scan properly? If it did and now malfunctions I'd look at connectivity issues so try this unit on another computer and try another USB cable, and with other USB ports.
I do not believe Nikon made drivers specifically for Vista, but you can use the solution here to make your own driver "inf" file and install some that will work anyway. Please read this and carefully follow the directions. If you are using 32 bit, use the 32 bit drivers. If 64 bit, then 64 bit drivers, when creating the new inf.
I am having the exact same problem...cannot get the Coolscan 9000 to show up in Device Manager. One thing I did try (to no avail) was to run the regsweeper.exe file that comes with the Nikon scan disk. It clears your registry when you reinstall. It still did not work though so I have a lovely "shoebox" sitting next to my computer that is worthless!
I think the scanner may have got confused and be expecting another adaptor to be connected. If you slot in the single slide adaptor, wait until all the scan functions become active on-screen, then remove that and insert the SF-210, you might find it works OK.