But to avoid a new post without the other information, just reply further up the chain.
I addressed those in the message that didn't make it. Yes, I've got SP1 and SP1a, I have the latest BIOS (which has a voice you can't turn off) and I've got the latest drivers.
Until now I've been a pretty good troubleshooter for my friends' PCs, and staying up to date is something I do religiously, though I don't normally try betas.
As mentioned in the other thread, everything centers around device types. There's apparently a Scanners grouping in Device Manager and that's where my scanner should go, obviously. My inabilty to step back and undo putting it in the wrong device type (Imaging Devices) is the heart of the problem since all attempts to install it lead me to Imaging instead of Scanners. Windows is just kind of anal at times.
I've tried using system restore, but even that seems to have gone South on me. I've been to Microsoft's Knowledge Base, but couldn't find anything.