This is a really weird one. On 64-bit Windows, a regular USB bar code scanner is not detected as a HID-keyboard. Actually it falls into smthing really weird -category in the USB-devices. And needless to say, but the scanner effectively does not work. Windows simply states that "driver not found" and adds that "device may not function properly". I tried upgrading the driver from Device Manager, but no dice there.
Couple of users are complaining the same thing, but one actually has a solution. The idea is to first connect a real keyboard into USB-port and after that the barcode scanner. WTF?! It actually works! Windows gets fooled enough by the actual keyboard, that barcode scanner works even if the real keyboard is unplugged. It's just that an actual keyboard needs to be present during the driver detection.
I had couple of Zebex scanners and tried to make them work with my Windows 7, but all I got was frustration and no tangible results (beside the keyboard trick). I had a the-cheapest-there-is -model and a proper one, but there was no real difference in how Windows saw them. Based on the reports available in the Net, this is not a single manufacturer issue, its more like a Windows HID-keyboard issue. Then I was doing something else for a while, enough for the laptop power saver to kick in. When I got back to the computer and slapped it up from the sleep, then miraculously Windows detected the already plugged in barcode scanner as a HID-keyboard!! WTF?! #2
Ever since, both scanners have been functioning ok. Also, I'm pretty sure that now my laptop has been "tainted" and I cannot continue my tests with it anymore. I'd probably should re-install entire operating system just to confirm the results. But I'd rather not.
If anybody can explain what happened there, please drop a comment.