Mysterious USB Thumbdrive behavior

Hi,
   I have a 256 MB San Disk Cruzer Mini thumbdrive, and it works fine everywhere except for this Dell desktop I have. Specifically, the first time I plug it in, it works fine, but then if I try to plug it in again, the desktop does not acknowledge the existence of this USB device! And it does this for every USB thumdrive that I've borrowed from others to test if it is my USB's problem. Apparently, it's the desktop problem. Any insights on how to resolve this quickly? Any help will be appreciated!!!
NGInterfaceAsked:
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FriarTukCommented:
try removing all references to any external usb devices in the registry (not hub, controller, or root entries) from: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB & USBSTOR.

first unhook all external usb dev's, then remove the registry entries to them, then reboot, then try hooking the problem one in first.

ex:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB\Vid_0781&Pid_5150\SNDK21E7B5113C908205
  = DeviceDesc "USB Mass Storage Device"
  = LocationInformation "Cruzer Mini"

ex: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USBSTOR\Disk&Ven_SanDisk&Prod_Cruzer_Mini&Rev_0.1\SNDK4D166408B8402201&0
  = FriendlyName "SanDisk Cruzer Mini USB Device"
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Jonathan KellyCommented:
Hi NGInterface,
are u disconnecting it properly?

Ive seen similar problem with USB drives where drive letters are not assigned automatically.

Cheers!
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NGInterfaceAuthor Commented:
Yes, I disconnected my USB device properly every time...right click on the device icon on the sys tray and click on "safely remove blah blah..."
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Jonathan KellyCommented:
NGInterface,
how about if you look under disk management after you insert it the second time. what do u get?
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NGInterfaceAuthor Commented:
Hmm, what do you mean disk management? where can i find that?

When I plug in the USB drive, nothing changes in the My Computer listing...
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Jonathan KellyCommented:
if you to my computer. right click. select manage. select disk manager. you should get a list of your disk drives.

my guess is that your usb pen cannot pick up a new drive letter because the last it had has not been released for some reason.

take a look anyhow
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NGInterfaceAuthor Commented:
nope, nothing in Disk Management that shows a USB is plugged in. How can I release the letter that's been used?
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Jonathan KellyCommented:
you can right click and change the drive letter.

if u plug in the usb do u get anything ?

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NGInterfaceAuthor Commented:
hmm..nothing...the desktop doesn't even seem to know there is anything plugged in...the USB drive's light is not on (it flickers when i plug in and then the light dies...)

this is frustrating! :-)
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NerdxCommented:
Dear NGInterface,

Try plugging it in and leaving it there. Then go into Device Manager:
Right click 'My Computer' on Desktop -> Properties -> Hardware -> Device Manager.

Near the bottom, right click on 'Universal Serial Bus controllers' and click 'Scan for hardware changes'. It should detect the USB stick, otherwise I think it is a USB Mass Storage device problem - which I don't think has a proper solution yet.

Also, under 'Univeral Serial Bus controllers', right click on each 'USB Root Hub' and click 'Properties'. Go into the 'Power Management' tab and untick 'Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power'. Make sure this is done to all of the 'USB Root Hub' selections there. This makes sure that the computer cannot disable the USB ports to save power for the computer. It shouldn't cause you any problems :)

If the USB stick has been recognised, go into Disk Management (as Datrias suggested before). To open this do the following:
Right click on 'My Computer' on Desktop -> Manage -> Under 'Storage' go to 'Disk Management'.

Now that you are there, select your USB stick (if present) and change the drive letter to something further away in the alphabet - to avoid it being overwritten by another drive. For example, I use 'N:\' for my USB stick (for Nerd - sad I know) to make sure it will never be changed. It should change immediately, but make sure you do another 'Safely remove hardware' before taking it out.

* These instructions are to be done if it works after 'Scan for hardware changes' has succeeded in finding the USB.

Hope this helps/works - GL

# Nerd
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NGInterfaceAuthor Commented:
Hmm, interesting...I tried the scan for hardware changes, and found the USB Mass Storage Device, but it has a question mark on it and when I right click for properties, I get the following info:

"A driver (service) for this device has been disabled.  An alternate driver may be providing this functionality. (Code 32)

Click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooter for this device."
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NerdxCommented:
This is what it says from the Microsoft site:
http://support.microsoft.com/servicedesks/webcasts/wc091802/devicemgrerrcodes.htm?gssnb=1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If the driver is corrupted, uninstall the driver and scan for new hardware to install the driver again. To scan for new hardware, click on the Action menu in Device Manager, and then select Scan for hardware changes.

If your computer does not have enough memory to run the device, you can close some applications to make memory available. To check memory and system resources, right-click My Computer, click Properties, click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings under Performance.

You may need to install additional random access memory (RAM).

On the General Properties tab of the device, click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooting wizard.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I think the problem, according to this is that you need more memory in your computer...

Try uninstalling all of the USB ports first from Device Manager. To do this, go to Start -> Run. Type 'control panel' - without quotes. Double click on 'System' and go into 'Hardware' tab, then 'Device Manager'. Go down to 'Universal Serial Bus controllers' and Right click -> Uninstall on each 'USB Root HUB' in that section. Only restart when you have finished uninstalling them all.

Your computer will automatically detect the USB ports again and should come up fresh in the Device Manager. Try starting it again. Also, check if there is anything wrong with the USB ports (if they're disabled) in the BIOS. It should get rid of the problem.

Hope this helps/works - GL

# Nerd
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NerdxCommented:
>> I think the problem, according to this is that you need more memory in your computer...

Missed the comma after 'according' :(

# Nerd
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FriarTukCommented:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=223188
open regedit & goto
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices\
& try deleting all entries like
"\??\Volume{068ae5.....}"
then reboot your pc
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