Thanks for the reply, flea.
To your questions: Pentium M 1.4, 1.28gb RAM, XPsp2 Home, about 2yrs. old.
Malware is not a suspect, in that I update the OS monthly, Norton runs 24/7, as does AdAware, SpyBot, StopZilla, TeaTimer...you get the picture.
Since my first post, I unpluged my 3 external drives and rebooted. I requested add/remove and it populated within seconds. I'm unsure as to the conflict concerning the other drives, but I found a solution(so to speak). If you or others have more insight or suggestions as to a more viable fix, please advise.