Adding this update for your info!!
I decided to hunt down more information on the problem I was having. I admit that this had me irritated and a bit worried, combined with the fact that now, after having tried to upload pics from my camera, every time I tried to access My Computer, the window would go blank and the system would have to search for itself. GAH!! I went to Dell's website to see what drivers it recommended, and it came up with quite a few. Unfortunately, some of them were confusing....such as the BIOS update it listed for my system actually had the name of another system (I have an XPS 410, this update had it specified for a Dell Dimension) so I got on the phone and called Dell to see if this BIOS, amongst the others, actually applied to my system as well. While I had the guy on the phone, I also brought the problems I had been having into the conversation. I explained to him that WIA was not able to start, terminating repeatedly, etc., and that I could not upload pics from my camera. He went to look for new software for my camera. His other solution was for me to switch my USB
connection from the front to the back, saying that the back was "more powerful" or something like that. Well sure, as soon as I switched, the system recognized the connection, named the camera and he assumed all was well, even though when I tried to use this new updated software, it still told me there was no camera detected, and I knew it had to be WIA. When I unplugged the camera and tried again, it didn't see it again. Then he suggested a system restore, which I had already tried and failed with, and then said I would have to do a recovery... and that is where he left me.
I did some more exploring and ran across an old post at another site from 2004 which described, to a T, the problems I was having, right down to My Computer searching. Turns out that it had to do with the printer software/driver, so I went to HP's website to see if there were new drivers there. After checking my printer driver date and comparing it to the newest driver on the site, turned out it was about a year older, so I downloaded that. In the meantime, I did a crossover connection to my work computer and started backing up my important stuff to that computer, just in case. (I used a crossover because I figured if I was having problems with my USBs, then it would be insane to try to use the My Book external drive I had. I also happened to notice that if I only had my XPS system on, it would not power my KVM switch and enable me to switch over and power up the other system, so I was pretty sure my USBs were screwed that way...)
I am happy to announce that the installation of this newer printer driver (well, it's actually a complete software package, not just the driver) fixed ALL of the problems I had been having. My Computer no longer seeks to find itself. Paint fires up immediately, all of my picture thumbnails have their automatic preview back, and I connected my camera (IN FRONT!) and uploaded the test shot I had taken, my Adobe Photoshop immediately started on turning on the camera as it should be...and all is right in my computing world once again.
This leaves me with one hanging question though...should I trust this guy from Dell, who told me that YES, the BIOS update on the website, which specifies a Dimension product, would apply to my XPS as well? I have to admit that this experience has left me very skeptical of their so-called "expertise" and I probably won't ever call a Dell "specialist/expert" again, considering the only other alternative they give you is to do a system recovery once their shot in the dark fails. The email he promised to send me so that I had a way to recontact him if I had further problems never showed up either...so I got the impression that they don't really give a flying leap once they get off the phone.
Sorry to ramble about it. Hopefully this will help someone else down the line...
Edited by Termie, 11 January 2008 - 10:18 AM.