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USB 2.0 ports intermittantly not recognising hardware I've attache

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Hi all

I have a HP Media Centre (Pavilion a1550a) running XP and Service Pack 3 which sometimes recognises hardware I've attached to the USB 2.0 ports and sometimes doesn't. The PC has 3 USB 2.0 ports at the front and 4 ports at the back of the machine and it doesn't seem to matter which of these I try. On the front panel with the USB 2.0 ports are a number of camera card readers and they also occasionally won't recognise my camera cards. Tonight the ports are picking up a number, but not all of, my USB sticks and 1 of my 2 external hard drives.

I have 6 or so USB sticks and 2 external hard drives as back ups. The USB 2.0 ports won't currently recognise my 1Tb WD Elements HD but will recognise my 250Mb Maxtor. I can't get them to recognise my Laser 8 Gb USB stick which I have used on this PC in the past. They are picking an old Lexar Jump Drive, a DSE and a couple of other USB sticks in the same USB 2.0 ports. But, those same ports don't currently recognise a newer Lexar JD Firefly, although in the Device Manager it is correctly identified as a Lexar JD Firefly, but there are the dreaded yellow ?'s next to it. What's it all mean???? If I look at the Properties for both the Lexar JD Firefly and the "External HDD" they note "This device is not configured correctly. (Code 1)
To reinstall the drivers for this device, click Reinstall Driver." But trying to reinstall the drivers doesn't work.

The Western Digital and the Lexar JD Firefly are however both recognised by my much older, slower Dell PC without any problems tonight, although the Dell won't pick up the Laser USB stick.

When I switch the PC on with the WD 1TB drive connected by the USB 2.0 port, the install new hardware wizard comes up, it asks whether I want to install from an installation disk and whether I want to install automatically or from a specific location. It then searches for a USB Mass Storage but comes up with an error message "Cannot install this hardware External HDD. An error occured during the installation of the device. The data is invalid." This is the same process and the same error which comes up as I said intermittantly with my external hard drives and also my USB sticks and occasionally with my camera cards ports.

When I click on the Add Hardware in the Control Panel it brings up a list with External HDD. In the Device Manager, there is a Yellow ? next to "Other Devices" and the subset of that, External HDD. The USB Contollers tonight don't have a yellow ? but they have previously.

I've searched a number of forums but had no luck with getting this sorted. Assistance in doing this would be much appreciated.


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