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If you're looking for much, you've come to the wrong place...
Sorry, I just never got around to writing this up. Not that anybody cares :( I am posting a couple of notes here that might help someone who blunders into this site.
Locked removable drives
You can thank the Intel Desktop Utilities for a couple of irritating problems. The IDU is handy for monitoring hardware status - temperatures and voltages for instance - but user beware.
Older versions had a nasty habit of taking some kind of refrerence (lock) on USB drives. The drives were usable, but "Safely Remove Hardware" always let to "cannot be safely removed at this time". Updating the IDU solved that problem.
The newest version has another problem. It ran for several years without a problem on this machine, but one day it decided to lock both of my DVD drives. They show up in explorer with the red slash across them and can't be used. Attempting to access results in this message:
restriction warning: Administrator has prohibited access to CD/DVD ROM drives
Attempting to uninstall IDU from Control Panel -> Add and Remove Programs gets this:
Install can't finish when multiple users are logged on. Install will now abort.
Which is crap! This bogus error message had led lots of us to try uninstalling in safe mode, turning off fast user switching (I only have one user on this machine anyway) and various gyrations. What is really required is to stop the two IDU processes, and then just run a normal uninstall. From Task Manager, stop awserv and awtray, and run uninstall from Control Panel.
That should get rid of IDU, but may also turn your removable drive icons into generic Windows icons. That can be fixed by deleting a pair of registry keys for each removable drive (in my case only one was present) and rebooting. DON'T JUST TAKE MY WORD FOR THIS! DO SOME GOOGLING, AND MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING BEFORE EDITING THE REGISTRY! The Keys:
USB Mouse Crashes Machine
I thought I was alone on this one, but since have found a lot of internet chatter and fellow sufferers. My USB ports work fine for anything I throw at them: USB hard drives and flash drives, UPS units, printers, tuners, and most everything else. Except my Logitech V450 wireless mouse. Plugging in the mouse receiver the first time resulted in "USB Device Not Recognized" in a pop-up window, and the immediate loss of my other USB mouse.
The message continues to disappear and reappear even after the mouse receiver is unplugged. USB is generally broken, and the machine is very sluggish. Fortunately my keyboard was connected via PS2 plug, and that still worked. I was able to cleanly reboot via keyboard. That didn't help. The machine rebooted to a blank screen. Even rebooting to Linux didn't help. USB was hosed in Linux, and the machine was almost unusable.
Whatever happens when the mouse is plugged in persists across reboots, and even across power cycles (at least quick power cycles). The only way I have found to get past this is to power down, disconnect the AC mains, press the power button (which discharges whatever holds voltage on the motherboard), restore AC power, and boot up.
I have tried this with two different copies of the V450 mouse, with similar results. Interestingly, after surviving the first intance of the problem, the mouse behaves. Or does until it goes unused for a long time, or a new mouse gets plugged in or ?????
My current WAG is that some XP bug writes something to CMOS that causes the machine to stay broken until power is "flushed". That's just a WAG. I would love to know what is really going on. I've found some internet conversation that points at XP power management and a registry fix, but haven't verified it: Desperately need help ---> USB Devices Not Recognized!
Update 2009.04.14: This didn't work for me.
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