Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
We go over some quick fixes to make sure your system recognizes USB devices.
I have a problem with my USB ports. Say I plug in my digital camera to upload some pictures to the tower or plug in my iPod to put music on it, my system won't recognize that they are plugged into the USB port unless I restart the entire system. This can get very annoying having to restart the computer every time I want to upload pictures, use my webcam, put music on my iPod etc. I have asked many of my friends if they have the same problem with their USB ports, but they don't. My system won't recognize anything that is connected into USB unless the system is restarted.
USB is great when it works, but as you're experiencing, it can still be a pain when it doesn't.
USB's really only been around for a few years, and while most of the kinks have been worked out, not all of them have. Especially if you're on an older machine or operating system version.
Since I don't have the specific configuration of your system, I can only make some general suggestions. USB functionality can be affected by many, many things.
The problem is that any or all of the above items could possibly impact your USB problems.