I'm kind of having the same problem with my Sidewinder Precision 2(USB). Sometimes it will be detected and other times it won't even show up in the control panel. I know it's not a defective joystick, because it works fine in my old computer.
If anyone one has any idea what could be causing this problem, it would be greatly appreciated!
My Specs are:
Asus A7M266 mobo
Hercules Prophet 4500
Hercules Game Theater XP
US Robotics 56k modem
40gig IBM Ultra ATA100 harddrive
Sony 52X CDROM
430 watt Enermax powersupply
256 meg Crucial DDR memory
latest AMD AGP drivers and VIA 3in1 drivers
latest video and sound card drivers
usb patch for win98