I have to assign a drive letter each time I use a device

No portable devices are seen in My Computer. When I insert a memory stick it is picked up and correctly identified on the systray, but each time I insert it I have to assign it a drive letter through Windows XP (Home Edition) Disk Management.

Even then it is only visible in Windows Explorer where I can actually see and access my files. No portable device ever shows up in My Computer.
All devices work, the USB port settings are fine, but it cannot automatically be seen, and every time I want to access any portable device I have to assign it a drive-letter, a process which should not be necessary.

I've used TweakUI to display available drives and attach the file showing the display. All drives are checked but unused ones carry a red question-mark, which is probably normal.[attachmentid=417]

Is it perhaps something strange in the Registry that may be causing this, or some service or setting that needs activating or changing?
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  1. I ran into this problem last year at my university. How many and What other drives do you have, especially, do you have any Mapped Network Drives? This is probably not the same as your problem but my situation was:
    C - local
    D - local
    E - CDROM
    F-onwards - Mapped network drives.

    When i plugged in a USB stick, nothing appeared.
    When i typed F:\ into the address bar, it went to the network drive.
    When i clicked on "disconnect network drive", mycomputer just said F was a "disconnected network drive"
    But then when i typed F:\ into the address bar, it went to the USB stick as normal (it never appeared in mycomputer)

    It was a bit of a hassle, especially when copying from my home directory on F to my usb stick, but i couldn't do anything to fix it, damn uni computers.
    I never found out the real reason or fix, but just try typing drive letters in the address bar before you assign it one manually, see if you can access it and let us know...
  2. Thanks for the prompt reply. It sounds as if you had a similar problem.
    I have the same drives as you have, but did not have any problems with it confusing the Network Drive with the portable devices.
    I can see the flash-drive or device in the address bar but only in Explorer.
  3. I used a Registry cleanup programme which I think has caused this problem even though I restored settings after I realised it had caused the problem.
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