I have a really crappy Kingwin USB external drive enclosure.

It doesn’t usually work.

When it does work, I am able to connect it to my XP computer exactly once. That’s right – after choosing to “Safely remove hardware” from the computer, when I reconnect the drive it isn’t recognized by Windows until I reboot the whole system.

What a pain the butt, right?

Fortunately, I was able to discover a workaround for this issue. In short, I use the device manage to disable then re-enable the “USB Mass Storage Device.” After doing so, my computer will find and recognize the drive without having to reboot Windows.

Here’s how you do it.

  1. Open the device manager. You can find this by clicking Start->Control Panel. In the Control Panel, choose “System.” From System, choose the “Hardware” tab. There you will see a button labeled “Device Manager.” Click it.

    (Or, if you don’t want to go through all the clickity-clack all over the place, just go to Start->Run and type “devmgmt.msc.” This should launch device manager.)

  2. Under “Universal Serial Bus Controllers,” look for an entry called “USB Mass Storage Device.” Right click on this entry and choose “Disable.”
  3. The Window will refresh, now, right-click on the same entry and choose “Enable.”
  4. Turn on or connect your USB Drive. Windows should now recognize it.
  5. I hope this works for you and saves you from having to reboot every time you remove your external USB drive from the system.