|So - you think not doing the stuff in response 2 is the source of your problem.|
Unplugging such devices when the computer is not running does them no harm, and unplugging them when you are in Windows without clicking on the icon and Stopping them first doesn't always harm the data on them, but why take a chance?
- if other USB devices DO NOT work fine in the USB ports, such as a USB mouse or USB keyboard, both of which you don't have to click on the icon for when you unplug them, then something else is wrong.
In that case your "stick pen" and camera MAY work fine when connected to another computer - you could try that in any case - you may have to install software for the camera BEFORE you plug it in, but the "stick pen" should be recognized by Win ME and above automatically, if it's okay.
- if other USB devices work fine in the same USB ports, such as a USB mouse or USB keyboard, both of which you don't have to click on the icon for when you unplug them, then the camera and the "stick pen" drive may have damaged data on them.
The "stick pen" drive you can probably fix, but you probably won't be able to recover whatever data is on it now.
Although, you could try searching the web for: recover files USB flash drive
or similar - don't buy a program unless you have no choice - look at least several of the "hits" that have something that might work - usually you can try free ones. OR - you could look on the web site of the manufacturer of the "stick pen" to see if they have anything you can download that might do that. (You may need to fix [not delete and re-make] whatever is wrong with the partition before you can recover any of the data - e.g. search for: fix partition USB flash drive, or similar)
If you can't recover the data already on the "stick pen", or if you don't want to bother (e.g. you may be able to download or otherwise get the same data again),
- You probably need to delete the existing partition(s) on the drive and make (a) new one(s). You can't re-partition a flash drive in Windows XP by default - there are ways around that, but you may have access to another way that can be done.
- Look on the web site of the manufacturer of the "stick pen" to see if they have anything that will re-partition your drive, OR - there may be something like that, that was installed when you installed software from a CD that came with the drive, or that is on the CD that came with the drive that you can install.
If you find that, delete the existing partition on it, make a new one, format it if that's a separate step. If you are given the choice, if your "stick pen" is 2gb or less, use FAT partitioning (or FAT16 if that's there); if it's larger than 2gb, use FAT32 partitioning.
- If you don't have or can't get such a program from those sources, try this:
hp flash drive formatter
Click on Primary Download Site
"This utility will format any USB flash drive, with your choice of FAT, FAT32, or NTFS partition types.
Delete the existing partition on it, make a new one, format it if that's a separate step. If you are given the choice, if your "stick pen" is 2gb or less, use FAT partitioning (or FAT16 if that's there); if it's larger than 2gb, use FAT32 partitioning.
If the data on your camera is damaged, it won't work connected to another computer either. If you want to try that, you may have to install software for the camera on the other computer BEFORE you plug it in - see the installation directions .
If it doesn't work connected to another computer, I need to know which make and model it is, to see what info I can dig up for you.
If the camera has a memory card, and you also have a USB card reader or a card reader slot on the computer that can read it, you can use the card reader to access the files on the card. If you don't have such a card reader they are cheap to buy these days.
You keep mentioning drive letters for the camera or the "stick pen".
Usually USB ports do not have a drive letter when nothing is plugged into them, unless you have an added on USB hub with additional circuits connected to the computer, such as for ports higher up on the front of your case
If the USB ports do not have a drive letter when nothing is plugged into them, Windows assigns drive letters to whatever drive or device that is plugged in that it recognizes that data can be stored on in the alphabetical order of whatever drive letters are not being used by Windows already.
E.g. If Windows is already using C through E, the first USB device that is plugged in that data can be stored on is assigned F, the second one G, etc. If the USB port you plug it into does not have a drive letter when nothing is plugged into it, the Camera or the "stick pen" does not have a drive letter until it's plugged in. Windows XP (and 2000) retains that letter that was assigned for the device until the device is unplugged, even if something else that was unplugged after it was plugged in was assigned a lower drive letter.