Hi all, I've just set up a Wanadoo wireless network (sounds clever but it was really easy!) Trouble is that when I tried to get my daughter's Tosh laptop (running XP Pro) to 'see' the wireless adaptor the Plug & Play message box says something like 'unidentified mass storage device' and 'the equipment malfunctioned'. My son's identical laptop 'saw' and loaded the adaptor straight away. Looks like both the USB ports are damaged. (She says they've been dicey since plugging her digital camera in them). Can they be overloaded - and can I reset them? If they are useless can I connect a USB device another way (serial port adaptor?) Hardware manager lists USB ports and hubs - which are the faulty ones - and will uninstalling them help? Help chaps!!
If the USB ports prove to be faulty, and if this notebook does not have a built-in wireless adapter, the get a PCMCIA card instead. These are sometimes called PC cards, but have nothing to do with PCI cards. Confusing isn't it! And if you see it described as a PCMIA card, that's right too, but some people incorrectly spell it that way. No idea why.
Re your second question; you can safely uninstall all the Host Controllers; when they are activated again through use, XP will automatically re-install those that are needed to run whichever port you happen to be trying to use.
Many thanks ade.h. I'll try uninstalling everything listed under USB in Device Manager first. As for installing a PCMIA card - there isn't a slot! (There isn't one on my laptop either). The only port I don't recognise is a tiny thing about 6mm long by about 4mm high on the back.
If they do prove to be faulty and it's not under warranty, you can install a pcmcia card as per ade.h's suggestion. They are very cheap and these type of add-in cards add extra functionality to laptops click here
Contrary to Fruitbat's comment; I have found that, whenever I have had to sort USB issues that require an uninstall, the host controllers have to be uninstalled in order to lose all data about the installed USB-based device that caused the issue. This is not always the case of course, but it applies where an external device has caused the problem, such as failing to install correctly. In your case, given what your daughter said, the USB ports or controllers could be dodgy; a hardware problem, in other words. I hope not though, as that is never good news with a notebook.