After a recent mauling I was determined not to post on this site again, but this one seems safe. Am I the odd man out? I have a printer, a scanner, and a joystick all permanently connected on USB2. I also have an external backup HDD on USB2. OK this is normally not on at start up but sometimes I forget to unplug it having carried out a backup. No matter what I have no problems in this way. I can only suggest that either I am very fortunate and unusual, or that there is something that is causing problems installed, or resident on your computer
my daughter has an amd xp 1800 running xp pro and sp2 every now and then, sometimes as long as 3 months between, it will not start until all usb devices are unplugged. Every other time it starts up just fine. Once known about it is no problem to unplug and plug in again. If it was every time then we would look for a solution.