WinXP not detecting changes in removable storage

I’m exhausted trying to figure this one out:

I’m trying to figure out why a friend’s Windows XP Home box cannot access any removable storage devices (cd-Rom and 6in1 card reader) after you change the media.

If I put a cd-rom or connect the USB camera flash card reader to her machine prior to booting up, WinXP can read the data on both without problem, but if you try to add either after it boots, it can’t read either. In the case of the cd, explorer seems to just hang and the card reader gives a “drive not accessible” error.

The computer was reformatted a few weeks and WinXP Home installed with all the updates including SP2. It seems like some kind of auto-insert notification problem, so I made sure that autoplay is set in the drive properties and autorun is set under TweakUI, just to see if that helps, but nothing’s changed.

Well I’m pretty sure this won’t fix your problem, but here it is anyway:

Check and see if the Removable Storage service is running

Start>Run and type services.msc, scroll down to Removable Storage.
If its Startup Type is set to Manual or Disabled try changing it to Automatic.
Right click>Properties to change the startup type and then reboot

I’m almost sure Windows ships with this set to Automatic, so like I said it probably isn’t the issue.

I haven’t had the Removable Storage service running since, well, ever,
and CDs/DVDs work just fine, including autoplay.

The actual service for autoplay to work is Shell Hardware Detection.
It might be related to other functions too, as Microsoft are notorious for
speaking half-truths ;)