The USB 1.1 ports sometimes find us with hard disks that don't work but memory sticks do. Try some USB 2.0 PCI card next.
I have a new WDE1MS1600 usb drive when i connect it to my pc (MB Intel 845 GLV,512MB RAM Windows XP pro sp2) i got message usb device not recognized searching for drivers at the end gives a response can not find drivers. I have tried same with PUPPY live CD here also drive is not recognized! (Transend memory stck is recognized on same hardware)
I tried same drive with my laptop (compaq6901) usb drive is recognized & i could see this in windows explorer.
Please does some one can help me. I have bought this drive so that i can take backup of my desktop (120GB). If more information is required of hardware i will post same today evening when i will open my cpu.