Sony’s FAQ on the Micro Vault device was a little help, but it only really confirmed my suspicions: it’s obviously a driver issue, but more accurately, most likely a problem with the drivers installed in Windows XP. The real question is how to fix it.
I have some ideas to try…
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
The MicroVault FAQ includes this little tidbit:
The MICRO VAULT is not automatically recognized in Windows 2000, Windows Me or Windows XP.
You may have intentionally not installed the operating systems standard drivers. Please download the necessary device drivers from the Microsoft web site.
I doubt you did anything intentional, but I’d certainly start looking at driver related issues as a result.
I would start by simply making sure that your copy of Windows XP is up to date, including SP2. Along with various bug fixes and security enhancements, Microsoft also uses these updates to improve the support for various devices, possibly including USB storage drives.
I might also be tempted to run a system file check to make sure that your operating system files have not been damaged for one reason or another.
Depending on the age of your computer, you might need a BIOS update. USB devices all require BIOS support, and older BIOS’s may not correctly support all devices. You’ll need to check with your computer manufacturer for that.
Past those two issues, we start looking at less likely causes, such as cabling problems, hardware problems, and some obscure driver related problems. Rather than run those down here, this Microsoft Knowledgebase Article: General USB troubleshooting in Windows XP would be the place to look next.