After reading through the windows.xp.hardware group, I came across someone who suggeseted removing some registry keys. 

I removed the one he said, and it did not work.  I then went to
HLKM\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USBSTOR
and deleted all references to the external hard drive after changing the permissions to allow me to do so. 

I also went under HLKM\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB and found the keys associated with the USB to IDE value. 

After restarting, I plugged in the drive and it worked.  I have been able to stop it, unplug the cable and plug it back and work. 

Hopefully it was just a corrupt key.  Who knows.