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    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
    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.