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Thank you for the welcome!I have seen many times what you are describing happening being a bad cord that has a minor short in the molded connection area, from all the pulling and pushing I guess it gets a tiny break in the wire. That is why I recommended trying a new cable. The sometimes it works then opps it does not then oh look it works is very typical of that type of problem.I agree with mad man here"As an extreme measure you could boot up a "live" Linux disk and test it that way."Using a linux live-cd to access would be a good idea. However I bet you don't happen to have one laying around? You can quickly download an iso and burn one to cd from http://distrowatch.com/my personal linux flavors are Mepis7 and Ubuntu7.10 those are the ones I recommend.Good luck with your drive!
Try a shorter lead.Also, try unpluging any other usb devices.
When did it stop working? Are you using Windows Vista?Just a thought, but I believe I heard about a recent Microsoft "security update" (these usually get dispatched on the first/second Tuesday of the month as part of "Windows Update") which inadvertently upset USB memory sticks.I wonder whether the same issue could affect your drive???It may not be the cause, but "Updates" causing hardware to apparently fail are not unheard-of, and I have come across some myself. Try some Googling, with you drive make and model.Have you had any other new USB gadgets connected to your computer recently (ie just before it stopped working) which may have installed conflicting drivers?Hadn't seen that you'd had it working again!You don't want to keep using a dodgey cable though, as this could well cause data corruption and more problems.