I do encounter cables that are not up to the task of hi speed USB so if I see Windows balk at identifying a device then I may try a cable.
HOWEVER on DESKTOPS we know the FRONT USB ports are always to be avoided (use the rear ports.)
Finally I read over your posts and you never corrected me about your "XP" machine or OS. I fear that as long as you have only XP without the SP1, 2 or 3 installed this will never work.
And I agree it all should be easier but you are dealing with a TEN PLUS year old OS that means you get to fiddle endlessly.