I've got an old HP Omnibook 4150, which still provides good service.

(manual:
h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/bpi03931/bpi03931.pdf)

It currently has Mandriva 2007 on it, and almost everythings fine.

Today I bought a Verbatim "Store 'n' Go" 1 Gb memory stick.

When I inserted it, NOTHING registers.

lsusb simply shows
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

Now, the odd thing is bigger USB devices work fine.

I've got an Epsom perfection perfection 4590 working nicely under XSane, a friend's camera card reader is fine, and a external Lacie drive is fine.

However, I borrowed some USB memory sticks around the office, and NONE of them work at all.

I would welcome cures, or even advice on how to proceed with diagnosis.

(I tried a bootable Ubuntu CD with the same results, BTW)

BugBear