When you connect an external media device, like a USB memory stick or USB hard disk, to Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2) it is not always detected, so files do not Autoplay.
This behavior is probably the result of a memory leak in the Shell Hardware Detection service.
NOTE: The The "Write these files to CD" option is not available in Windows Explorer after a Group Policy setting is applied in Windows XP hotfix for SP2 fixes the memory leak.
If you don't apply the hotfix, you can use Windows Explorer to open files on the removable media device.
You can also try the following:
1. Open a CMD.EXE window.
2. Remove the removable media device.
3. Type net stop ShellHWDetection and press Enter.
4. Type net start ShellHWDetection and press Enter.
5. Insert the removable media device.
If the device is detected, you have worked around the problem.
If the device is not detected, shutdown and restart Windows XP, which should detect the device because the Shell Hardware Detection service has been reset.