I meant to write about this earlier, but didn't get around to it until now...
Hubby got me a new Dell laptop back in July. It's the first computer I've had with Windows Vista, and I mainly use it for working on my Etsy shop. That means uploading a lot of pictures... Well about the end of August, I began to notice something weird: The "safely remove hardware" icon was missing when I had my camera plugged in to the USB port, and if I tried to remove it anyway (not a technique I recommend) I got the dreaded "blue screen of death," which is what happens when Windows apparently shuts down and restarts itself automatically "in order to protect your computer," as it says.
Fortunately, I have in-house tech support (aka Hubby) and he found out that it was a recent automatic update that my computer had downloaded for Vista which was causing the problem. It was update KB973879 that apparently did something screwy to the Dell USB drivers. Anyway, once it was removed, my computer and my camera decided to get along again =)
He didn't tell me exactly how he did it, but I did find directions on how to take care of this problem on techerator. Supposedly Windows has since stopped putting out this update, but just in case anyone else still has a problem with this, the link in the previous sentence may just help solve it.