One annoying aspect of Windows is that it assigns drive letters to portable devices but then fails to locate them if the drive letter changes. This means that all your shortcuts to your portable devices suddenly stop working even if the device is attached.
One way round this is use PStart which uses relative paths instead of absolute ones. It conveniently allows you to create a start menu for all of your portable applications so you can sort them into groups such as Games, Multimedia, Telephony, Internet devices etc. You can add components manually or ask PStart to perform an automatic search for connected USB devices.
If you use external devices regularly, then this is an essential utility. I’m constantly connecting USB devices, especially to my laptop, and this has saved a lot of messing around with Windows updating device paths etc. However, if you only connect the odd device every so often, such as an external hard drive, then it’s probably more hassle than it’s worth. With more and more downloads such as Firefox, Thunderbird and CCleaner increasingly available as portable apps, this is certainly one utility that could become increasingly important in the software world.