I don't know why this is such a big problem in Windows, but I hope somebody
has a solution for it.

You know those USB card readers used for reading multiple digital camera
flash cards. Normally they appear as multiple removable disks when
connected to the PC. Here is the situation.

1- Windows XP Professional, Fixed hard disks C:, D:, E:, Mapped network
drives G:, H:, I:, I don't want to change drive letters of the mapped
network drives because it causes more problem for me.

2- Connect Brand-A card reader to the PC, supposed to appear as four
separate drives and occupy unused drive letters automatically. Only one
drive appears as drive F: and three others don't appear.

3- Disconnect Mapped Network drives G:, H:, I:. Reconnect Brand-A card
reader. Let all four drives appear. Re-Assign drive letters to W:, X:, Y:,
Z:. Re-map network drives back to G:, H:, I:. Everything is working and
everybody is happy.

4- Buy a new Brand-B card reader. Assume if connected it will appear as
drives W:, X:, Y:, and Z: exactly as drives for Brand-A card reader were
assigned. No luck. I have to repeat the above-mentioned step 3 for Brand-B
card reader, besides this time drives W:-Z: are not available.

This defeats the whole purpose of removable disk drives if for every brand
of external disk I have to go through ritual of connecting and disconnecting
the network drives and then re-assigning the drive letters for the removable
disks. On top of that there are only 26 letters in the alphabet and
eventually I will be running out of assignable letters as I buy new card

Is there a way to simply connect external disks to XP and they automatically
occupy the unused drive letters automatically without limiting themselves to
unoccupied drive letters between the fixed and mapped drives, and not
exclude previously assigned letters?

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance.