Looks like the problem with my USB ports and Windows 7 also affects my ability to update my iPhone. The other night I attached the iPhone and was notified there was a firmware upgrade available. Unthinkingly I clicked “yes”. A few minutes into the upgrade the process froze and left my iPhone unusable! Not a happy situation. I retried but without success.
Fortunately I had recently bought a USB card for another computer. The card has the VIA chipset which I had heard works ok with Windows 7 x64. After I installed the card and plugged my iPhone into that port instead, the iPhone recovery software went into action and now all is fine. I was pretty worried for a while!
I also tried attaching my USB hard drive and can confirm that it works fine also.
Not sure what is going on with the other USB ports. They worked fine with Vista x64 but not with Windows 7. This is a fairly recent computer and is less than 6 months old so I am surprised it isn’t working, particularly since some users reported the issue during the Windows 7 beta.
I do like Windows 7 for the most part so this USB problem is an unfortunate glitch that needs to be fixed quickly before many others experience the same thing.