it seems to be a USB problem allright, instead of a camera or memory card problem.
Can you do a search for the file usbstor.inf on your hard drive.
It should be in the c:\windows\inf folder. If it is not and it is found in another location copy it over to the c:\windows\inf folder.
Even if it finds the file in the c:\windows\inf folder it could be corrupted and would need to be replaced with an original usbstor.inf file.
When a good usbstor.inf is in the c:\windows\inf reboot your PC and try plug in the camera again.
What edition of Vista are you running Home, Home Premium, Business or Ultimate and is it a 32 or 64 bit version?
What is your current BIOS version, there could be a newer version out.
Underneath the laptop there should be the model number that has Pro31J, there should be 1 or 2 letters after the J at the end. Can you tell me what it is.
We are getting closer to the solution....