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My only idea is the connector to the player is corrupted or problematic. I would honestly take the player back to the store and get a new one. It seems its not the computer but the player itself. These things happen to many players and many friends of mine have had similar problems with RCA players.
I had the same problem too. I was about to give up and throw this RCA player away but I it is only 5 weeks old, I got it for christmas and would feel terrible letting it go because of this stupid problem. I noticed soo many other people had this same problem, and since I spend over an hour and got it fixed, I had to share my solution and hopefully help others. I must have tried bwelliver's solution 10 to 20 times before I finally figured out the pattern to doing it. Unfortunately, i should have gone down and noticed what clklause has recommended, which was to ensure that the power is turned off before plugging in the RCA mp3 player. All I did was download the firmware from the link that bwelliver linked to, unplugged and turned off my RCA M4208GR-8 player, then 1) I ran the firmware software 2) held down the Play(center button) on the RCA mp3 player that the power is still TURNED OFF, and 3) plugged in the player to the USB plug right after starting the firmware program. I watched the firmware program on the screen and noticed it would go from "searching" to "initializing" and I immediately released the Play(center button) on the RCA player and sure enough, the RCA player would begin initializing, and I was able to click Start on the Firmware program from the PC.
Connect the little end of the USB cable to the top of the unit. If you are looking at the face of the unit, the port for the cable will be on the right. Then connect the big end of the USB cable to your USB port on your PC.
It is easier to reformat the mp3 player. When the mp3 is plugged in to the PC, go to my computer, the double click the mp3 player there. You will see internal storage, right click that and click format. You will lose all the stuff on the mp3 player.
Try this link - they have udated drivers for your player, which hopefully will solve the problem;
Try a different cable also, and check by plugging it into a usb port on another computer that the problem is not with your usb ports.
Hope this helps :)