I was given a Sony DSC-P31 still camera a few years ago. It was and still is not one of the all time greats, but it is small, it works, and it produces decent pictures..
Initially, I was running XP and the software supplied with the camera ran without problems. It was an awful program suite in my opinion, offering options for picture management which were completely tasteless. I uninstalled it within a week and just used XP ability to read and import photos into the inbuilt picture viewer. Vista 64-bit had the same ability as XP, as did Windows 7 64-bit. The camera memory card was recognised much as it would be if inserted into a card reader.
Just recently, Windows 7 decided that it would not load drivers for the camera after having being connected with the USB link cable. I was fairly sure that I had used the camera in the last few months, and for a few seconds could not understand why it was not working. I then connected it to a 32-bit Windows 7 system. At first, it produced the same result, but then displayed the option to import.
This morning, I formatted the card in the camera using the cameras own format utility, connected it to the 64-bit computer, and it downloaded the appropriate drivers instantly.
OK. When I see posts in newsgroups and forums re cameras not showing up, I generally assume that the people are attempting to load incompatible support software as originally supplied with their camera. Is there a chance that the people are not connecting the camera because they think that the software has to be installed first? All of the cameras ever connected to my computer have popped up as removable drives, assuming that the memory card is in good working order. A digital camera is just a memory card reader/writer after all.
If anybody reading this disagrees, I would appreciate some input, make, model and what was tried. Feedback would be useful such that I could pass the info onto others..