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losing USB whenever I reboot host

I'm running a virtualbox client (Windows XP) on a host running Linux testing
(Wheezy).  Vbox is 4.1.6_Debian r74727 with guest additions and extension
pack 74713.  USB always works from the host.  USB works from the guest only
after a fresh fresh reinstall of virtualbox (plus virtualbox-dkms and
virtualbox-qt).  If I then reboot the host, USB no longer works from the

I've compared most of the several hundred related files in both the working
and non-working states and found no obvious explanation.  The biggest clue is
from ~/.VirtualBox/VBoxSVC.log.  Here are the differences:

when USB works
  00:00:00.125 nspr-2   Successfully initialised host USB using sysfs

when USB fails
  00:00:00.170 nspr-2   Failed to initialise host USB using USBFS
  00:00:01.685 nspr-2   WARNING [COM]: aRC=NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)
  [and 20 more similar WARNING lines]

So it appears that initializing USB can be attempted using USBFS (which
fails), or using sysfs (which succeeds).  The one that succeeds is used after
a fresh install; the one that fails is used after I've booted the host.

I have a second computer with (supposedly) the same installation.  USB always
works there (and tries sysfs), even after rebooting the host.

I'm not sure just what this means or how to fix it, but I'd welcome
suggestions.  I posted this to the forum at virtualbox.org and got no
replies.  Thanks.

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