When the plugs were pulled out while the computer was still on, it sent a message saying there's something wrong, but the computer just couldn't figure out what it was. The yellow circle with the black exclamation point backs up this assumption.
The USB ports won't be listed in My Computer but should be found in Device Manager under Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
To fix this problem you will first need to have the installation disks for both the printer and the CD nearby. Also make sure you know where your winME disk is just in case the computer needs different drivers.
Then, you will need to uninstall each device. Go to Start>Settings>Control Panel. Double click on Add/Remove programs and uninstall both the printer and the CD. When you've done that, restart the computer. (At this point, I would also run the disk defragmenter since you've just deleted a lot of files)
After restarting, plug in the external CD (it's OK to plug it in while the computer is on, it's NOT OK to unplug while the computer is on). Have your software ready. Restart the computer and the Found New Hardware wizard should open when windows boots up. Follow the instructions given. If it asks for a place to get the software, click on the Have Disk button. It'll prompt you to install the software.
After you reinstall the software for the external CD, restart the computer. Then plug in the printer and follow the same steps as above.