Ok it could well be a corrupted registry entry, Id only expect this when there been some device enumeration that means that windows sees a device classifies it and then stores this information (you are right, within the registry).
No matter what you unplug or uninstall (short of the bus or device driver which would hopefully remove this UUID classification of the device) then ti will always attempt to use the same upon re-insertion.
My point is that this mistaken enumeration is normally due to the bus driver passing on invalid information to "Windows" because the Windows driver does not contain the proprietary add on bit of code that entails it to discover the device properly.
Thus, and I have also seen this, even a full reinstall of windows and therefore a destructive registry, doesn't help.
Ideally you'd research and assure that you have the valid usb bus driver an then also, do as you mention, and remove the "cached" registry entries and let the PnP rediscover the (hopefully now) valid UUID's