Mac M1 license USB stick disconnects on bootup

M1 Mac Mini Monterey 12.6.1
I have my Waves licenses on a USB stick. About a third of the times I boot up the computer, I get a message to disconnect the USB stick before removing it. The stick is still plugged in, but the Mac doesn’t see it. This has been an issue with all versions of the OS since the computer was new in 2020. I have tried a couple different sticks of various sizes, and several different ports on the computer and the CalDigit dock plugged into it. Definitely a Mac problem, not a Waves problem, but has anyone else seen it, and hopefully found a workaround? There are a couple related threads on the Apple forum, but no solutions that I’ve seen.
I’m concerned that my licenses will get trashed by this, so I’ve taken to unplugging the stick before booting up. Kind of a nuisance.