Re: USB drives not being seen
Sorry to sound discouraging, but I too have found this to be a recent problem. I replaced an old hard drive with a newer one and formatted the partitions on the new drive manually using the GParted LiveCD.
After installing 10.04 on the new drive, I booted from it and plugged in the old drive using a USB cable attachment. Ubuntu was unable to see the drive!
Tried the same thing booting from 9.10 (the oldest Ubuntu version I have). Same problem. No icon on the desktop. No entry in Places.
Went into the new Partitioning tool in 10.04 and while it COULD see the drive under USB devices, it was unable to make any sense of it. And this is particularly distressing given that this drive was the one containing all my Jaunty-related partitions and data.
Now ... before anyone starts ranting on about how the "drive is bad", or how I "hooked it up wrong", or any other such stuff, let me point out two things. First, I've been doing this stuff for A LONG TIME, so I know my way around disk hardware -- and was careful to try every single cable and jumper option available.
And second, plugged the same drive, using the same cable attachment, into a Win7 machine -- and it recognized it right off!
This really surprised me because, in the past, it was always the Linux OS, and/or the Linux utilities that could read a drive and it was MS Windows that had the problems.
So, sorry, don't have a solution for not being able to read drives connected via USB cables -- that is, using Ubuntu to do it.
Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
Will not respond to PM requests for support -- use the forums.