A couple months ago I updated my desktop OS from Ubuntu 11.04 to 11.10. The upgrade went smoothly, but I lost access to my drive partitions. There are no icons for them on the desktop, in the launcher, or in Nautilus. USB thumb drives, CD's and DVD's also no longer show on the desktop when inserted. And they don't appear in the launcher, or Nautilus either. So I posted here, seeking help. Basically, I was told I must've done something wrong with the upgrade. I was told to edit FSTAB, or reinstall from scratch.
I tried editing FSTAB. I gained read only access to my windows and data partitions, but not any removable drives or optical media. I even upgraded to 12.10, hoping that would solve the problems, but it didn't. I've been deferring doing a full reinstall, hoping for a solution that is not so drastic, and because I doubt it will solve the problems. The computer is not much use to me as is.
Meanwhile I have been using my old laptop (also Ubuntu 11.04). Everything was working fine. I had access to all my partitions and removable media. But I was getting annoyed by the popup messages saying that I would not get any more security updates. So finally, after putting up with this for over a month, I decided to the update my laptop to 11.10. As on my desktop, the installation went smoothly. Now this is totally different hardware, yet I got the same results.
It seems to me that this is behaviour BY DESIGN. The 11.10 upgrade removed my access to drive partitions and removable media. So what is necessary to restore it?