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I bought a 320gb Seagate FreeAgent Go Hard Drive and I'm not sure how to install it on my system, I'm running Ubuntu 10.10 . It seems to have recognized it, but now I have an icon on my desktop I can't get rid of. (Update: I just 'rebooted' system and now the external hard drive isn't being recognized at all!?)

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You don't need to "install" USB hardware; you just need the kernel driver, which I think Ubuntu comes with. – mathepic Feb 20 '11 at 22:03
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is no need to "install" drivers for most external devices in Ubuntu. However to be able to use them you need to mount the device.

When this happened automatically the device is shown as an icon on your desktop, and the USB drive is added to your Places menu.

Don't forget to unmount the device before unplugging.

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"There is no need to "install" drivers for external devices in Ubuntu" - this is only true for most devices. For some odd ones you might need a specific module that isn't builtin to the kernel. – mathepic Feb 20 '11 at 22:30
@mathepic: thx for pointing at this :) – Takkat Feb 20 '11 at 22:43

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