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If you’ve upgraded your Ubuntu system to 11.10, or have a fresh install, you might find that when you right-click a USB drive and choose “Safely Remove Drive” in the left pane in Nautilus, the system hangs. This appears to affect some users of the Linux kernel 3.0.0-12, which at this early stage would be what most users have, so if this applies to you, it should be easy enough to fix.

Go to http://people.canonical.com/~ogasawara/lp844957/ and into the folder for your architecture (i386 or amd64). Install the 3 .debs located therein (I did so with GDebi, but should be the same in Ubuntu Software Centre, just slower), and reboot. You should now be able to successfully remove the drive without issue the next time you connect it.

NOTE: What you’re actually doing here is replacing the 3 main kernel packages, but for me and a bunch of others affected, there were no issues, with kernel 3.0.0-13 replacing the old one in GRUB, booting into Ubuntu just fine, and resolving the freezing issue when trying to remove USB drives.

Do not use this if your kernel is a later version (i.e. higher than 3.0.0-13). It probably wouldn’t kill your system, but reverting to an earlier kernel is extreme measures, so try find a more current and applicable solution (this fix appeared within days, so it does pay to spend a few minutes looking around the web, especially the Ubuntu Forums).

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