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we purchased an Azus Eee pc 701 used I believe it has ubuntu? on it. It wont grant permissions to use a flash drive, the outboard DVDRW drive or memorey card. The perivous owner said she never entered a password into the system when she set it up. How do I fix the above without losing any data off the machine.
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04 (used to be Red Hat 7.1, then Red Hat 9, then FC 2, FC 5, FC 6, FC 9 and Ubuntu 8.04)
You could set up a flash drive or SD card with a bootable Linux - such as DSL or Backtrack (I have done this with Backtrack). Then edit the BIOS settings to allow for checking for a bootable SD or flash drive. Boot into this alternative Linux. Copy data you want to keep onto your SD or flash drive. Shut down, and reinstall the default Eee PC OS.
Can you boot into Ubuntu? If so, why would you not be able to change permissions?
The Ubuntu default is to disable the root user. Things requiring admin privileges are done with sudo.
To get in as root, you can also boot into single-user mode. (In the GRUB menu, enter e for edit and then add the word "single" (no quotes) to the kernel line.