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It sounds like it was done automatically when Linux was installed and yes it's because the drive was previously used with Windows. The fastest way to give your normal user account write access to that file system is to edit /etc/group and add your username to the users line:
Since the file system is read/write for users in that group, it should fix the problem. I'm hoping this works as you need it to, re-formatting or re-installing should always be a last resort
Question: How do i give a normal user root-privileges?
Assign user-id 0 to it. (Of all the stupid advice, this is probably the worst.)
DON'T! This will not give root-privileges to the user. It will make the user root, or rather an alias for root. It is not the name "root" that is special. The superuser is the user with user-id 0. And if you're going to run as root all the time (which is a fucking stupid thing to do), just log in as root instead. This way you won't have a "hidden" alias for root lying around. If a normal user needs root-privileges, use sudo(8). If you just need root-privileges temporarily, use su(1).
I tried that gilead, and it didn't change a thing for some reason. I think what I want to do is just move everything off of the hard disk and reformat it into a linux file system. This should also prevent any future problems along the same lines. And it should be simple... I'll just transfer all my music onto my main harddrive, reformat the other one, and then transfer it back. Note I said it should be... next will come a post telling me how it's not going to be that simple LoL.
Well, everything appears to be perfect now. My wife can edit her files from her computer, and that's the only folder I gave 'others' rwx permissions on (except for an empty folder I'm using to bypass networking problems, but that's another story). So thanks!!! to everyone who posted to help me out, and especially to gilead for being patient and helping me narrow down options and get to the root (ha ha) of the problem. Altho one last question: since anyone has access to those mp3's in her folder, could a person somehow use an mp3 to gain access to my system through a media program such as amaroK? And if so, could I protect against this by giving the user "nobody" (which is what my wife's laptop connects as through Samba) those permissions instead of everyone, or does "nobody" simply refer to any computer accessing mine? Or could people even access my computer like that since they aren't on my home network? Kind of a wordy question, but I hope my meaning got through...
i don't think anyone could "use" an mp3 to gain access to your system, but the point of having proper permissions is that if anyone -did- gain access, they could trash any files they had write permissions to, in this case your mp3s. they could also use the directory to write stuff to, which probably isn't a good idea.
again, you should set up a group for anyone who uses the mp3s and directory, and give only them permissions (plus the owner, obviously, which would most likely be you). you should also secure the directory through your smb.conf with user share level security (man smb.conf, man smbpasswd).
afaik, "nobody" is a system account sometimes used for running certain applications or daemons (web servers, etc.) doing a quick google, i see that it also has some other more specific purpose related to root and NFS, so it seems that in any case it really shouldn't be used as a regular user account. gl