No write permission for /home/user/...
My fresh installation of Mandrake 10.1 ran for a couple of days but then suddenly began to give trouble. The last time I tried to boot, the system said sorry, it had "no write access to $home". Earlier I was unable to copy a file from a Win 98 partition to a sub-dir under /home/user/ without becoming root. There were references to "overriding mode 0755" and "I/O error 13". Acrobat reader refused to run because it could not create a sub-dir under /home/user/.
I have done nothing which I did not do in Mandrake 10.0. I haven't even installed all the software I had in that. Will someone please help me out of this pit of abysmal ignorance? Do bear in mind that I do not know how to change permissions or even how to log in as root.