Last night there was a power outage and now my computer will not boot up. After pushing the power button and seeing the BIOS I only see a black screen with a white cursor at the top left of the screen. I plugged in an external hard drive and put in my live CD hoping I could use the live CD to copy my files from my home folder to my external drive. But when I opened the home folder each containing folder says I do not have access to them and they are all empty. I assume this is because I encrypted my home folder when I first installed Ubuntu. How can I get my files back?

1 Answer 1


Try to open a terminal.

sudo passwd root



You are root now.

You can use chmod 755 to modify the permission.

  • Okay I've followed the first part have succesfully became root, but I don't know how to do the chmod 666
    – Shingaling
    Jul 18, 2013 at 12:10
  • chmod -R 666 /some/folder
    – eccstartup
    Jul 18, 2013 at 12:12
  • If you don't know the path of the folder, drag a file into the terminal, you will see it.
    – eccstartup
    Jul 18, 2013 at 12:13
  • okay I did that to my pictures folder, it made me put in sudo chmod -R 666 though. However it only fixed the perisions on first folder itself, all other files and folders with in are still unaccessable. Is there a way to do every thing? Others I'm going to be here for LONG time lol
    – Shingaling
    Jul 18, 2013 at 12:18
  • If you pictures folder is /xxx/home/yourname/Pictures/ ,you can use chmod -R 666 '/xxx/home/yourname/' to change more files.
    – eccstartup
    Jul 18, 2013 at 12:21

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