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I was running Ubuntu 10.11 , with several virtual machines on it (Windows XP, Windows 7, Ubuntu 11.04 etc) and decided to update the Ubuntu 11.04 virtual machine to 11.10.

However, it decided (there was no option anywhere) to update the MAIN machine, not the virtual machine and consequently, the computer won't boot up!

I have got it going using a flash drive and I can see all my files - but I can't get at them to copy, because it says I do not have the necessary permissions.

Similarly, I can see the virtual machine folders, but I can't access them.

Anyone any bright ideas? Thanks Chris

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10.11? don't you mean 10.10 – Amith KK Feb 7 '12 at 12:16
so running an upgrade in the VM managed to upgrade the host machine?! that's pretty incredible even for a terrible mistake. Are you able to repair your boot config with grub2? Failing that you might as well install 11.10 on the main machine for real – prusswan Feb 7 '12 at 12:23
Yes, I meant 10.10. I probably will install 11.10 - but I want to get access to my files first. How can I log on with the correct credentials from my flash drive, so i can acces the files - or is there a different way? Thanks – Chris S Feb 7 '12 at 12:57

You must have made a mistake and run the upgrade in the host. As for how to get your files, you need to be root. Either use sudo and copy the files from the command line, or run gksu nautilus to get a file browser as root. After copying you will probably need to fix the ownership with the chown command.

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Thanks. A friend, who's a keen Linux user, has managed to get access to my files. I do know that I definitely ran the upgrade for the virtual machine! I will reinstall and not make the same mistake again! – Chris S Feb 7 '12 at 15:34

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