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My understanding of code is about zero. I can open a terminal window, and type commands that are given to me, but that's about it. If someone can help me with this question, and explain at a level I'm likely to understand, thanks. If not, thanks anyway.

I have an external hard drive with two partitions. I bought this drive when my operating system was Apple, 10.5 or so, and it was formatted as HFS+ with that system. Now, connecting the HD to my Linux system, I can read files, but I have about 1.5 TB of space that I can't use, because I am not the owner of the file, so can't write to the HD.

Short of reformatting the HD, is there a way for me to set the permissions for the HD so I can write to it?

Again, thank you.

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You need to remove that file or just write into it? – Evandro Silva Nov 7 '12 at 16:54

Your root account will be able to set ownership of any file. Open a terminal and switch to root (command sudo -i).

Next, identify the path at which the partition is mounted (run mount command) and hopefully you can tell which partition is which in the output.

Then you can chown -R youruser:yourgroup /path/to/mounted/parition to change ownership to your user and group.

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