I have a 250GB external USB drive that I use to make backups. In the past, I've put on it random copies of folders (half the time as root). Today I copied my entire home folder to it. I wanted to go through the entire drive to better organize the backups and remove any duplicated files. Since the folders had inconsistant permissions, I decided to make them all fully readable and writable (its an external backup drive, why not?).
I opened the drive using a right click 'browse as root' script, selected all 17 main folder/files, right clicked, selected properties, then viewed the permissions tab. I gave all users all permissions and applied to all folders/files. A prepairing file operations window opened up with a bunch of operations starting and then GNOME died. It pop-up something saying one of the panel tools failed and needed to be restarted, then all the text and icons became corrupted. Most of the panel icons turned into red Xs, all the desktop icons turned into some simple icon, and all the text turned into squares. A few more pop-ups showed up, but since I can't read squares, I don't know what they said.
I left the permission operations finish and attempted to reboot the computer (even the shutdown dialog had no icons and no readable text, I think I guessed wrong and picked log-off...)
To my surprise, I got a blue screen! It said something like xwindow had restarted X times within X seconds and suggested there was a problem. I held the power button to reboot the Lenovo X61 Tablet.
When it restarted, it only booted up to a command line login. I attempted to login, but it said 'Unable to cd to '/home/zerted'. I rebooted and used the recovery features to get a root prompt. A quick look around my home folder and the root structure and everything seems fine...
What happened, why can't I login as the normal user, and how should I go about fixing it?
It seems that whenever I backup my system, it breaks (had hard drive corruption on my Windows machine last time I backed that up)