all right, that got me a little closer! in the 10.04 live cd, i can fsck it, and even mount it, although i can't start up with the live cd if the hard drive is plugged in when i turn on the computer, it just sits there and shows a loading screen for ubuntu. anyways, so i fscked it, and it says the file system is clean. i mount it, and the easiest and quickest route for me is probably just to get my files off, and just do a clean install. Problem is now, i don't have permission to read lots of what i want to take off of it. So can i get permission while i'm on a live cd?