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Article:
  Learning the Mac OS X Terminal, Part 2
Subject:   sudo chmod
Date:   2004-03-27 21:28:36
From:   rcrow
Response to: sudo chmod

the only thing i can think of is a cold boot. If you have the OS X installation cd, insert the it and type command C. This tells the computer to boot directly off the cd. I dont know if you can retrieve your files from before the crash this way though. If you cant you can eject the cd and no harm done as long as you dont reinstall.