Recovering Files on old OS

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http://askubuntu.com – I recently made a bootable copy of Ubuntu on an flash drive to try and recover some files on a fried MacBook Air before reinstalling the OS. When I try to access the the files from Macintosh HD it gives me an error message saying I don't have the proper permissions. Is this an in-Linux fixable or does OSX protect its files from being gotten to out of OS. (HowTos)