[ubuntu netbook remix] Copy Home directory to USB flashdrive

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http://ubuntuforums.org – Running Ubuntu 10.10 on Acer Netbook ZX5. Eventually realized that drag and drop file manipulation doesn't work on 10.10. Considered upgrading to 12.04, but reluctant because of brightness control problem with 12.04. Ended up installing PCManFM file manager version 0.9.7, which did allow me to drag and drop. However, when I attempted to copy the /home directory to a 32 Gig USB flashdrive (formatted to ext3), it seemed to do so, but there were error messages, and the files did not appear on the flashdrive. I assume the problem lies with permissions. How to do this? (Hardware)