Booted from a second drive and logged in as root should allow you permission to do what you want.
Through some unknown sequence of events I've managed to establish a /tmp directory that is NOT a link to /private/tmp (the normal setup). The main issue seen so far is that, when I repair permissions with Disk Utility, the /tmp directory gets set to 755 for permissions, rather than the desired 777. That causes some weird problems, such as Compress not working as it can't create the necessary temp files (which is how I discovered what had happened).
Having created this situation, is there a known way to get out of it? I don't think I can delete /tmp and recreate it as a link while booted from the hard drive, and when I accessed the drive while booted from another disk it wouldn't give me privileges to delete or move the contents.
So far, I have a workaround (chmod 777 /tmp after repairing permissions) but I'd like to get my system back to kosher status ASAP.
Running 10.5.8 on an Intel imac.
Open to any suggestions/tips,