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Unable to Empty Trash

8643 Views 21 Replies Latest reply: Oct 12, 2010 1:55 PM by cornelius RSS
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PatrixUSA Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 6, 2010 2:19 PM
I have two folders that I am unable to trash. Have tried all key combination and terminal options that I know of to empty. Unable to post an image of the errors that I am getting when attempting to empty via Secure Empty Trash and Terminal commands I will type out the error messages.

When using Secure Empty Trash: "The operation cannot be completed because a required item is in use." Also, "The operation cannot be completed because the item {folder name} is in use."

When using Terminal commands, using "sudo rm -ri /" I enter my password and it asks for confirmation and the resulting message is "Directory not empty"

ANY help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
MAC Dual 1.8 GHz PowerPC G5, Mac OS X (10.3.x)
  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,655 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 6, 2010 2:26 PM (in response to PatrixUSA)
    Run a disk repair utility on that drive.

    (54181)
    iMac Late 2007 Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8 (44,230 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2010 6:32 AM (in response to PatrixUSA)
    If you have the problem where you can’t empty the Trash or eject a disk because something is preventing you? Usually the reason is because some application has a file open, and thus you can’t get rid of the disk or trash the file. Then use What’s Keeping Me! What’s Keeping Me (10.4) will identify the application that is preventing you from accomplishing your task. You can then use What's Keeping Me to quit, relaunch, or kill the problem application so you can get on with your business. http://www.hamsoftengineering.com/products/wkm/wkm.html

    Sometimes it happens that the Finder just doesn't want to empty the trash anymore and says "The operation cannot be completed because the item "" is in use.". That's a good warning if it is true, but sometimes you want to get rid of an application and this warning appears even though the only thing running is the Finder. Usually after a restart you can delete it. But that is very time consuming and even then, it is sometimes still stuck not wanting to be deleted. There is a risky command that can be used in the Terminal that will empty the trash no matter what. Risky because a simple error in the syntax could erase a lot of stuff that you want to keep.

    There is a way of forcing the Finder to empty the trash no matter what! It is done in the freeware customization and maintenance application OnyX (download @ http://www.titanium.free.fr/pgs/english/apps.html ). Once you loaded OnyX and entered your administrator password, choose "Cleaning" in the top bar. Click on the "Trash" tab. You can now choose whether you want to "Delete" or to "Securely Delete" (by overwriting) and click Execute. That's it, it will force the Finder to empty the trash even if the files are in use!

    Many times, depressing the Option key while emptying Trash will empty problem files. Another method – start by depressing the mouse over the Trash icon. Then empty trash from the pop-up menu. The files should be emptied.

    Also look at these links.

    You can't empty the Trash or move a file to the Trash in Mac OS X
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106272

    Solving Trash Problems
    http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/trash.html

    How To Fix Stubborn Trash and Why it Won't Delete
    http://www.osxfaq.com/Tutorials/LearningCenter/HowTo/Trash/index.ws

    Download Trash It! v3.6.1 from:
    http://www.nonamescriptware.com/?page_id=5

    Download DropNuke from:
    http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/12664

     Cheers, Tom

     G4 1.25MHz MDD, G3 400 FW Pismo,, Mac OS X (10.5.6), OS 10.4.11/9.2.2, Canon LiDE30 Scanner, Canon i960 Printer, Belkin UPS
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2010 7:04 AM (in response to PatrixUSA)
    "The operation cannot be completed because a required item is in use."

    Have you tried completely shutting down the computer, then restarting and emptying Trash?

    Also, check out Dr. Smoke's FAQ Solving Trash Problems.

    cornelius
    MBP 2.4 GHz 6 GB RAM, 500/7200 Seagate HDD; VMwFusion: XP Pro, Ubuntu, Mac OS X (10.6.4), PismoG4/550, 120/5400 Seagate HDD (10.4.11); Beige G3 OS 8.6
  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,655 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2010 9:53 AM (in response to PatrixUSA)
    The Repair Disk command of the Disk Utility, not Repair Permissions. You may need to boot from a Mac OS X install disk or third-party software such as DiskWarrior.

    (54191)
    iMac Late 2007 Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,655 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2010 10:04 AM (in response to PatrixUSA)
    As I said above, you may need to reboot from the install disk. If you don't have that, restart with the Shift key held down and then normally.

    (54192)
    iMac Late 2007 Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2010 1:46 PM (in response to PatrixUSA)
    Hold down the Shift key immediately after startup chime and keep holding until the gray apple appears, then release. It takes a while to boot, so be patient. Once booted it should say Safe Boot or something to that effect.

    cornelius
    MBP 2.4 GHz 6 GB RAM, 500/7200 Seagate HDD; VMwFusion: XP Pro, Ubuntu, Mac OS X (10.6.4), PismoG4/550, 120/5400 Seagate HDD (10.4.11); Beige G3 OS 8.6
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 9, 2010 12:48 PM (in response to PatrixUSA)
    Try this:
    • Shut down the computer.
    • Locate the following keys: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously later.
    • Turn on the computer.
    • Press and hold the Command + Option + P + R keys immediately after the startup chime.
    • Hold keys down until you hear the startup chime for the third time.
    • Release the keys and immediately hold down Shift key to start up in Safe Mode. _Hold Shift down *until the gray apple appears*, then release_.
    • Log in and empty Trash.
    • Restart normally and log in.

    cornelius
    MBP 2.4 GHz 6 GB RAM, 500/7200 Seagate HDD; VMwFusion: XP Pro, Ubuntu, Mac OS X (10.6.4), PismoG4/550, 120/5400 Seagate HDD (10.4.11); Beige G3 OS 8.6
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