Previous 1 2 Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Jul 12, 2013 8:04 AM by Pondini
HowardfromChampaign Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I deleted some time machine directories (yes, I know you should not do that) and I am left with one stubborn file in the trash that I can not delete.  I am running OSX 10.8.4.  I tried the Sudo command and the chgflag commands from the following apple web pages


and got nowhere... .also tried the obvious stuff like Option Empty.


The file is named "boot.efi" and is locked where I do not have the permissions




Any ideas?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (247,175 points)

    Open Terminal and try:


    sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash/*


    Press RETURN and enter your admin password when prompted (it is not echoed to the screen.) Press RETURN again.

  • HowardfromChampaign Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    I got the following message:


    sudo: can't open /private/etc/sudoers: Permission denied

    sudo: no valid sudoers sources found, quitting


    without a prompt for the admin password

  • nbar Level 5 Level 5 (6,955 points)

    try and repair your disk permissions using disk utility....then try to run the command posted above again.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (150,410 points)

    An extremely dangerous and incorrect shell command has been posted in this thread. NEVER empty the Trash in the shell. There is NEVER a good reason to do that.


    Hold down the option key and empty the Trash in the usual way.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (247,175 points)

    Try the same command but remove the leading "sudo." The command is perfectly fine. It is not incorrect as has been suggested. It's a legitimate option when using the OPTION key while emptying the Trash and other common methods have failed.

  • HowardfromChampaign Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So I typed...  rm -rf ~/.Trash/* at the prompt... nothing



    Last login: Thu Jul 11 20:48:15 on ttys000

    Howard-Gerwins-iMac:~ hgerwin$ rm -rf ~/.Trash/*

    Howard-Gerwins-iMac:~ hgerwin$



    am i working in the wrong directory or the wrong account in some way?  I am the only user on this machine and I am the admin

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (247,175 points)

    No. Did you watch for spaces in the command line:


    rm -rf ~/.Trash/*


    Just select the above (copy) then paste it at the Terminal command line. If it works your Trashcan will be empty.

  • nbar Level 5 Level 5 (6,955 points)

    To support this point further, the legitimate command Kappy instructed you to use is the same exact command that Apple suggests to use in the aforementioned Apple support article:


    The command is in no way incorrect. The community member who claims this is incorrect and claims it should never ever be used is wrong. This is completely contradictory to an Apple posted support article which suggests and sanctions the usage of it.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (247,175 points)

    Please leave this alone. We don't need to spark an argument with him. It's what he likes to do. Just try to ignore it as much as possible.


    His remarks are intended to be for me. We have a bad history. He's just trying to create trouble.


    I've reported it to the mods.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (150,410 points)

    Unfortunately this thread is full of dangerous nonsense, including a reference to an obsolete support article.


    Since the nonsense is being repeated, I will also repeat myself: Never empty the Trash in the shell.


    You have a couple of different problems, one of which is that you have wrong permissions on some system files, or some other form of system corruption. You may be able to fix it by repairing permissions in Disk Utility. If you can't, boot into Recovery mode and try again.


    After repairing permissions, try again to empty the Trash by holding down the option key. If it doesn't happen, reinstall the OS. You don't need to erase the startup volume, and you won't need your backup unless something goes wrong. If your Mac was upgraded from an older version of OS X, you’ll need the Apple ID and password you used to upgrade.


    If you installed the Java runtime distributed by Apple and still need it, you'll have to reinstall it.

  • HowardfromChampaign Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I wish I could report success but nothing happens... trash is unchanged

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (150,410 points)

    The Trash will be unchanged forever if you keep running incorrect shell commands.

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,640 points)

    The command Kappy gave you is a perfectly legitimate one. But even Apple, who suggest using it, point out that it may be dangerous if not entered absolutely correctly. Just be sure you only copy/paste it in. There is absolutely nothing obsolete about the cited article.


    What might be going on when you get the message no valid sudoers is you are running out of a standard account, not an admin one and you must run this command from an admin account. Some things to try. You can go into Accounts (or Users and Groups) and change the standard account, either temporarily or permanently, to an admin one. Or you can create a new admin account (it must have a password.) Or if you already have an admin account--or if you create a new one--you can run the following command first before trying the command Kappy gave you. This next command would temporarily give you the privileges of the admin account and enable you to use sudo.


    su <short name of admin account>  or if that balks use a hyphen


    su - <short name of admin account>


    Note, there is a space after su and the admin account name, or after su and - and then after -   And also note, if this isn't obvious, do not include the < > when entering the short name of the admin account. This is unlikely, but if the short name has any spaces in it, the name must be enclosed in quotation marks. You must use the short name for the account which has the Trash problem.


    Hit return. Then give the password of the admin account when prompted. Next enter


    sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash/*


    And then give the password again of the admin account. When finished type exit, hit return and then just close the window.


    Then log out and back in or restart.


    This may avoid needlessly reinstalling.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (150,410 points)

    The supply of false and dangerous information in this disgraceful thread is endless. The error message you got has nothing to do with what kind of user you're logged in as. I hope by now you've at least gotten the idea that ASC is not a reliable source of technical advice.

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