I copied the instructions below that I have used many times before and it has helped each and every time except this time.
In Terminal. To do so, first open Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities). Typecd ~/.Trash and press Return. Then, type sudo rm -R followed by a space (don’t leave out the space character—it’s essential). Don’t press Return yet.
Next, click the Trash icon in your Dock to open a window displaying the contents of the Trash. Select everything in that window and drag it into the Terminal window; this action adds the paths of all those files and folders to the rm(remove) command. Now, press Return and enter your administrator password when prompted. In a moment or two (depending on how much was in your Trash), the Trash icon should return to its empty state.
I don't want to reformat because there are far to many important files on the drive nor should I have to, re formatting is only when nothing else works and I don't believe it can't be done. I will find away to do it, thank you for your reply.
error -50 paramErr error in user parameter list
Not sure what it means though.
I usually use rm -rf as it ignores permissions errors I think. Or at least attempts to.
The man page for the RM command is below.
rm, unlink -- remove directory entries
rm [-dfiPRrvW] file ...
The rm utility attempts to remove the non-directory type files specified
on the command line. If the permissions of the file do not permit writ-
ing, and the standard input device is a terminal, the user is prompted
(on the standard error output) for confirmation.
The options are as follows:
-d Attempt to remove directories as well as other types of
-f Attempt to remove the files without prompting for confirma-
tion, regardless of the file's permissions. If the file does
not exist, do not display a diagnostic message or modify the
exit status to reflect an error. The -f option overrides any
previous -i options.
-i Request confirmation before attempting to remove each file,
regardless of the file's permissions, or whether or not the
standard input device is a terminal. The -i option overrides
any previous -f options.
-P Overwrite regular files before deleting them. Files are
overwritten three times, first with the byte pattern 0xff,
then 0x00, and then 0xff again, before they are deleted.
-R Attempt to remove the file hierarchy rooted in each file
argument. The -R option implies the -d option. If the -i
option is specified, the user is prompted for confirmation
before each directory's contents are processed (as well as
before the attempt is made to remove the directory). If the
user does not respond affirmatively, the file hierarchy
rooted in that directory is skipped.
-r Equivalent to -R.
-v Be verbose when deleting files, showing them as they are
-W Attempt to undelete the named files. Currently, this option
can only be used to recover files covered by whiteouts.
The rm utility removes symbolic links, not the files referenced by the
It is an error to attempt to remove the files ``.'' or ``..''.
When the utility is called as unlink, only one argument, which must not
be a directory, may be supplied. No options may be supplied in this sim-
ple mode of operation, which performs an unlink(2) operation on the
The rm utility exits 0 if all of the named files or file hierarchies were
removed, or if the -f option was specified and all of the existing files
or file hierarchies were removed. If an error occurs, rm exits with a
The rm command uses getopt(3) to parse its arguments, which allows it to
accept the `--' option which will cause it to stop processing flag
options at that point. This will allow the removal of file names that
begin with a dash (`-'). For example:
rm -- -filename
The same behavior can be obtained by using an absolute or relative path
reference. For example:
I ended up rebooting my computer, something I very rarely need to do because my Mac has never let me down yet; to me there is always a solution.
So rebooted, used the terminal again and this time a few more files deleted then it stopped. After 30 minutes I rebooted again and this time I emptied trash from the trash, I always do a secure empty so does take a little longer. Anyway it took over 12 hours maybe more however it is now empty.
Thank you both for your help.