Force deletion of false "file in use?"

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by macmesser, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. macmesser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #1
    I trashed a Time Machine backup on an external drive, reformatted the drive and now cannot empty trash, getting a "file in use" message. Is there some way to force delete from GUI or will I need to do this from terminal? If so, how would I do this?
     
  2. Longkeg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2014
    Location:
    S. Florida
    #2
    Whenever this has happened to me I find that restarting the computer clears whatever process was causing the issue and I am able to empty the trash.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    Have you tried:
    1. Power down (all the way off)
    2. DISconnect external drive
    3. Reboot
    4. Empty the trash?
     
  4. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #4
    I have restarted and the "files" (they are zero-K) are still there. Still can't delete.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 24, 2018 ---
    Pretty sure I've gone through these steps and still can't delete. I'll try again from power down. I'm thinking the "files" are showing no disk space used maybe because I reformatted the TM drive before emptying the trash. In keeping with the spooky season, perhaps the trash files are ghosts which can't find their "bodies" and therefore can't be deleted from a now non-existent volume which was reformatted before the trash was emptied.
     
  5. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #5
    I finally erased the Time Machine backup and started a new one, which fixed things. The problem was apparently on the trash folder of the external drive.
     

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4 October 21, 2018