Questions about deleting data

Discussion in 'macOS' started by bigpz1981, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. bigpz1981 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #1
    I ripped a few movies from my personal DVD collection onto my MBP to watch on the road during a recent business trip. When I got home, I went to delete them by putting them in the trash. It worked, or so I thought. The folders containing the movie disappeared from my desktop, but the 6 or 7 gigs of space that they took up were still on my HD (I have the status readout below my HD icon on my desktop and it was unchanged after I trashed the movie). After some research I learned that trashing the file doesn't actually take it off the HD, that I'd have to empty my trash bin to get rid of it permanently. But like many of you, I don't want to completely empty my trash. Is there a way to permanently get rid of individual files/folders? I saw a few ideas. I saw a program called permanent eraser. I also saw where someone suggested using Terminal and some rf commands. Are these good options or should I try something else? Any input is greatly appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. Carrot007 macrumors regular

    Carrot007

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    #2
    Well.

    1. Stop using the trash as a folder. Only put things in it you want to delete!!!!! Create a temporary fodler to store stuff you do not want to delete. I do not know why poeple do this. They do it on windows too! You are asking for trouble as it's easy to empty the trash and delete it, and other people using your machine could well do the same! just ask yourself the question. Do you store your useful stuff in the Kitchen Bin in your house?

    Anyway.

    2. Just open a terminal and type "cd ~/.Trash/" and then you can delete individual files using rm <Name>.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #3
    Yeah, putting something in the trash is only marking it for deletion. There have been a few unnecessarily long threads about the merits and demerits of this system, but changing the Trash behavior would take some digging that nobody really wants to do.

    Options that I know about:

    1) Put the things you want in the trash but not deleted into a separate "Trash" folder. Maybe you could even put it in your dock for easy access. Put the things you really want to delete into the Trash and empty it whenever.

    2) You could use rm -rf in Terminal, but I do not recommend this under almost any circumstances. The chances of you inadvertently deleting something are quite high.

    Never heard of Permanent Eraser, maybe someone else will comment.
     
  4. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    The rm command in the terminal will not permanently delete files. It simply marks the space on the disk that they were located at as free for reuse.

    The rm command is for a standard deletion, e.g.
    rm -rvf /files

    The srm command will rename, truncate, and overwrite files, e.g.
    srm -rvs /files (single pass erase)
    srm -rvm /files (7 pass erase)
    srm -rv /files (35 pass erase)

    If you aren't familiar with the Terminal:

    You type to command you want to use, e.g.
    "rm -rvf "
    Make sure you add a space, like I have above.

    Then, drag the files you want to delete onto the Terminal window.
    Hit return to delete them.

    Adding "sudo" before a command will execute the command as the root user, which will force delete stubborn files. You will need to supply your password if you use sudo, and it (sudo)will allow you to delete system files without warning, so be careful.
     
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #5
    Neither will emptying the trash.
     
  6. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    That's correct.

    The standard empty trash uses the rm command.

    If you use the "Secure Empty Trash" function, that uses the srm command with -m (7 passes) appended.
     

Share This Page