Trash won't delete

AcesHigh87

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 11, 2009
954
293
New Brunswick, Canada
Before anyone says it I'm aware that there are like a million of these topics on the forum. I've used the search but haven't found one that has worked yet.

I'm running a macbook white (early 2008, 4.1 model) on OS X Lion 10.7.3 and my trash will not empty.

I plan to put an SSD into my macbook in the summer so I was trying to decide on size. Originally I wanted a 120GB drive as it's only 40GB smaller then my current HDD but budget looks like a 64 might be better. Unfortunately as it stands my macbook has 100GB full which means cloning to a 64GB SSD wouldn't work. Because of this I've been going through my drive to see what can be cleaned out; in order to see if I can get it down to 64GB.

This story is getting long though, to the main problem. I have a bunch of stuff in my trash now that won't go anywhere. When I hit empty the emptying dialogue comes up but all it does is load and read "preparing to delete files" without even calculating the amount. It does the same thing when I secure empty (hold command and right click on trash) and force empty (hold option while clicking empty). Restarting the computer resulting in a number of files showing up (2000 and some) but none being deleted. The process bar just doesn't move.

The only way I can even get the dialogue box to disappear is by relaunching finder. I've waited 5+ minutes without the progress bar ever moving in both instances. It's not long but it's more then it should take.

I haven't been able to find a topic that offers an answer that isn't above so I'm interested in trying just about anything.
 

AcesHigh87

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 11, 2009
954
293
New Brunswick, Canada
Update

Looks like I got rid of everything except one folder which was near the top and must have been holding everything back. The folder is called:
Firefox 11-38-48-648
and must have been grabbed when I put firefox into appCleaner. I got rid of every other folder which is good but I want to know how to get rid of this one too. It's not locked and I have permission to read and write on it. Ideas?
 

jman240

macrumors 6502a
May 26, 2009
734
75
Use the terminal.app and rm command.

something like
rm -ir Firefox (then hit tab to auto-complete the rest)

You may need to CD (change directory) to get to where you need to be to find this folder
PWD (present working directory) will show you where you are now
LS (list) will show you all the folders / files in the current directory

Probably a
cd ~/.Trashes
should take you to your trash. Can't remember if trashes is upper or lower case.

rm is the simple remove command.

rm -r is recursive and it will remove anything you ask it to and anything inside that, provided it has permission to.

rm -rf is the same as rm -r except that it doesn't ask what it's allowed to do if it has any questions, it just tries to do it any way without asking.

rm -i is interactive remove, so it asks at every item.

rm -ir is interactive and recursive, so it asks about everything, and everything inside everything.

If you're fearful about what you might be deleting, it's really useful to have it prompt you.